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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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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.

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.

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.

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.

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 ...

Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge: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.

Carbon Footprint Exercise part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

Detecting El Niño in Sea Surface Temperature Data part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:PMEL
DATA: Sea Surface Temperature (SST). TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Examine 15 years of SST data from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Create and analyze average SST maps to identify El Nino and La Nina events.

Round Robin Field Methods Protocols for Improved Outcomes part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This activity provides an approach to teach field methods that is programmed to avoid common pitfalls in teaching field methods to students. The two common problems that are avoided is familiarity with equipment ...

Mapping a Local Dune Field and Estimating Paleowind Speed and Direction part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching in the Field:Field Trip Collection
Donald T. Rodbell, Union College Intended Audience: Undergraduate geomorphology course. Location: Pinebush dune field, eastern New York State (approximately 20 minutes from Union College campus). Summary: We visit ...

The Earth's Heat Budget part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Hands-on laboratory activity that allows students to investigate the effects of distance and angle on the input of solar radiation at the Earth's surface; the role played by albedo; and the heat capacity of ...

Modeling Glacier Erosion Through Time part of Cutting Edge:Climate Change:Activities
This lab could be adapted for an introductory geology course, upper division geomorphology course, or a climate change course. This activity is borrowed from John Harbor's paper in the Journal of Geoscience ...

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.

Simulation of international negotiations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
In order to convey how the international community is responding to climate change, students engage in a simulation of the international negotiation process. Participants learn first hand the interests of different ...

Modeling the oceanic thermohaline circulation with STELLA part of Cutting Edge:Develop Program-Wide Abilities:Complex Systems:Teaching Activities
This activity describes the construction of and then experimentation with a STELLA model of the thermohaline circulation in the north Atlantic. Based on a famous paper by Stommel (1961), this model exhibits two ...

Atmospheric Carbon: Can We Offset the Increase? part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
This activity lets students discover first hand how the big issues in climate change – here, the increase in atmospheric CO2 and the utility of carbon offsets – can be understood through measurement, ...

El NiÃo and Ocean-Atmosphere Interactions in the Tropical Pacific part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
This activity investigates the oceanographic and climatic characteristics of El NiÃo/La NiÃa (ENSO) events using observational data from moored ocean buoys in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Data are obtained from ...

Google Earth Tours of Glacier Change part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
A detailed Google Earth tour of glacier change over the last 50 years is given in class as an introduction. Students are then asked to select from a group of glaciers and create their own Google Earth tour ...

Understanding the Carbon Cycle: A Jigsaw Approach part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
In this "jigsaw" exercise, each student is assigned one of five geochemical processes in the carbon cycle to research, fully understand, and then explain to others in groups of five. At the end of class ...

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