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Activities for Introductory Geoscience

Here you will find a wide range of activities for teaching introductory geoscience courses. you can refine your search by selecting the topic or resource type, or by typing in search terms into the search box in the box below.

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Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place? part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use water-well data and geology to determine which site caused groundwater and surface-water contamination.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Floods on the Minnesota River part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Topographic Maps: Integrated Florida River project part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This fairly traditional topographic maps lab uses local maps as examples. It is intended to prepare students for a group research project later in the semester.

Environmental Geology of the Area where you Live part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students research and report on the environmental geology (resources and hazards) of the area around their home. The project helps develop students' abilities to apply what they have learned.

Superfund Case Study part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise is meant to reinforce concepts covered in the whole course. It helps students integrate concepts from risk and toxicology, air, water and soil pollution, regulation and remediation technology.

Investigative Case - "Goodbye Honey Buckets" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students will investigate arctic geology and hydrology as well as tundra ecology as they consider options for sewage treatment. Public safety, environmental impact, and issues of construction and engineering will be explored.

Investigative Case - "Home, Home on the River" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students will examine the complex issues that result from human use of ecologically sensitive areas. The students will investigate these issues from the point of view of their major/career path.

Geotechnical Part II part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This geotechnical project allows the student to become familiar with laboratory soil report and construction site maps. Student gain insight to the responsibilities of a Geotechnical Soil Scientist through ...

Campus Nitrogen Budget part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Campus-Based Learning:Examples
Link the college or university operations with local ecology. In this study, students use a tool from urban ecology, the nitrogen budget, to research the inputs, outputs and subsytem transfers of nitrogen on the ...

Image Classification part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
An exercise to use a simple image analysis program to classify land surface types seen in satellite imagery in order to analyze changes in landscape development over time. -

Destruction of the Rainforest and Atmospheric Oxygen part of Teacher Preparation:Resource Collections:Activities
Pre-service Midle School teachers devised an experiment to test an assertion that destruction of the Brazilian Rainforest would lead to a serious drop in atmospheric oxygen. The experiment proved to be a failure, but opened other avenues of science learning and had a positive impact on their confidence in teaching inquiry-based science.

The Grand Canyon part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This interdisciplinary lesson plan deals with the consequences of damming in the Grand Canyon area. The students, role-playing as scientists, write a proposal to try experimental flooding. -

Annotating Change in Satellite Images part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
During this exercise, students compare a series of satellite images taken 3-4 years apart to investigate the effects of human land use and annotate the images using ImageJ software. -

Soils as Construction Materials part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This geotechnical project will introduce you with the concept of using soils as construction materials.This project involves characterizing soils using various laboratory analyses and applying the Unified Soil ...

Investigating contaminant transport and environmental justice issues in a local watershed through service learning projects with Sierra Club part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
Students will be applying hydrogeology concepts and methods in the lab and the field and conducting interviews as part of a coherent characterization of water quality issues and potential risks in local low-income, ...

Land Use Change in MidCoast Maine part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Eileen Johnson, Bowdoin College Summary This lab exercise is intended to introduce students to the fundamentals of GIS as part of two - three hour lab periods. The exercise provides experience with GIS software as ...

Explorations of Spatial Distributions of Environmental and Health-Related Data part of Cutting Edge:Geology and Human Health:Workshop 04:Activities
This activity introduces the student to basic concepts of spatial distribution of environmental and health data with an easy to use on-line mapping program. -

Roadside and Engineering Geology of Auke Bay, Juneau Alaska part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
Final lab for an Introductory Physical Geology class. Students apply a semester of learned geology skills toward evaluating house building sites near our campus. They encounter evidence of faulting, mass wasting, ...

Architectural stone investigation - What makes great buildings? part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
This small group research project, and accompanying field trip, gives students an opportunity to investigate issues related to city planning, building design and usage, and earth materials used as architectural ...

Introduction to urban watershed geochemistry part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
The main goal of this multi-part field and lab exercise is to introduce students to practical aspects of soil and water geochemistry. Some of the analyses for this lab are conducted in the field using field ...

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