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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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Acid Rain Socratic Questions part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Socratic Questioning:Examples
Cluster of questions on acid rain deposition. -

Question of the Day: ANWR Drilling Policy part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Question of the Day
ANWR Drilling Policy Debate (Acrobat (PDF) 118kB Jun16 04) Activity Sheet and Reading The author's calculations yield the following: An average US car mileage increase of five miles per gallon would reduce oil ...

Web-o-Cycles part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a classroom activity intended as an introductory exercise in a capstone experience involving complex Earth systems.

Stream Gages and GIS part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
Utilize the online GIS of the USGS real-time stream gage network to introduce basic concepts of data-driven maps and GIS. This exercise can be used independently or with other hydrology exercises. -

Sleeping Mountain Scenario part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
Original Author: Janice Cooper. Posted with the permission of Glenn Jaecks, (University of California Davis Geology Department) Introduction | Format for Discussion | The Reality of the Threat at Mammoth | Web ...

Teaching Chaos and Complex Evolutionary Systems Theories at the Introductory Level part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a learning progression of 12 models leading to 19 learning outcomes designed to introduce chaos and complex systems theories concepts in 3 - 5 50 minute classes. Includes power points of class ...

GPS Treasure Hunt part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
Students are divided into teams, each of which is given a list of instructions and a GPS unit, and sent to find certain locations. At each stop, they identify a particular building stone or a plant. -

Copper Extraction Demonstration Tutorial part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary This demonstration uses sulfuric acid and crushed copper ore (malachite) to produce a solution of copper sulfate and carbonic acid in a beaker. When a freshly sanded nail is dropped into the copper sulfate ...

Investigative Case: The Nancy Creek Challenge part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students examine a case study of fish kill in Nancy Creek and identify the environmental conditions that favor life in a fresh water ecosystem.

Machines that change climate: Porsche 911 Turbo vs. Toyota Prius part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This problem illustrates how consumer decisions can influence carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, how to make back-of-the-envelope calculations, and demonstrates the power of exponential growth.

Flooding in the Finger Lakes Region, NY part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection

Quantitative Classroom Exercises part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
The four exercises give students an opportunity to use their knowledge of graphs, algebra, and maps to solve simple geological problems.

Environmental Footprint part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
This activity has students do a web-based environmental footprint quiz and integrate their results into a class mean. The students compare their results by creating a bar graph and do some simple calculations to see how much of the Earth just the population of the US requires.

Introduction to Texas Hurricanes part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students graph data from 20th century hurricanes that affected the state of Texas. Along the way they answer questions that ask them to interpret what they see represented on the graphs.

Determining Earthquake Probability and Recurrence from Past Seismic Events part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
A homework/classroom activity where students collect historical earthquake information and use it to forecast the probability of larger earthquakes.

Environmental Assessment Course part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Campus-Based Learning:Examples
The classic campus-based project is an environmental or sustainability assessment, often referred to as an environmental audit. This course, taught at Carleton in 2001, describes how this type of project can be ...

Intro to Environmental Geology Writing Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Student Learning: Observing and Assessing:Activities with Rubrics
Students in an introductory environmental geology class research the Dust Bowl, analyze information and data and develop a written argument.

Tsunami Think-Pair-Share part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:First Day of Class:Activities
David Mogk, Montana State University Course: Environmental Geology 60 students Connecting course topics to real life can be very powerful. The Activity The semester immediately following the December, 2004 tsunami ...

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 ...

Tale of Two Cities (and two hurricanes): New Orleans part of Cutting Edge:Courses: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 ...