These teaching activities have a strong spatial thinking component. Search the collection to find activities suitable for your classes.
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Aerial photo interpretation and mapping - Bayou Meda anticline, Arkansas
Jamey Jones, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Multi-day project using aerial photography and field observation to map and interpret a megascopic anticline/syncline pair exposed in the Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas. This exercise involves two classroom ...
Field Exercise in Stratigraphy/Paleoecology
David Sunderlin, Lafayette College
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 ...
Assessment of active tectonic behavior in a continental region using Google Earth
Gareth Funning, University of California-Riverside
Students assess, through use of free online data and tools, evidence for tectonic activity in the landscape of a selected continental area (not a local area). The project is assessed by consideration of a written ...
Monument Creek hydraulics project
Eric Leonard, Colorado College
This is a several-part field and computer-based project that involves students in measurement of stream-channel geometry, basic stream-hydraulics calculations, and flood-frequency analysis. Its primary strengths ...
Earthquake Epicenter Location Exercise using Google Earth and OneNote
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are provided with data from 4 seismograms which are used to plot the epicenter of an earthquake using OneNote to pick the P-S wave arrival gap and Google Earth to plot the circles which intersect at the ...
Using ArcGIS to Study the New Lakes in the Toshka Basin in Egypt and Evaluate Egypt's New Valley Project
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
In this assignment, students use ArcGIS to analyze the new lakes that have formed in the Toshka Depression, Egypt as a result of overflow from Lake Nasser and use their analyses to evaluate the wisdom of the plan ...
Paper: "Limitations and Hazards to Home Construction"
Rich Whittecar, Old Dominion University
This is a semester-long writing project that incorporates exercises completed during first two thirds of the term. Students evaluate geomorphic conditions and potential hazards on one of four properties in western ...
Carbon Footprint Exercise
Cinzia Cervato, Iowa State University
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...
Emergent Models in Google Earth
Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University
This is one sample of a set of emergent models we are developing for use with Google Earth. Students use the Google Earth time-slider to lift 3D models of the subsurface into view. They can substitute their own ...
Fossil/modern mole phylogeny
Students code characters from fossil taxa to add to an existing morphological phylogenetic analysis of moles. This activity is original research; the fossil taxa have never before been included in a phylogenetic ...
Paleoecology: An Evolutionary Arms Race
Rowan Lockwood, College of William and Mary
In this activity, students divide into groups of 4-5, fine-tune a hypothesis relating to escalation, collect data to test this hypothesis using mollusks from local Yorktown deposits (Pliocene), analyze these data, ...
Hotspot Lesson: Final Project
Jamie A. Russell, Scripps Institution of Oceanography Related Links Relative Dating Hotspot Theory and Plate Velocities Mantle Plumes Samoan Hotspot View Lesson Plan at ERESE ...
Students form groups to work on a assigned hotspot chain. Each group gets to study a seamount trail from around the world and needs to present 15 slides that each have 3 main points and one nice graphical illustration or image.
Hot Topics in Global Warming
Elizabeth Johnson, James Madison University
Students locate and write about current climate change research using the 2007 IPCC report. This information literacy project is designed to help students learn how to find, read, and explain peer-reviewed ...
Jennifer Bown, Clackamas Community College
Students choose shell fragments from different species of Molluscs and calculate percent lose after soaking in different ph solutions for different periods of time. They research ocean acidification and especially ...
An integrated view of the Glendale Landscape
Kaye Savage, Wofford College
Students work in groups to develop posters that communicate their concept of landscape following several field labs (soils, sediment analysis, river discharge, vegetation survey, aquatic life) at one location. They ...
Final Project for Introductory Soils Course
Daniel Hirmas, University of Kansas Main Campus
These assignments represent scaffolding for a self-directed final project.
Environmental Research Project
Colin Robins, Claremont McKenna College
The assignment is the development of scientific research project proposal, tailored to a specific range of course-appropriate topics and mimicked after current calls for NSF proposals in Environmental Science, ...
Save Crooked Creek! Remediation of a Service Station Site with a Leaking UST
Dr. Paul Ryberg, Clarion University of Pennsylvania
The student group (3 to 4 persons) is given information regarding a leaking UST at a gasoline station in western Pennsylvania; a page detailing the history of the problem and a small sketch map if the site. They ...
Water Wars: A look at Gallatin Valley Water Controversies
Laurie Cantwell, Montana State University-Bozeman
This virtual field trip explores the science and policy of a ground water dispute in Gallatin Valley Montana. The virtual field trip uses a role-playing activity to explore the geology, hydrology and policy related ...
New Approaches to field-based analysis of stratigraphic sections
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.