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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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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 ...

Fluvial and Alluvial Sedimentology Incorporating Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
A lab activity for an undergraduate sedimentary geology course focused on fluvial and alluvial sedimentology, incorporating Google Earth.

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 ...

Characterizing Plate Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students examine maps showing four different types of geologic data along three specific plate boundaries, and document the patterns in the data along each boundary. Next, they compare their observations to the ...

Geologic Mapping Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This exercise is designed to simulate some of the mapping aspects of a basic geological investigation. This mock geological investigation is a good wrap-up exercise because it incorporates a variety of geological ...

Observing Streams & Rivers in Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
Students are asked to observe fluvial features on both Earth and Mars in satellite images via Google Earth (as well as online panoramas) and explore processes of erosion and deposition and the relationship of ...

Using Excel to plot numerical and analytical forms of the diffusion equation part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This computer-based assignment forces students to compare and contrast integral and differential forms of the conservation of mass equation, as well as analytical and numerical approaches to solution. Students are ...

Guided Reading of Scientific Journal Articles part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
This is a sequence of assignments for my Structural Geology course that guides students through the process of critically reading and analyzing scientific journal articles. For each article, I outline the general ...

How Effective is a Remediation System at a Regional Landfill? part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
In this activity, students begin exploring the effectiveness of a remediation system installed at a closed landfill system. Students learn the importance of redox chemistry in a real-world context and build field ...

Analyzing Continuous Data - Climate Variability part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2011:Teaching Activities
The exercise focuses on the analysis of continuous data as applied to climate variability. Using data freely available on the internet, students work in Excel to import their data, organize it, and analyze it using ...

M & M Decay part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is a simulation of radioactive decay which illustrates what a half-life is and explains some of the challenges involved with radiometric dating. Pennies or other cheap coins can be substituted for M&Ms if ...

Roping Geologic Time part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
After having talked about the geologic time scale, I ask for two volunteers from the class to hold a rope that is 50 feet long. I say that one end is the beginning of the Earth (4.6 billion years ago), and the other is today. I then give out 16 clothes pins and ask various students to put a cloths pin on the 'time line' at various 'geologic events'. Throughout the activity I have a quiz going on where the students calculate percentages of Earth History for major geologic events, and compare it to their own ages. On their time scale, the dinosaurs died only about two 'months' ago! The exercise is very effective at letting them get a sense of how long geologic time is, and how 'recently' some major geologic events happened when you consider a time scale that is the age of the earth.

The Evolution of Earth through Time part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This activity is designed for large freshman courses (>200 students) and is used in-class. The activity requires a short (15 minute) overview of Earth history before students have the opportunity to work through ...

Hierarchical Alignment of Timelines part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
In the hierarchical alignment activity students progressively and hierarchically align scale information to a spatial linear representation. The progressive alignment of scales may alleviate the conceptual ...

Aerial photo interpretation and mapping - Bayou Meda anticline, Arkansas part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
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 ...

A Cross-Section and Geologic History from Field Data Collected by Second Year Students in the St Francois Mountains of Missouri part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This field activity takes place during a 3-day field trip to St Francois Mountains, Missouri. Students use their field data to construct a cross-section through a portion of the field area.

Field Trip to Enfield Glen, NY Finger Lakes Region part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This is a 2.5 hour field trip in which students search through strata of the Upper Devonian Catskill Delta for paleocurrent indicators that allow them to infer paleogeographic differences between Devonian and ...

Depositional Environments and Geologic History Labs part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is a pair of labs that incrementally prepare students to interpret the geologic history of a rock sequence. The first lab introduces students to depositional environments and fossils. The second lab presents a ...

Global Earthquakes: Teaching about Earthquakes with Data and 3D Visualizations part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this series of visualizations and accompanying activities, students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes and explore their distribution at plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...

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