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AP/IB/Honors Geoscience Activity Browse

Search for activities specifically designed for introductory college level geoscience 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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Runaway Greenhouse Effect Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Role Playing:Examples
This site has a collection of role-playing exercises that provide the students with equations and data to use in collaborative problem-solving. -

Physical Geology: Idaho Field Trip part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Optional field trip to local sites of geologic interest/relevance.

Humans as Geomorphic Agents part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
An introduction to order-of-magnitude calculations and reading quantitative journal articles.

Spring Break-Weathering Homework part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This short assignment gets students thinking about and looking for geology while on spring break. Students are asked to photograph a feature of weathering and they must be in the picture. Students must then do a ...

Weathering Experiment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
This project has students dirty several dishes equally and design experiments to determine which analogs of geologic processes are most efficient for removing the baked-on food. Students calculate rates of ...

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.

Relative Dating on Earth and Mars part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students apply principles of relative dating to a cross-section, then to the surface of Mars.

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.

Accessing Streamflow Data via the Worldwide Web part of Cutting Edge:Geodesy:Activities
The objectives of this exercise are to (a) use the worldwide web to access hydrologic data, and (b) compare precipitation/runoff characteristics in different regions of the USA.

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 ...

Exercise 6: Nevada Mines analysis choosing water sampling sites to test for possible water contamination part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Barbara and David Tewksbury, Hamilton College Summary Students use an EPA data set of Nevada mines to evaluate proximity of mine sites to streams to choose priority water sampling sites to evaluate for possible ...

Exercise 8: Using LiDAR and GPS data to model the water table in ArcScene part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Barbara and David Tewksbury, Hamilton College Tutorial for using the new LiDAR tools (LAS dataset and LAS toolbar) in ArcGIS 10.1 (Acrobat (PDF) 13.8MB Nov6 13). Same LiDAR Tutorial as a Word doc (Microsoft Word ...

Using GIS to estimate the volume of snow and water in a drainage basin part of Cutting Edge:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Todd Rayne, Hamilton College Summary This activity uses field measurements and GIS to estimate the volume of water in the form of snow in a field site. Context Type and level of course I use this in a ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

The Pet Rock Project - Developing Professional Communication in a Petrology Course part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Professional Communications Projects:Examples