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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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Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)

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Using Excel to plot numerical and analytical forms of the diffusion equation part of Cutting Edge:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This computer-based assignment forces students to compare and contrast integral and differential forms of the conservation of mass equation, as well as analytical and numerical approaches to solution. Students are ...

Guided Reading of Scientific Journal Articles part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
This is a sequence of assignments for my Structural Geology course that guides students through the process of critically reading and analyzing scientific journal articles. For each article, I outline the general ...

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.

Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

How Effective is a Remediation System at a Regional Landfill? part of Cutting Edge:Geochemistry:Activities
In this activity, students begin exploring the effectiveness of a remediation system installed at a closed landfill system. Students learn the importance of redox chemistry in a real-world context and build field ...

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 ...

M & M Decay part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is a simulation of radioactive decay which illustrates what a half-life is and explains some of the challenges involved with radiometric dating. Pennies or other cheap coins can be substituted for M&Ms if ...

Determining Earthquake Recurrence Intervals from Trench Logs part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
Trench logs of the San Andreas Fault at Pallett Creek, CA are the data base for a lab or homework assignment that teaches about relative dating, radiometric dating, fault recurrence intervals and the reasons for uncertainty in predicting geologic phenomena. Students are given a trench log that includes several fault strands and dated stratigraphic horizons. They estimate the times of faulting based on bracketing ages of faulted and unfaulted strata. They compile a table with the faulting events from the trench log and additional events recognized in nearby trenches, then calculate maximum, minimum and average earthquake recurrence intervals for the San Andreas Fault in this area. They conclude by making their own prediction for the timing of the next earthquake.

Roping Geologic Time part of Rates and Time:GSA Activity Posters
After having talked about the geologic time scale, I ask for two volunteers from the class to hold a rope that is 50 feet long. I say that one end is the beginning of the Earth (4.6 billion years ago), and the other is today. I then give out 16 clothes pins and ask various students to put a cloths pin on the 'time line' at various 'geologic events'. Throughout the activity I have a quiz going on where the students calculate percentages of Earth History for major geologic events, and compare it to their own ages. On their time scale, the dinosaurs died only about two 'months' ago! The exercise is very effective at letting them get a sense of how long geologic time is, and how 'recently' some major geologic events happened when you consider a time scale that is the age of the earth.

The Evolution of Earth through Time part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This activity is designed for large freshman courses (>200 students) and is used in-class. The activity requires a short (15 minute) overview of Earth history before students have the opportunity to work through ...

Hierarchical Alignment of Timelines part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
In the hierarchical alignment activity students progressively and hierarchically align scale information to a spatial linear representation. The progressive alignment of scales may alleviate the conceptual ...

Aerial photo interpretation and mapping - Bayou Meda anticline, Arkansas part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
Multi-day project using aerial photography and field observation to map and interpret a megascopic anticline/syncline pair exposed in the Ouachita Mountains of central Arkansas. This exercise involves two classroom ...

A Cross-Section and Geologic History from Field Data Collected by Second Year Students in the St Francois Mountains of Missouri part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This field activity takes place during a 3-day field trip to St Francois Mountains, Missouri. Students use their field data to construct a cross-section through a portion of the field area.

Field Trip to Enfield Glen, NY Finger Lakes Region part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This is a 2.5 hour field trip in which students search through strata of the Upper Devonian Catskill Delta for paleocurrent indicators that allow them to infer paleogeographic differences between Devonian and ...

Depositional Environments and Geologic History Labs part of Cutting Edge:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is a pair of labs that incrementally prepare students to interpret the geologic history of a rock sequence. The first lab introduces students to depositional environments and fossils. The second lab presents a ...

Global Earthquakes: Teaching about Earthquakes with Data and 3D Visualizations part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this series of visualizations and accompanying activities, students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes and explore their distribution at plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...

Visualizing Global Earthquakes Where and Why do Earthquakes Occur? part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at and below the surface of Earth and how their distribution is related to plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D ...

Visualizing Earthquakes at Divergent Plate Margins part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
In this activity students visualize the distribution and magnitude of earthquakes at divergent plate boundaries. Earthquakes are visualized on a 3D globe, making it easy to see their distribution within ...