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Teaching Activities

These teaching activities have a strong spatial thinking component. Search the collection to find activities suitable for your classes.

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Subject: Geoscience

showing only Geoscience > Geology Show all Subject: Geoscience

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Investigating Earthquakes: GIS Mapping and Analysis (College Level)
Brian Welch, Saint Olaf College
This is a college-level adaptation of a chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolbook. The students download global quake data over a time range and use GIS to interpret the tectonic context. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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The Sleeping Mountain
Rebecca Teed, Wright State University-Main Campus
In this role-playing scenario, students represent townspeople whose lives and livelihoods are endangered by an active volcano which may or may not erupt in the near future. -

Gold Star Panel Review This activity received a gold star rating from a Panel Peer Review.
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Geologic Puzzles: Morrison Formation
Heather Macdonald, College of William and Mary
Images of faulted strata, tilted turbidites, and beach rocks bring the field into the classroom, giving students practice in doing what geoscientists do. These images are examples of geologic puzzles. -

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Oil Demand and Consumption
Steve Iona, University of Denver
Data modeling activity using oil reserve and consumption data. Students predict when oil reserves meet or exceed reserves.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Time-series analysis of the Pu'u 'Ō'ō-Kupaianaha eruption (1983-2009), Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai'i: Crustal processes
Andrew Greene, Hawaii Pacific University
The current eruption of Kīlauea Volcano on the island of Hawai'i has been closely monitored and studied since its inception in 1983. This laboratory exercise utilizes the excitement of an ongoing eruption to ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Relative Geologic Time and the Geologic Time Scale
Bret Bennington, Hofstra University
Group simulation of the development of the geologic time scale illustrating concepts of correlation and relative time. Extremely effective for teaching the significance of the geologic time scale.

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Mid-level spreadsheeting and complex modeling of real-world scarp evolution
William Locke, Montana State University-Bozeman
This exercise is a second or familiarization exercise in spreadsheeting, but is also a mathematical model for slope evolution. It uses the concept of "erosivity" (generally, the relative ratio of driving and resisting forces) and slope angle to reshape an initial topography. Finally, it asks the students themselves to come up with a real-world situation worth modeling.

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An Assessment of Hillslope Stability Using the Factor of Safety
Laura Moore, Oberlin College
In this homework assignment students are asked to consider the balance of forces on a hill slope using the Factor of Safety.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Plate Tectonics as Expressed in Geological Landforms and Events
Jeff Ryan, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg
This activity seeks to have students analyze global data sets on earthquake and volcano distributions toward identifying major plate boundary types in different regions on the Earth. A secondary objective is to familiarize students with two publicly available resources for viewing and manipulating geologically-relevant geospatial data: Google Earth(TM) and GeoMapApp.

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The Pet Rock Project - Developing Professional Communication in a Petrology Course
Darrell Henry, Professor of Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University

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Critical Review of a Journal Article: An Assessment Activity
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
In this exercise students do a formal review of a journal article using review criteria established for the Geological Society of America Bulletin or American Mineralogist. The quality of the students' ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Historical Earthquakes and Uplift/Subsidence of Sumatra from Coral Growth Rings -- Advanced Version
Elisabeth Nadin, University of Alaska Fairbanks
In this lab, students will use data from real corals collected in Sumatra to track the sea-level and earthquake record of the region over the past century.

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A Geologic Safari of the East African Rift and the Newark Basin: Why these areas are more alike than you know
Margaret Benoit, College of New Jersey, The
This activity explores the similarity and differences between the Newark Rift Basin and East African Rift.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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From Ocean Topography to Flexural Rigidity
Andrew Newman, Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus
Students will use the available bathymetric datasets to test the utility of a flexural rigidity model of oceanic crust.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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A tour of the Mariana Subduction System
Andrew Goodliffe, University of Alabama, The
This lesson presents a brief tour of the Mariana subduction system, an active continental margin in the west Pacific.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Mineral Classification Exercise
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This exercise gets students thinking about mineral classification and the properties that are most useful for classifying and identifying minerals.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics
Allen Glazner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of igneous rocks from a variety of tectonic settings and locations to explore the importance of plate setting in determining magma ...

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Constraints and Implications of Groundwater Temperature on the Formation of Mississippi Valley-type Zn-Pb Deposits
Martin Appold, University of Missouri-Columbia
This assignment illustrates the role of groundwater in transporting heat and its implications for the formation of hydrothermal ore deposits. The assignment uses a combination of graphs and algebraic equations that ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Global Phosphorus Cycle
Kirsten Menking, Vassar College
Students create and modify a STELLA model of the global phosphorus cycle to test a number of scenarios.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Mass Balance and Mineral Reactions
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short exercise to make sure that students understand mass balance and how the different starting assemblages may lead to different results after metamorphism. It is quick but not trivial.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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