Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects
Investigating Earthquakes: GIS Mapping and Analysis (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This example contains general tips on how to adapt a chapter of the Earth Exploration Toolbook to a college-level geoscience course. The EET chapter describes the technique of preparing "GIS-ready" data and shows how to map that data and conduct basic analyses using a geographic information system (GIS). Users download and format near real-time and historical earthquake data from the USGS. They use latitude and longitude fields to plot the data in a GIS. They analyze patterns by querying records and overlaying datasets. The focus of the chapter's case study is earthquake prediction. Users examine earthquake distributions, monitor current earthquake activity, and try to predict where the next big earthquake will occur on Earth.
Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This example describes general tips to adapt a chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolbook for use at the college level. In the EET chapter, users examine satellite images that show how much ozone is in the atmosphere over the Southern Hemisphere. They interpret the images to identify the ozone "hole" that develops over this region each summer, and compare its size from year to year. Using freely available image analysis software, ImageJ, users quantify the area of the Antarctic ozone hole each October from 1996 to 2004. Finally, they bring their measurements into a spreadsheet program and create a graph to document changes in the size of the ozone hole. The original EET chapter is written for high school levels as a supervised classroom exercise. Much of the work could be done by college-level students as a lab or take-home exercise.
Stream Gages and GIS part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This exercise utilizes the national network of stream gage data provided by the USGS Water Resources Division as an online Geographic Information System (GIS). The presentation of real-time stream flow data national and state maps presents opportunities for students to interpret recent regional-scale climate events based on current stream flow, monitor changes in time, and to consider additional interpretations that could be derived if other data were in map form. Connections are provided to existing online hydrology exercises that consider interpretations based on time-series stream flow data from single gages within the USGS database. This exercise may be used to consider regional-scale conceptual problems in tandem with the traditional hydrology exercises, or vice versa.
When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This exercise provides ideas to adapt a chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolbook for use in a college-level introductory geoscience course. This example utilizes GIS and remote sensing techniques to examine seasonal changes in phytoplankton productivity off the coast of Maine. MODIS imagery and a simple image analysis tool are used in the exercise. The techniques and imagery described could be used to study other aspects of the Earth's surface.
Floodplains in the field (with GIS) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
In the original version of this lab, students measure a topographic and geologic cross-section across a floodplain by simple surveying and auguring techniques. This example demonstrates how simple GIS elements can enhance learning through added spatial context and the introduction of mapping techniques. The GIS elements encourage the students to consider the spatial context of the field observations, introduce GPS measurements, and can involve desktop GIS analyses. Original Floodplains in the field lab (without GIS) The GIS enhancements to the lab are italicized.
Looking into Earth with GIS (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This exercise is an adaptation of an existing chapter of the Earth Exploration Toolbook. The exercise described ideas that can be used to introduce this exercise in a college-level introductory geoscience course. The following description is from the EET chapter... Users work with data from a seismic wave model in a freely available GIS (geographic information system) program, ArcVoyager SE. Using a GIS, they examine maps and produce graphs to explore variations in seismic wave velocities at depths of 28 and 100 km below Earth's surface. By examining and analyzing GIS-ready data, users visualize density changes and earthquake distributions near a spreading center and two subduction zones. Finally, users infer the location (depth) of the upper mantle under ocean basins and under continents from their analyses.
Image Classification part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
The purpose of this assignment is to get some hands-on experience with the fundamentals of image classification. Multi-Band images of the Earth's surface are becoming a very important source of information about land cover and land use. Because satellites beam back information every day, this imagery can be a terrific source of very current information or historic (perhaps back to 1972). Of course, subtracting the historic from the current can provide an estimate of change in the landscape, provided one can be sure that the classification of the images yields consistent results.
Measuring Distance and Area in Satellite Images (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This example is derived from the chapter Measuring Distance and Area in Satellite Images in the Earth Exploration Toolbook. Satellite imagery is used to map changes to the Earth's surface or atmosphere over time using free image analysis software, ImageJ. The exercise was originally written for secondary school standards, but can be adapted easily for introductory college level geoscience courses by letting the students do more of the work outside the classroom or as a classroom exercise/demonstration to stimulate discussion about Earth system processes.
Using GLOBE Data to Study the Earth System (College Level) part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This example is a college-level adaptation of a chapter from the Earth Exploration Toolbook. The chapter guides students through the process of locating and graphing Web-based environmental data that has been collected by GLOBE Program participants. It is based on an example developed for the GLOBE resource Earth System Science Investigation, which is a section of the GLOBE Teacher's Guide. This example provides general tips for using GLOBE data as in-class or take-home exercises. The global nature of the data sets creates opportunities to look at spatial relationships within the Earth system.
Names in the Field: A Simple GPS Field Exercise part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS:Examples
This exercise is a field lab to introduce students to basic methods of GPS data collection, uploading the data to a computer, and making simple maps of their data using GIS software. Concepts of data resolution (error), and sampling techniques are introduced as the students try to spell words in a field using the "track" (or "breadcrumbs") collected by the GPS unit.
Teaching Method Module
Teaching with GIS in the Geosciences part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with GIS
Created by Brian Welch, Dept. of Environmental Studies, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN What is GIS? GIS = Geographic Information Systems GIS represent a collection of methods (usually as computer software) to ...