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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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Silurian Biostratigraphy and Paleoecology Lab part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Explores paleoecologic and biostratigraphic uses of graptolites and brachiopods. Exercise is based on Silurian Great Britain data/interpretations published by Ziegler et al., 1968. It illustrates litho- and ...

Paleoecology: An Evolutionary Arms Race part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
In this activity, students divide into groups of 4-5, fine-tune a hypothesis relating to escalation, collect data to test this hypothesis using mollusks from local Yorktown deposits (Pliocene), analyze these data, ...

Time-series analysis of the Pu'u 'Ō'ō-Kupaianaha eruption (1983-2009), Kīlauea Volcano, Hawai'i: Crustal processes part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
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 ...

Relative Geologic Time and the Geologic Time Scale part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
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.

Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
We designed a three-step assignment for students in introductory geoscience that asks them to calculate their carbon footprint during one specific week. The goal of the assignment is to increase student awareness ...

Paleoecology Lab part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
This activity gives students practice in identifying fossils in the context of assemblages and allows them to make paleoecological interpretations.

Systematics of some enigmatic part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Students and instructor work through a guided exercise to construct a character matrix and cladograms describing relationships between different types of paper clips. Students then break into small groups to ...

Are You Smarter Than a Dinosaur? part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Students investigate the intelligence of dinosaurs by comparing the relative size of brain and body mass to living animals.

Caminalcule Phylogenetic Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Imaginary creatures (caminalcues) are used as an introduction to the methods, assumptions, and conclusions of phylogenetic analysis.

Cladogram Construction and Vertebrate Phylogeny part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Students are given pictures of a variety of extant vertebrates. They work in groups to determine which animals are most closely related. Following a series of clicker questions and a discussion of the ...

Aquifer Elasticity and Specific Storage part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
The goal of this experiment is to measure the specific storage Ss of a balloon, which simulates aquifer elasticity. The experiment is designed to give observational meaning to the variable, increment of fluid ...

Quantifying Groundwater Baseflow and Improving Math Skills through a Stream-Discharge Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
A two-part exercise is presented where students quantify stream discharge and use the data to determine groundwater baseflow. They first use tedious hand calculations to compute discharge; then develop their own ...

Pathogenic Microorganisms in Water part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
This activity introduces students to sampling and testing for microorganisms in different water sources. It also tests iodine tablets to kill coliform bacteria which interest many students. The activity utilizes ...

Mineral Classification Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
This exercise gets students thinking about mineral classification and the properties that are most useful for classifying and identifying minerals.

Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
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 ...

Constraints and Implications of Groundwater Temperature on the Formation of Mississippi Valley-type Zn-Pb Deposits part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
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 ...

Using Excel for Aquifer Test part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Entry level undergraduate students who use commercial software packages for aquifer test often feel frustrated and distant from real field test. This session introduces a method of aquifer test using Excel ...

Mass Balance and Mineral Reactions part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
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.

The Lifestyle Project part of Cutting Edge:Topics: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 ...

Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
Based on great plate tectonic exercise by Sawyer et al. (2005 JGE), this small-group exercise with maps of data about earth's energy balance helps students visualize poleward heat transport.

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