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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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Tracking Tectonic Plates Using Two Independent Methods part of Activities
Students use two independent methods to determine relative plate motions across a plate boundary. They find that plate tectonic theory generally holds up but also discover sophisticated detail (e.g. velocities ...

Seafloor Ages Lecture Tutorial part of Activities
Students work on this Lecture Tutorial worksheet on seafloor ages in pairs during lecture. It directly confronts misconceptions students have about the age of the seafloor, and it guides students to more complex ...

Exploring the Bay Area part of Activities
This assignment is a do-it-yourself field trip. Students are given the opportunity to visit a local geologic feature and learn something about the origins and evolution of that site.

Tutorials for Introducing ArcGIS into Introductory Geoscience Courses part of Activities
Three sequential modular exercises introduce geoscience students to the power of GIS and give them experience with the kinds of GIS raster image analysis tasks commonly used by geoscientists. You might also be ...

Virtual Rock Lab part of Activities
Students use a website to identify rocks based on their properties.

Using Google Earth & GIS to Create a Customized Map part of Activities
Students are introduced to cartographic concepts and learn how to use GIS to make a proper map with scale information, location (longitude and latitude), orientation and appropriate title.

Florida River Project: Plotting discharge data part of Activities
This is part of a group of exercises used to prepare students for a group research project on a local river. In this exercise, students plot discharge data from a previous year.

Florida River Project: Measuring discharge, sediment, and water chemistry part of Activities
This data collection lab is part of a semester-long project, monitoring a local river.

Florida River Project: Semester-long group project part of Activities
This is a semester-long group research project that uses a local river to integrate several lab and field activities. The project covers topographic maps, rock and mineral identification, measuring data in the ...

Florida River Project: Minerals in the field part of Activities
This is a field trip that is part of a semester-long research project. In this lab, students visit part of their research site to look at rocks and minerals in the study area.

Wind River Eco-Challenge: A Virtual Excursion Exercise for Introducing Topographic Maps part of Activities
This classroom activity simulates an eco-challenge course in the Wind River Mountains, which are close to our campus. Our goal is that students approach their recreational adventures more prepared than they would ...

Google Earth, Streams, and Glaciers part of Activities
In this assignment, students download Google Earth and use it to investigate some of the fluvial and glacial processes introduced in lecture.

Volcanic Histories part of Activities
Students collaborate on the history and hazards of two volcanoes based on deposits from the two mountains. Appropriate for introductory students.

Using ArcGIS to Evaluate the Qattara Depression Solar-Hydroelectric Power Project part of Activities
Students use ArcGIS to evaluate a proposal to generate hydroelectric power by piping water from the Mediterranean and dropping it into the sub-sea level Qattara Depression.

Barrier Islands and Coastal Geomorphology part of Activities
Students use Google Earth to evaluate barrier island evolution and migration and identify coastal landforms.

Stream Hydrology and Morphology part of Activities
Students create and interpret hydrographs, discharge data, and stream cross-sectional and longitudinal profiles.

Learning Assessment #8 - Concept Map (2011) part of Activities
An end of the term, in-class activity that challenges students to synthesize their understanding of the fundamental concepts taught over the course of the semester - plate tectonics, the rock cycle, geologic time ...

Learning Assessment #6 - Geologic Time (2010) part of Activities
An in-class activity that tests students' understanding of the principles of relative age, absolute age and numerical age dating.

Landslides and the Colorado Front Range Debris Flows of 2013 part of Activities
Students complete two background readings to answer a variety of questions about landslides

Introduction to Online Topographic Maps part of Activities
Students use geoPDFs and Google Earth topographic map layers to conduct a variety of measurements and answer questions