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Quantitative Skills

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Stream Characteristics Lab part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Wendy Van Norden, harvard-westlake school
Students determine the relationship between the sinuosity of a river and its gradient by calculating gradients and sinuosity, and generating a graph on Excel. They then test the relationship by making measurements on a picture generated on Google Earth.

Population Growth, Ecological Footprints, and Overshoot part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Rikki Wagstrom
In this activity, students develop and apply linear, exponential, and rational functions to explore past and projected U.S. population growth, carbon footprint trend, ecological overshoot, and effectiveness of hypothetical carbon dioxide reduction initiatives.

Modeling: (1) Revenue Neutral Carbon Taxes; (2) Accelerated atmospheric C02 concentrations part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Martin Walter
Design a revenue neutral carbon tax and a plan for implementation; together with a model for what happens if we do not institute such a tax-system.

Choosing Between Home Appliances: Benefits to the Planet and Your Wallet part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Corri Taylor, Wellesley College
Students research various options for new appliances and make purchasing decisions based not merely on purchase price, but also on energy efficiency, which has implications for the planet AND for longer-term personal finances. Students calculate the "payback period" for the more energy efficient appliance and calculate long-term savings.

A Monarchy Deposed: The Demise of the Monarch Butterfly part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Daniel Abel
Monarch butterflies (scientific name: Danaus plexippus) migrate annually to forests in central Mexico from Canada and California. Those surviving the 1200 - 2800 mile migration overwinter in Mexico. In this activity, students will learn about the conservation biology of monarch butterflies, threats to their survival, the implications of their potential extinction, and ways to protect the species.

How much energy do you save by doubling insulation? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Joseph Skufca
Students will be provided the governing equation for steady state heat transfer across a surface. They will use that equation to explore the effect of changing the insulation value on the amount of energy used.

Should I Unplug? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Lori Carmack
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One day it is too hot and other days it is too cold. Do we need to replace the HVAC system? part of SISL:2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop:Activities
Monika Kiss
This project will allow students to create a mathematical model to help in making decision about replacing HVAC units on a large scale.

Using functions in an introductory geoscience course part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A template and two exercises (CO2 and population growth) designed to increase the graphical literacy of students in introductory geoscience and mathematics courses.

Prework for Rivers and Streams Lab (Intro Geology) part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Rachel Teasdale, California State University-Chico
In order to give Introductory Geology (Physical Geology) undergraduate non-majors students experience and confidence in using basic algebra to calculate very simple stream flow properties, we use a prework assignment prior to the Rivers and Streams Lab. Prework is a worksheet assigned 2 weeks in advance, which asks students to calculate velocity and discharge as well as unit conversions and calculations of stream load. The questions are put into the context of activities they completed earlier in the semester during visits to the stream (on campus) so questions are relevant to their previous experiences. The prework timeframe gives students the opportunity to seek extra help from their instructor prior to the lab period in which they will make additional measurements, similar calcualations and interpretations of their data.

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