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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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Floods on the Minnesota River part of 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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Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place? part of 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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Environmental Geology of the Area where you Live part of 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.

Topographic Maps: Integrated Florida River project part of 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.

Superfund Case Study part of 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.

Yellowstone Fires part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This module enables students to take a problem-based learning approach to wildfires, in particular whether a "let-it-burn" policy makes sense in Yellowstone National Park. -

The Great Energy Debate part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This lesson plan explores the energy debate in the U.S. Students will hold a mock congressional committee meeting and make decisions about public lands and energy resources. -

The Use of a Piece of Land part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
In this role-playing exercise, students represent groups interested in buying the same piece of land and will need to consult land-use laws. -

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. -

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. -

Two streams, two stories... How Humans Alter Floods and Streams part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
An activity/lab where students determine the changes in 100-year flood determinations for 2 streams over time.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Gallery Walk Questions about Human Dimensions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Gallery Walks:Examples
created by Mark Francek, Central Michigan University The following are potential questions that could be used in a gallery walk activity about the human dimensions of geologic issues. The questions are organized ...

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. -

Roadside and Engineering Geology of Auke Bay, Juneau Alaska part of Cutting Edge: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: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 ...

Investigative Case - Los Angeles and the Future of Mono Lake part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
The Los Angeles and the Future of Mono Lake WebQuest leads students in a guided exploration of Mono Lake's extreme environment and asks them to consider the preservation of this environment in relation to the needs of humans.

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. -

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.

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.

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