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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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Earthquake resistant design part of Activities
In groups of two, the students design and build a three-story building to be as earthquake resistant as possible. Using an in-house designed and built shaker table, we load each floor of the building based on area ...

Earthquakes part of Activities
This activity uses geoinformatics to understand the world around us with an emphasis on earthquakes.

Exercise on Atmospheric Structure, Stratospheric Ozone, and Acid Rain part of Activities
This activity helps students to understand the basic ozone structure as well as ozone and acid rain problems.

Measuring the Earth part of Activities
With a colleague at the University of Kansas, we measure the size of the Earth using the method of Eratosthenese. This is handy because the UH and KU campuses are almost directly on a N-S line.

Using ArcGIS to Investigate the Connection between Bedrock Geology and the Development of Ancient Egyptian Civilization part of Activities
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS (DEMs plus georeferenced geologic maps) to analyze the influence of bedrock geology on the development and extent of Ancient Egypt.

Using eJournal writing assignments to assess learning and classroom community part of Activities
About every two weeks I ask each student in my introductory course to write brief responses to questions I pose to them. They write these in an e-Journal, a part of the blog function of BlackBoard. My laboratory ...

Warm-up part of Activities
These are questions of many types I assign on reading. They are due before class begins.

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 ...

Topographic Maps: Integrated Florida River project part of Activities
This fairly traditional topographic maps lab uses local maps as examples. It is intended to prepare students for a group research project later in the semester.

Identifying Plate Tectonic Boundaries for a Virtual Ocean Basin part of Activities
Students observe an ocean basin and two continental margins to identify possible plate boundaries and predict where earthquakes and volcanoes would occur. They also draw the boundaries in cross section.

Mercalli Earthquake Activity part of Activities
A jigsaw process that allows students to analyze first person descriptions of earthquakes and assess several earthquake features.

Plate Motions part of Activities
Students are asked to removed the last 40 Ma of ocean crust from an isochron map and then put the plates back together. This exercise helps students see that plates and plate boundaries canNOT be stationary through ...

Earth's Surface Features part of Activities
This Lecture Tutorial is designed for students to work on in groups after the students have learned about basic surface features and how they relate to planets in general. The tutorial is designed to help students ...

Determining the 100-year floodplain of the Chippewa River part of Activities
In this in-class activity recurrence intervals are calculated for ten flooding events on the Chippewa River near Eau Claire Wisconsin. The students use 1:24000 topographic maps to determine the extent of the ...

Carousel part of Activities
The "carousel" is a classroom activity I use to assess how well students have absorbed the last week's material and/or how well prepared they are for an upcoming exam.

Using the local topo maps 'Louisville East and West Quads' part of Activities
This assignment is designed to test if the students have understood the past two preparatory assignments in introducing topographic maps. After two 'pre-lab' exercises and readings in what a topographic ...

Boulder ID part of Activities
Groups of students participate in identification of decorative boulder fields used as landscaping. Groups try to identify rock type and challenge the identifications of other groups.

Teaching Geoscience Concepts with Google Earth part of Activities
This is an activity that was developed for a teacher development program to introduce the various ways Google Earth could be used to explore geoscience concepts.

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 ...

Volcanoes around the Globe (Beta test copy) part of Activities
Undergraduate non-majors use the Arcview geographic information system (GIS) to explore volcanic hazards and the geochemistry of volcanic rocks. Students explore geochemical data from the GEOROC global database and ...