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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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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 ...

A Term-Long Mineralogy Lab Practical Exam part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
This term-long project involves identifying a set of 65 mineral hand samples by their distinguishing characteristics.

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 ...

Using Dynamic Digital Maps to Teach Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this session we will examine how to utilize Dynamic Digital Maps (DDMs) in undergraduate petrology courses to bring inaccessible and exciting volcanic field areas to the students in the classroom and to engage ...

Timing of mineralization in the palm of your hand: Cross-cutting relations, copper minerals and ore-forming hydrothermal fluid evolution part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This lab is designed to familiarize students with the geologic history of an ore-deposit, deciphered in the palm of your hand. By determining cross cutting relations of veins and mineralogy, students decipher the ...

Extending Mineralogy by Electron Microprobe Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This lab is designed to be a highly interactive lab session for a petrology course, where instructors provide a minimal level of essential background and then the entire group works together to explore mineral ...

Calculating a Simple Phase Diagram: Diamond=Graphite part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a very short exercise designed to get students to understand how the Gibbs energy equation is used to calculate the location of a reaction in P-T space. I use it in-class and have students work on it in ...

Weathering of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks in a Semi-Arid Climate - An Engineering Application of Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Students examine soils developed on igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks near Denver, Colorado. The 2-week exercise includes sample collection, description, and preparation, determining clay mineralogy by ...

Working with Electron Microprobe Data from a High Pressure Experiment - Calculating Mineral Formulas, Unit Cell Content, and Geothermometry part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set students use electron microprobe analyses of a peridotite partial melting experiment to determine mineral formulas, calculate unit cell content, plot results on a classification diagram, and use ...

Introduction to Gibbs Energy part of Cutting Edge:Petrology:Teaching Examples
This is a short project that can be used in-class or as homework. It involves just a few questions and it is intended to help students understand the idea of Gibbs free energy.

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 ...

Exploring Cation Exchange Capacity through the use of the Soil Survey part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
This assignment allows students to utilize real soil data/information presented online to learn how the some of the physical properties of the soil influence the chemistry of the soil and health of the ecosystem.