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Quantitative Skills

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Sun Spot Analysis part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Bob Mackay, Clark College; Mike Clark
Introductory students use Excel to graph monthly mean Greenwich sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2004 and perform a spectral analysis of the data using the free software program "Spectra". -

Demonstration of radioactive decay using pennies part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
A demonstration (with full class participation) to illustrate radioactive decay by flipping coins. Shows students visually the concepts of exponential decay, half-life and randomness. Works best in large classes – the more people, the better.

Density of the Earth - How to Solve It part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Len Vacher, Dept of Geology, University of South Florida
This module addresses the real problem of determining the density of the Earth and invites the student to figure out how to solve the problem.

Weathering of Minerals part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Wendy Van Norden, harvard-westlake school
Students determine the % change in mass of mineral samples that have been placed in a rock tumbler. They graph the relationship between the hardness of the mineral and the % change in mass. They then consider why some of the mineral samples do not conform the the relationship they graphed. They investigate the physical properties of the outliers and consider how the physical properties contributed to the rate of weathering, and what kind of weathering occured in the rock tumbler.

My Special Place part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Sadredin Moosavi, Tulane University of Louisiana
Students pick a place of significance to them (their Special Place) for analysis in this semester-long project. (A model is provided by the instructor using a place the students are not likely to have visited.)

Laboratory Activity: The Sun and Climate part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Peter Selkin, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
In this physical geography lab, students examine the relationship between solar altitude, solar declination, and temperature regimes. Using data collected in the field, mathematical relationships, and temperature records available on the Internet, students compare the insolation and climate in their location to that of other locations.

Investigating dimensions of the solar system part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Francisco San Juan, Elizabeth City State University; Steven Schafersman, University of Texas of the Permian Basin, The; Michael Stewart, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Planetary data are used to investigate and evaluate the Nebular Hypothesis.

Environmental Footprint part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Christina Gallup, University of Minnesota-Duluth
This activity has students do a web-based environmental footprint quiz and integrate their results into a class mean. The students compare their results by creating a bar graph and do some simple calculations to see how much of the Earth just the population of the US requires.

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.

Reading Topographic Maps and Calculating Map Scale part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Leslie Kanat, Johnson State College
Use a topographic map to deliniate a watershed, draw a map bar scale, and calculate a map ratio scale.

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