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AP/IB/Honors Environmental Science Activity Browse

Search for activities specifically designed for introductory college level environmental science courses. Refine this search by either clicking on the terms in boxes to the right or typing a term into the search box below. Activities include a description, background information, and necessary student documents.


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Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)

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From Grid to Home part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
This one-period classroom activity is designed to have students analyze energy use, cost, and source patterns from household to regional scales and relate these patterns to CO2 emissions. This idea was generated at ...

Oil Demand and Consumption part of Process of Science:Examples
Data modeling activity using oil reserve and consumption data. Students predict when oil reserves meet or exceed reserves.

Estimating Exchange Rates of Water in Embayments using Simple Budget Equations. part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Simple budgets may be used to estimate the exchange of water in embayments that capitalize on the concept of steady state and conservation principals. This is especially true for bays that experience a significant exchange of freshwater. This exchange of freshwater may reduce the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if it involves addition of freshwater from rivers, R, and/or precipitation, P. Alternatively, it may increase the average salt concentration in the bay compared to seawater if there is relatively little river input and high evaporation, E. Since freshwater input changes the salt concentration in the bay, and salt is a conservative material, it is possible to combine two steady state budgets for a bay, one for salt and one for water, to solve for the magnitude of the water flows that enter and exit the bay mouth. Students will make actual calculations for the inflow and outflow of water to Puget Sound, Washington and the Mediterranean Sea and compare them to actual measured values.

Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Envisioning Climate Change Using a Global Climate Model
DATA: NASA/GISS Model II Global Climate Model. TOOL: Educational Global Climate Modeling Suite (EdGCM). SUMMARY: Run climate modeling software to visualize how temperature and snow coverage might change over the next 100 years.

Shrinking Forest - Growing Problem part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Shrinking Forests
DATA: Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Images. TOOL: ImageJ. SUMMARY: Process and measure time-series SAR images to analyze the rate of deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. Produce a color composite image showing the oldest to most recently deforested areas.

What are the causes and effects of ENSO? part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This NASA Mission Geography module focuses on the evidence for global climate change. In the specific activity on ENSO, students role play policy makers deciding how to allocate Peru's resources to manage for ...

Tracers in the hydrologic cycle: A jigsaw activity part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
Using a jigsaw approach, students investigate biogeochemical transformations (nitrate, silica, pH and conductivity) of water as it moves through the hydrologic cycle. The resulting conceptual framework facilitates ...

Review for interdisiplinary science course (stream ecology, watersheds) part of Cutting Edge:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This is a large-scale participatory activity used to prompt students to review what they have learned and to think actively and cooperatively about the connections between the systems we have discussed prior to the ...

Using NASA NEO and ImageJ to Explore the Role of Snow Cover in Shaping Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Exploring Albedo with NASA NEO
DATA: NASA Satellite Images. TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Explore and animate satellite images of reflected short wave radiation, snow cover, and land surface temperature downloaded. Then observe, graph, and analyze the relationship between these three variables.

Coastal Erosion Online Discussion part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
This assignment is designed to get students to see the application of geology to a local problem, coastal erosion along the Lake Erie shoreline. I think the strength of this assignment is that many of the students ...

Is the New Madrid Seismic Zone at risk for a large earthquake? part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
In this lesson we discuss the controversy regarding the extent of seismic risk in the central United States today. We learn how to estimate earthquake recurrence interval using a variety of methods. This lesson ...

Exercise 5: The human impact of sea level changes, plus extensions to impacts of other natural events on human populations part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Barbara and David Tewksbury, Hamilton College Summary In this eight-part exercise, students download NOAA high resolution bathy/topo DEMs and TIGER census data to predict the location of shorelines, the extent of ...

Tsunami Travel Time Approximation part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Eric Grosfils, Pomona College Summary Students are asked to calculate approximate tsunami travel times across the Pacific basin. The assignment builds off of a lab introducing students to Spatial Analyst, and ...

Cascadia Great Earthquake and Tsunami Suite part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunami Suite contains five case studies organized around understanding the potential for large earthquakes and ...

Northridge: A Case Study of an Urban Earthquake part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The 1994 Northridge Earthquake Case Study explores the mystery of how such a major fault could have been missed within a tectonic basin that is ...

Cool Cores Capture Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Cool Cores Capture Climate Change
DATA: ANDRILL Sediment Core Data. TOOL: Paleontological Stratigraphic Interval Construction and Analysis Tool (PSICAT). SUMMARY: Create graphic models of sediment cores based on data provided by ANDRILL scientists to demonstrate evidence of climate change over Earth's Geologic Time.

Climate History from Deep Sea Sediments part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Case Study: Climate History from Deep Sea Sediments
DATA: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Core Data. TOOL: Virtual Ocean. SUMMARY: Locate potential core, log, and seismic data to map the marine sediment biostratigraphy. Search for a specific planktonic foraminifera that prefers warmer ocean conditions.

Using Satellite Images to Understand Earth's Atmosphere part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Using Satellite Images to Understand Earths Atmosphere
DATA: NASA Satellite Images. TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Use ImageJ to create an animation showing the change in monthly concentration of aerosols over the course of a year and compare it to a similar animation showing change in carbon monoxide concentration. Then use NEO ICE to create histograms and scatter plots, investigating the relationship between aerosol concentration and carbon monoxide concentration.

Greenhouse Effect Lab part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Activities
In this lab, students measure temperature changes inside soda bottles (one with CO2 added, the other with only air inside) as incandescent light is shined on them to model the Greenhouse Effect.

Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...