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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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Recognizing and mapping faults using lidar and field data part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Structure, Geophysics, and Tectonics 2012:Activities
In this activity, students create a geologic map and cross-section of the Fish Springs cinder cone and surrounding area in the Owens Valley, CA, using a high-resolution DEM developed from airborne lidar data as a ...

Monument Creek hydraulics project part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This is a several-part field and computer-based project that involves students in measurement of stream-channel geometry, basic stream-hydraulics calculations, and flood-frequency analysis. Its primary strengths ...

Red Beans and Rice: Slope failure experimental modeling part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Students replicate a slope failure experiment published in Science (Densmore et al., 1997) using a simple, acrylic slope failure box in an effort to forge a link between autocyclic processes, long-term landscape ...

Fluvial Geomorphology of the Upper Yellowstone River Drainage Basin: Using Google Earth to Analyze Rivers part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
Students will learn how to make measurements and collect data using Google Earth and NIH ImageJ.

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.

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 ...

Cladogram Construction and Vertebrate Phylogeny part of Cutting Edge: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 ...

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 ...