Science Education Resource Center (SERC)
I earned my B.A. in Mathematics from Carleton College in 1989 and my Ph.D. in Structural Geology from the University of Minnesota in 2000. I taught geology at St. Norbert College (De Pere, WI) and Wittenberg University (Springfield, OH) for a total of five years. Since 2005, I've worked at the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, with responsibilities related to faculty professional development, online resource development, and research on learning. See my SERC staff page for more information.
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 questions they should try to answer as they read any journal article, then give specific versions of each of those questions for the particular article assigned. For the last article, I leave it to the students to figure out what the specific versions of the questions would be. I chose these particular articles for their relevance to topics covered in my course and for their readability. I believe the assignments can easily be adapted to guided reading of any scientific literature. -
Using play-doh to understand 3D Flinn Plots part of Cutting Edge:Structural Geology:Activities
In this activity, students are introduced to the 3D Flinn Plot. They have previous experience with 1+e2 vs. 1+e1 plots of plane strain, but this is their first exposure to 3D strain. Students deform play-doh, then plot the resulting shapes on Flinn Plots. The exercise links the abstract 3D Flinn Plot to concrete strain ellipsoids. -
Slices Through 3D Objects part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students identify and draw slices through an ice cream cone, a pyramid, and a beverage six-pack.
Primary Structures and Rotation part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students work in pairs to gesture the orientations of cross-bedded sandstones, and in particular the relationship between a single cross bed and the bed sets. They do this for photos of undeformed and deformed cross-bedding.
Restraining Bends and Releasing Bends part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students use gestures to re-create the motion of fault blocks adjacent to restraining bends and releasing bends. They then answer a few questions about a map view of the San Andreas Fault and two of its bends.
Folds and Cleavage part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students explore the geometric relationship between bedding/cleavage intersections and fold axes for axial planar, fanning, and transecting cleavage.
Deformation Mechanisms and Microstructures part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students match microstructures to the deformation mechanisms by which they form; compare pairs of photomicrographs chosen to highlight key differences between some common microstructures; and complete a self-quiz in which they identify microstructures and infer deformation mechanisms from photomicrographs.
Linear and Planar Features part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students use a pointer finger to gesture the orientations of linear features and use their hands (open and flat) to gesture the orientations of planar features. In the first part of the exercise, students can only see one surface of a wooden block, and are asked to speculate about how planar features penetrate through the interior. Later, they uncover the other faces of the block and gesture the actual orientations. A key goal of the exercise is to help students see that surficial features often do not go "straight in."
Fault Separation part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
Students use gestures to explore the relationship between fault slip direction and fault separation by varying the geometry of faulted layers, slip direction, and the perspective from which these are viewed.
Contractional Strain part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students use gesture to describe the bulk deformation and local deformation apparent in images of a contractional analog experiment. Students then calculate bulk shortening and bulk thickening for the experiment and describe the structures accommodating that strain.
Miller Indices part of Spatial Thinking Workbook:Teaching Activities
In this exercise, students use one hand to gesture crystallographic axes and the other hand to represent planes designated by Miller Indices. This uses embodied learning to reinforce how Miller Indices are used to convey spatial information.
Flood Frequency and Risk Assessment part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this lab, students calculate recurrence intervals for various degrees of flooding on a portion of the Des Moines River in Iowa, based on historical data. Then they plot these calculations on a flood frequency curve. Combining flood frequency data with a topographic map of the region, students do a risk assessment for the surrounding community.
Geology of the National Parks part of Cutting Edge:Course Design:Goals Database
Carol Ormand , firstname.lastname@example.org Wittenberg University a Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate . Course URL: Subject: Geoscience:GeologyResource Type: Course ...
Plate Boundaries and Volcanoes part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:First Day of Class:Activities
Carol Ormand, Wittenberg University Course: Geology of the National Parks 28 students Students remember what they have seen and done much better than they remember what you have told them. Working with real, ...
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