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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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Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

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Pre-instructional activities to prepare students for online learning part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students get low-stakes practice doing many of the tasks they will have to complete later on the course such as navigating the course website, turning in an assignment to a dropbox, and posting to a discussion ...

Drinking Water Quality: An Interdisciplinary Research Experience of Introductory Geology and Chemistry Classes part of Cutting Edge:Undergraduate Research:Case Studies
Robert Shuster, University of Nebraska at Omaha Summary At the University of Nebraska at Omaha, we have involved students in introductory Geology and Chemistry classes in an interdisciplinary study of drinking ...

Mapping Plate Tectonic Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Geodesy:Activities
This activity asks students to explore a National Geographic map showing Earth's plate tectonic boundaries. The exercise lets the students examine relationships between plate tectonic boundaries and geologic ...

Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.

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Tale of Two Cities (and two hurricanes): New Orleans part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This is an activity that uses the spreadsheet program Excel to explore the origins of subsidence in New Orleans. There are two versions. The first is a traditional Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum (SSAC) module ...

To Drill or Not to Drill? A Case Study in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
To Drill or Not to Drill is a multidisciplinary problem based learning exercise, which intends to increase students' knowledge of a variety of topics through a real world environmental topic. In addition, ...

Building Blocks part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
In association with rock and mineral ID tables, this lab introduces students to basic rocks and minerals via grouping and comparison, rather than as individual samples. I use this lab in my environmental geology ...

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Global Earthquakes: Teaching about Earthquakes with Data and 3D Visualizations part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this series of visualizations and accompanying activities, students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes and explore their distribution at plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...

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Visualizing Global Earthquakes Where and Why do Earthquakes Occur? part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at and below the surface of Earth and how their distribution is related to plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...

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Consequences of Modern Energy Use: A Remote Sensing analysis of the gulf oil spill using ArcGIS software. part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
Students download satellite imagery and conduct a remote sensing analysis of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using ArcGIS software.

Secretary of Energy part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2011:Teaching Activities
This activity was used in my GEO 101: The Dynamic Earth course to engage the students and get them thinking about different energy resources. It asks them to consider our country's energy needs in the future ...

Playdough geology part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This activity utilizes kinestetic learning by having students make models of geologic concepts, landscapes and processes using playdough in the classroom. Key words: kinestetic learning, playdough

Measurement of River Flow part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
The laboratory is an outdoor exercise where students visit a local stream and use two methods to calculate stream discharge. Tapes, Philadelphia rods,and a transit are employed for stream measurements. The students ...

Natural Hazards Term Project part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
Students apply the concepts learned in the class by preparing two (2) term projects discussing two natural hazards and how they impact the area where the student lives (or an area the student might like to live ...

Flood Recurrence Intervals part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This lab activity has students use stream discharge data obtained from the USGS Water Resources Division web site in order to calculate recurrence intervals for a local stream. Using the recurrence data generated, ...

A River Runs Through It: an exploration in land use and water resource management part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This is an in-class activity where students learn about the interconnectedness of land use, water quality, and water resource management. Students are assigned a river front parcel of land to develop, unaware that ...

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Case Study: Zhouqu, China Landslide part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This is a 'citizen science' research project where students to apply their knowledge of landslide processes in an investigation of the natural and anthropogenic causes of a real-world landslide ...

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Sand Analysis Lab Activity part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
An inclass introductory level activity for science and nonscience majors that explores the properties of sand in order to identify depositional environments. Sand Analysis Lab (Microsoft Word 71kB May18 12)

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.