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Classroom Activities for Teaching Sedimentary Geology

This collection of teaching materials allows for the sharing of ideas and activities within the community of geoscience teachers. Do you have a favorite teaching activity you'd like to share? Please help us expand this collection by contributing your own teaching materials.

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New Approaches to field-based analysis of stratigraphic sections part of Activities
Paul Myrow, Colorado College
This is a field-based project that is designed to teach students how to interpret processes of deposition and paleoenvironments from outcrop.

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Designing Sedimentary Geology Courses Around Field Projects With Realistic Scenarios part of Activities
Bosiljka Glumac, Smith College
Sedimentary geology courses can be structured around field projects that take advantage of the local geology and are placed within realistic situations to demonstrate the relevance of the work that sedimentologists ...

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Designing a sedimentary geology course around field-based class projects that yield publishable research part of Activities
James Ebert, SUNY College at Oneonta
Field-based research projects can be the heart of a course in sedimentary geology. Course content, organization, readings and laboratory experiences are dictated by the nature of the specific project. Less content ...

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Long-Term Sedimentology Projects Using Local Geological and Environmental Problems part of Activities
David Franzi, SUNY College at Plattsburgh
Project-based exercises engage students in all aspects of the scientific inquiry, reinforce previously learned concepts and information and provide longer periods of time for students to analyze and synthesize ...

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Digital Sandstone Tutorial part of Activities
Kitty Milliken, University of Texas at Austin, The
The Tutorial Petrographic Image Atlas is designed to give students more exposure to petrographic features than they can get during organized laboratory periods.

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Bedforms to Facies to Prediction: Walther's Law and Sequence Stratigraphic Analysis, Blackhawk Formation, Utah part of Activities
Tom Morris, Brigham Young University
This field exercise challenges students to apply their knowledge of bedforms to interpret facies within a vertical section of the Blackhawk Formation, Utah. The students draft a vertical succession of the outcrop ...

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Virtual Field Trip to the Book Cliffs part of Activities
Ann Holmes, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga
Problem-based learning techniques have been applied to geological datasets collected and published about the Cretaceous Book Cliffs exposures in Utah.

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Growing Salt: An Independent Course Research Project Investigating Chemical Sediments part of Activities
Kathy Benison, Central Michigan University
In this assignment, students design, implement, and report on their own mini-research project involving the growth of salts. This gives students practical research experience, as well a better understanding of how ...

Use of a Lab-Field Couplet to Link Rock Classification and Facies Interpretation part of Activities
Allison Tumarkin-Deratzian, Temple University
Students examine hand samples in the lab, then describe formations and interpret facies succession at a local outcrop. Linked lab and field components doubly reinforce understanding of course concepts.

Demystifying the Equations of Sedimentary Geology part of Activities
Larry Lemke, Wayne State University
This activity includes three strategies to help students develop a deeper comfort level and stronger intuitive sense for understanding mathematical expressions commonly encountered in sedimentary geology. Each can ...

Shape of gravel particles. What does it mean? part of Activities
Patricia Manley, Middlebury College
This is a lab assignment using three sets of gravel-size clasts. The purpose is to show how to measure gravel-size clasts and what their shape can discern about the environment they were formed in. This utilizes ...

Calculation of Stream Discharge Required to Move Bed Material part of Activities
Reed Schwimmer, Rider University
Students will measure stream velocity, depth, and grain sizes across two channel transects. After constructing both a longitudinal profile and two cross sections, students will calculate the discharge required to ...

Using a Flume to Demonstrate Fluid Properties and Sediment Transport part of Activities
Jill Singer, Buffalo State - SUNY
A laboratory recirculating flume offers ideal opportunities for conducting demonstrations designed to help students observe and understand a variety of fluid properties and the basics of sediment entrainment and ...

Using field trips to local rivers to enhance student understanding of depositional environments part of Activities
Alex Simms, Oklahoma State University-Main Campus
The purpose of this activity is to take advantage of modern rivers to teach basic principles in sedimentology and interpreting past deposits. The students first observe the sedimentological features of a modern ...

Quantitative Analysis vs. Field Estimations: Helping Student to "Make Calls" and Practice Consistent Reporting Techniques when Solving Geological Problems part of Activities
Tom Morris, Brigham Young University
This field exercise challenges students, divided into "teams", to calculate the discharge of an ancient exhumed fluvial channel (Jurassic Morrison Formation). In one aspect of the exercise the students ...

Red rock and concretion models from Earth to Mars: Teaching diagenesis part of Activities
Margie Chan, University of Utah
This activity teaches students concepts of terrestrial diagenesis (cementation, fluid flow, porosity and permeability, concretions) and encourages them to apply those concepts to new or unknown settings, including ...