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Paleontology Teaching Activities


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Field Lab - Ecosystem and Paleoenvironment analysis part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students collect from two Devonian field sites. The goal is to determine the depositional environment and whether these are life or death assemblages.

Taphonomy Experiment part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This is a semester-long project the students design and run themselves. They come up with an original question relating to taphonomic processes and design an experiment to test their hypotheses. At the end of the ...

Field collection and community analysis project part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
The class will take field trips to different fossil localities in Missouri, where students will collect and identify the fossils they find. They will perform a community analysis, using a statistics program. The ...

Reconstructing the depositional environment of a local rock formation part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Each group of students works on a well defined local outcrop and decribes sedimentary units and fossil content. Based on this data they reconstruct the depositional environment, put it into a broader ...

How do we recognize and use fossils in outcrop? part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students find fossil hunting rewarding and fun. However, it is important that field trips to fossil localities go beyond mere hunting ("Is this a fossil?") and lead students to ask "What is the ...

Field Project: Fossil Collection, Identification, and Report Writing part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
The primary purposes of this exercise are to assemble a collection of fossils in the field, to gain experience in fossil identification, to interpret the mode of life and environment in which the organisms lived, ...

Rickard Hill Field Project: Peering Into Deep Time part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
In this field activity, students make observations of the texture, lithology and fauna of two limestone units and use this information to reconstuct paleoenvironments, how these environments changed through time ...

Fossil Collection and Museum Curation part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This assignment requires the collection of an individual fossil with appropriate supplimentary information in the field, identification of fossil, and exposes students to museum curation.

Fossil Identification Project part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
The students collected 20 fossil taxa from 5 different locations and 3 different geological periods. They identified the taxa and summarize the paleoenvironmental information about their localities in a powerpoint ...

Forensic Paleontology part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students examine and sketch a dead animal, discovering as much as possible about it.

Field Lab - Stromatolites part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
The lab requires students to make detailed observations on an outcrop, both about the fossils (stromatolites) and the lithology. It addresses the two 'content goals' of the course: assessing mode of life ...

Eocene Exposure Field Trip part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This field trip visits an exposure near Aiken, South Carolina in Eocene, unconsolidated, clayey quartz sand with abundant trace fossils Ophiomorpha ichnosp. and Ophiomorpha nodosa. Early in the course, this trip ...

Oral Presentation of a Fossil Group part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students present a 10 minute Powerpoint presentation on a fossil group of their interest. Illustrations and handouts are required.

Biostratigraphy of the Crystal Peak Dolomite, Ibex, UT part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
Students participated in measuring a section and collecting samples for real research. It is part of a flexible field course Prior student experience varies widely in this course.

Dinosaurs of Moab, UT part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
This activity was delegated to an expert (Rod Scheetz, BYU) It is part of a flexible field course Student experience varies widely in this course.

South Carolina Studies: Bringing the Geologic Time Scale Down to Earth in the Students' Backyard part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Students visit Drayton Hall historic plantation near Charleston, South Carolina and are led on a field trip that starts with a discussion of documented historic changes that have affected the mansion and the surrounding property. The field trip continues with a study of Native American artifacts and ends with analysis of coastal plain deposits exposed along the Ashley River. Students use paleogeographic maps to discuss both historic and prehistoric changes to the landscape. Back in the classroom, students gather data to draw paleogeographic maps of their own school site through geologic time.

Fauna of Waulsortian Mounds part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This is a field trip to local exposures of potential waulsortian carbonate mud mounds. The students will prepare by reading 1-2 publications on the subject and then we will travel to see and collect samples from ...

A Traverse Through Time and Space: A Paleoenvironmental Analysis of Devonian Strata in New York State part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This is a field-based mini-project that requires students to synthesize their field data to 1) determine the depositional environments both across New York State (from the Catskills, NY to Rochester, NY) during ...

Field Exercise in Stratigraphy/Paleoecology part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This field activity for GEOL 320 "Paleobiology" is designed to turn what could have been a "look-and-see" fossil collecting trip into one where genuinely interesting hypotheses/questions are ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Make a Model Fossil part of MnSTEP Teaching Activity Collection:MnSTEP Activity Mini-collection
This activity is a combination outdoor/indoor lab where students will collect natural materials from the environment and use them to create both a mold and cast model of a fossil. Students will learn how a fossil is formed and why scientists use models to help them understand how things work and develop.

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