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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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Take A Hike Assignment part of Activities
Students are assigned to take a hike in a location of their choice and write a concise summary of their observations of Earth Science features and processes. This assignment is used near the end of an Earth Systems ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Darwin and the Galapagos Islands part of Activities
In this assignment the students read the Chapter 17 "Galapagos Archipelago" from The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin, and they examine a website about the Galapagos Islands. The students answer two ...

To Teach is to Learn: Final Project in Envronmental or Intro Geology part of Activities
This assignment asks students to create their own geological educational activity or demonstration (and corresponding write-up) which all students then present/enact during a conference-style presentation session ...

Evolution of Whales part of Activities
The students read two articles on the evolution of whales and search the web. The students' writing assignment requires them to outline the evolution of whales using major fossil finds. Students start with ...

Sediment and Depositional Environments lab part of Activities
Students will investigate sedimentary materials and depositional environments utilizing microscopes, hand samples, and internet data.

Discussing Earth part of Activities
Students are invited to hour-long discussions of controversial geologic topics on Sunday afternoons. Those who attend (about half the class) submit page-long essays through Vista for comments and assessment. A ...

Deriving Common Model Characteristics part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
In this activity, students brainstorm ideas about what models are (and are not) and what elements are common to most models of biological systems. Further, students derive the criteria that the learning community ...

Review for interdisiplinary science course (stream ecology, watersheds) part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a large-scale participatory activity used to prompt students to review what they have learned and to think actively and cooperatively about the connections between the systems we have discussed prior to the ...

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Estimating Exchange Rates of Water in Embayments using Simple Budget Equations. part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Simple budgets may be used to estimate the exchange of water in embayments that capitalize on the concept of steady state and conservation principals. This is especially true for bays that experience a significant exchange of freshwater. This exchange of freshwater may reduce the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if it involves addition of freshwater from rivers, R, and/or precipitation, P. Alternatively, it may increase the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if there is relatively little river input and high evaporation, E. Since freshwater input changes the salt concentration in the bay, and salt is a conservative material, it is possible to combine two steady state budgets for a bay, one for salt and one for water, to solve for the magnitude of the water flows that enter and exit the bay mouth. Students will make actual calculations for the inflow and outflow of water to Puget Sound, Washington and the Mediterranean Sea and compare them to actual measured values.

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The Changing Geographic Distribution of Malaria with Global Climate Warming part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this exercise, students analyze climate data to find areas in the southern United States that are now close to having conditions in which the malaria parasite and its mosquito hosts thrive and then attempt to forecast when areas might become climatically suitable.

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.

Ocean Predator/Prey Populations part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:AGU Modeling Workshop 2010:Activity Ideas
Susan Kelly Topic: Population change Course type: Introductory undergraduate course Description Modeling impact of change in food web Learning Goals or Outcomes Students will see how changes on one trophic level ...

Global Change Biology Service-Learning Project part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Service Learning:Examples
The class engaged in a service learning project to craft a draft sustainability vision for Carleton. The students worked in teams of 3-4 students and the statements that each of the teams developed were shared with the Environment and Technology Studies Program (ENTS) and the Carleton Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC).

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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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, ...

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 - "Holy Starbucks Batman!" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students will investigate caffeine as a potential new pollutant in a northwest river system. Effects of caffeine on invertebrates and salmon fry will be explored through field work and lab work.

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.

Investigative Case - "Malama Keone'o'io" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
Students will learn techniques for conducting a local environmental assessment in an ecologically sensitive area. Identification of native plants and methodologies for sampling will be taught in the classroom and then reinforced in the field. The module also includes a community awareness and conservation aspect.

Investigative Case - "European Starlings and Woopeckers" part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Investigative Case Based Learning:Examples
An exploration into Niche Competition and Population Ecology

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