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Activities for Introductory Geoscience

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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.

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.

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 ...

Book Review of a Popular Science Book part of Activities
Students select a popular science book to read and then write a book review and give a short oral book review to their classmates.

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

Fun with Foam: Introduction to Strike and Dip part of Activities
This is a hands-on activity designed to help students better visualize and become more familiar with the strike and dip of deformed beds.

Liquefaction Live! activity part of Activities
In this activity, students are provided with equipment and instructions for creating a simulation of liquefaction. The activity is great for students because it first asks them to reflect of what they know about ...

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

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 ...

Hot spot volcanism in western North America part of Activities
Students use real data on age of volcanism and ash thickness distribution to better understand hot spot volcanic activity.

Analyzing Real-Time and Historical Wave and Sea Surface Data part of Activities
Students gather and analyze real-time and historical wave height, and sea surface temperature data with emphasis on U.S. west coast and Southern California locations. Analysis of the wave height data allows ...

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 ...

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: 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.

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 ...

Density, Isostasy, and Topography part of Activities
Two students measure the density of different rock types by first measuring water displacement of the irregular pieces. Details In this activity, students develop an explanation for the bimodal topography of the ...