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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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Guided Discovery and Scoring Rubric for Petrographic Analysis of a Thin Section part of Cutting Edge:Metacognition:Activities
A guided discovery approach is used to "unpack" the methods and observations used by "master" petrographers in the petrographic analysis of a thin section. A series of spread sheets are used to ...

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 ...

When Pond Scum Ruled the Earth - The Proterozoic Fossil Record part of Cutting Edge:Paleontology:Activities
In this specimen-based activity, students examine microfossils and stromatolites and build an understanding of the Proterozoic paleontological record.

Oil Demand and Consumption part of Process of Science:Examples
Data modeling activity using oil reserve and consumption data. Students predict when oil reserves meet or exceed reserves.

Paleoecology: An Evolutionary Arms Race part of Cutting Edge: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, ...

Detecting El NiƱo 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.

Anthropogenic Effects on Erosion part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This exercise investigates anthropogenic effects on erosion in two parts. The first is a discussion of a paper by Roger Hooke (2000) "On the history of humans as geomorphic agents." The second half ...

Geomorphology in the news part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
The activity requires students to present a current news story that has a geomorphic component. The students must relate course material to current events and society.

Mass Wasting and Slope Stability part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
An investigation of mass movements along the shores of Lake MI. Students will assess strength characteristics of unconsolidated sediment in the field, survey the morphology of the movement, and determine the ...

Rocks, Weathering, and Erosional Landscapes part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Students will identify a variety of silicate minerals and rocks and relate them to their topographic expression according to relative resistance.

Fault-bounded mountains and morphometric properties part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This classroom activity is designed to help students see the utility of simple morphometric properties in fault-bounded mountain and piedmont environments. Rather than listing and describing commonly used ...

Drainage basin patterns and stream courses part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This is a two- to three-day classroom activity and writing assignment that is designed to help students recognize typical drainage basin patterns and stream courses. In addition to discussing common drainage basin ...

Fluvial Landforms on Maps part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This is an in-class exercise designed to A) give students more practice reading topographic maps, B) have students identify fluvial landforms on maps, and C) get students thinking about the processes that formed ...

Geo-Savvy Assessment part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
I use this "landscape interpretation" exercise to assess what students know coming into my classroom - so that I can pitch the lecture at the right level. I also use a similar structured assessment at the ...

Drainage Basins Field Lab part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This field activity and follow-up assignment explores the geomorphology of drainage basins in an active tectonic setting. It introduces basic concepts of drainage basin structure and landscape analysis using ...

Nearest-neighbor analysis and the distribution of sinkholes: an introduction to spatial statistics part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This is an exercise I use in an upper-division geomorphology course to introduce students to nearest-neighbor analysis, a basic technic in spatial statistics. This technique provides an objective method for ...

Contour Mapping With Playdough part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
In this lab exercise, introductory geology/geography students create topographic maps for a playdough landscape of their own design. This lab was designed to teach students to learn how to work with topographic ...

Ocean Acidification part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Activities
Students choose shell fragments from different species of Molluscs and calculate percent lose after soaking in different ph solutions for different periods of time. They research ocean acidification and especially ...

Working with USGS discharge data part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
In this exercise, we use the USGS real-time data available online, and use it to construct a rating curve for the Walla Walla river near Touchet. We then make a simple model of flood inundation in ArcGIS for the ...

Watershed area and discharge relationships part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Students use USGS WaterData website to find data on area, average annual discharge and response to high-precip events in small watersheds in southern New England. Data for the class are compiled to generate graphs ...