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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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Glacier Dynamics and Glacial Landforms part of Activities
Students use a computer model to simulate glacier dynamics and navigate to locations in Google Earth to identify glacial landforms and geomorphic processes.

Stratovolcano and Shield Volcano Morphology, Eruptions, and Seismic Activity part of Activities
Students compare and contrast the morphology, eruptions, and seismic activity of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and the 1984 Mauna Loa eruption.

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

The Web Soil Survey part of Activities
Students use the brower-based Web Soil Survey to answer a variety of questions about the soils their campus has been built on

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

Introduction to Google Earth part of Activities
Students utilize a variety of tools in Google Earth to answer questions

The Geologic Timescale and Paleoclimates part of Activities
This is a basic exercise in which students utilize a variety of online resources to answer questions about the geologic timescale, major theories in geology, and temporal scales of climate change.

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

Playa-Lunette Systems: Environmental Barometers of the High Plains part of Activities
Part 1 - students answer questions based on assigned readings Part 2 - students answer questions based on topographic map analysis Part 3 - students create and interpret paleoclimate proxy record graphs

Introduction to the Geographic Grid part of Activities
This exercise introduces students to the latitude-longitude geographic grid by interpreting data presented on a globe and in an atlas.

Mineral Selfie part of Activities
Students identify minerals used in their everyday lives by taking a 'selfie' with the product and then sharing their photo with their fellow students on a class blog.

Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.

Convection Demonstration part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary This demonstration uses ** How to set up the demonstration How to do the demonstration Ideas for discussing the convection demonstration in class References and resources

Thermal Conductivity Demonstrations part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary Here are three ideas for demonstrating thermal conductivity to your students. I. Heat flow down a metal rod (or rods) is timed by seeing wax melt at different locations along the rod. II. A rod made of ...

Buoyancy and Archimedes Principle part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Summary Buoyancy is based on Archimedes' Principle which states that the buoyant force acting upward on an object completely or partially immersed in a fluid equals the weight of the fluid displaced by the ...

The Elliptic Orbit part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lecture Demonstrations:Examples
Planet motion around a star - introductory activity with interesting animation. The activity allows the student to revile the connection between the kinematics of planet and energy of the planet along the orbit. -

Recycling Service Learning Activity part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
Increase recycling on campus and in the community

The Geoscape of Bozeman, Montana part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
This project was intended to build familiarity with the local geologic environment through a poster session leading to a single poster following the Canadian "Geoscape" model.

The 1997 floods of Bozeman Creek, Montana part of Cutting Edge:Service Learning:Activities
This project involved student provocation of community response along a local creek in response to accumulation of twice-normal winter snowpack in the winter of 1996-7.

Petroleum Depletion by Inquiry part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a draft of a guided inquiry activity to help students become aware of the problem of petroleum depletion or peak oil. Students use existing data to make projections of future discoveries and consumption. It ...