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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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The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -

Earth's Radiation Budget: Part 1 part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
In this activity students explore the Earth's radiation budget using Earth radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) data archived at the IRI/LDEO Climate Data Library (more info) . -

Whose Fault Is It Anyway? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Games:Examples
This game has students simulate the propagation of P and S waves after an earthquake and to use the lag between these to determine where in the simulation the earthquake occurred. -

Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole
DATA: Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Images. TOOLS: ImageJ, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Animate and explore 10 years of Southern Hemisphere ozone images. Then measure and graph the area of the ozone hole over time.

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.

Energy and the Poor - Black Carbon in Developing Nations part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Activities
In this activity, students will explore impacts of the use of wood, dung and charcoal in developing countries for fuel, producing black carbon. In-class discussion will generate a list of several broad topics, ...

The Lifestyle Project part of Cutting Edge:Public Policy:Activities
This three-week project challenges students to learn about environmental alternatives by modifying their own lifestyles. Throughout the project, students reduce their impacts on the environment by changing the way ...

Using Google Earth to measure seacliff erosion rates part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Activities
This lab uses Google Earth to measure the rate of seacliff retreat. It touches upon coastal processes, natural hazards, and coastal management issues. The central focus of the lab is in the Monterey Bay area.

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 ...

Campus Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Campus-Based Learning:Examples
Students conduct a greenhouse gas emission inventory for their college or university. Students analyze findings and present information to the college or university community. -

Confirmation of the IPCC Prediction re: Increased Storminess part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
A two-part culminating activity for a meteorology/climatology unit in an Earth Science course centered upon data acquisition and analysis regarding the confirmation of the IPCC predicition regarding increased ...

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 ...

Structural Control of Giant Rock Avalanches in Argentina part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
Students analyze the influence of bedrock structures on the locations of giant rock avalanches in Argentina. Activity is available in two versions: 1) short case example that can be used as an in-class activity or ...

A River Runs Through It: an exploration in land use and water resource management part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This is an in-class activity where students learn about the interconnectedness of land use, water quality, and water resource management. Students are assigned a river front parcel of land to develop, unaware that ...

Is There a Trend in Hurricane Number or Intensity? part of Cutting Edge:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
This lab guides students through an examination of the hurricane record to determine if there is a trend in hurricane intensity over the past 40 years and introduces some issues related to statistics and ...

The Non-linearity of Environmental Change: A coral reef model part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This is an exercise that is used in an undergraduate, non-major course titled "Coral Reefs: Biology, Geology & Policy". The course uses this popular environment as a proxy for environmental decline ...

Building Blocks part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
In association with rock and mineral ID tables, this lab introduces students to basic rocks and minerals via grouping and comparison, rather than as individual samples. I use this lab in my environmental geology ...

Case Study: Zhouqu, China Landslide part of Cutting Edge:Environmental Geology:Activities
This is a 'citizen science' research project where students to apply their knowledge of landslide processes in an investigation of the natural and anthropogenic causes of a real-world landslide ...

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 ...