Mineral Physics Institute
SUNY at Stony Brook
Northwest Passage part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
Climate change is a prominent topic in the media, and its effects are expected to present major challenges for human society. Students need to become aware of the issues connected with this phenomenon. In this exercise, undergraduate students use Google Earth and information from several web sites to investigate some of the consequences of climate change in polar regions, including the seasonal and longer-term changes in the extent of the ice cap at the North Pole, disintegration of ice shelves, opening of shipping routes, access to sources of fossil fuels, geopolitics, effects on polar bears, and possible secondary effects on climate in other regions due to changes in ocean currents. Students learn to use satellite and aerial imagery, maps, graphs, and statistics to interpret trends accompanying changes in the Earth system.
The Boxing Day Tsunami part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
Undergraduate students map data from the National Geophysical Data Center and the United States Geological Survey on Google Earth and study visualizations in order to explore the causes and effects of the Tsunami of December 26, 2004. The data includes tsunami runup heights, advance of tsunami wave fronts, and photography. In addition, the students examine evidence regarding the Tsunami of 1700.
Wave Interference part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
This activity engages students in the exploration of interference between sinusoidal wave forms. They use an interactive applet to manipulate the phase, wavelength, amplitude, and phase velocity of two waveforms and observe the resulting sum. With an animation button, they can start and stop the motion of the waves.
Bragg's Law part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
"ON A COLD WINTER DAY IN DECEMBER, 1955, Robert Wentorf Jr. walked down to the local food co-op in Niskayuna, New York, and bought a jar of his favorite crunchy peanut butter. This was no ordinary shopping trip, for Wentorf was about to perform an experiment of unsurpassed flamboyance and good humor. Back at his nearby General Electric lab he scooped out a spoonful, subjected it to crushing pressures and searing heat, and accomplished the ultimate culinarytour de force: he transformed peanut butter into tiny crystals of diamond." - from The Diamond Makers by Robert M. Hazen (1999), Cambridge University Press So, how can we determine whether an experiment designed to produce diamonds has actually delivered the intended result? One diagnostic test we can perform is X-ray diffraction, a technique that depends upon Bragg's Law. This activity is designed to facilitate an understanding of Bragg's Law and how it applies to X-ray diffraction techniques used in the performance of high pressure research at beamlines, such as X17B2 at the National Synchrotron Light Source at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
Our Place in the World (Long Island Series) part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
Our Place in the World is a series of Google Earth activities that can be used to establish a local, regional, and global geographic context for a course, workshop, or field trip. This activity, which utilizes a set of KMZ datasets that focuses on Long Island and New York State along with global datasets, has been adapted for a range of audiences and venues, including: 1) CEN 514: Geology of Long Island, which is designed for practicing K-12 teachers and students in a teacher preparation program 2) GEO 301: Sustainability of the Pine Barrens, which engages students in studying the Long Island Pine Barrens from an interdisciplinary perspective 3) A canoe trip on the Nissequogue River for the Science and Technology Entry Program (STEP), which is a four-week residential Earth Science program for high school students from underserved groups. 4) SBC 205: Introduction to Geospatial Analysis, designed for undergraduates enrolled in a sustainability program at Stony Brook University's Southampton campus. The activities for three of these venues are discussed here, and links to the student handouts for the activities are provided. Educators on Long Island can adapt these activities to their specific educational venue by making minor modifications to the student handouts so that the focus is on the locale where the activity will be conducted. In some cases, it would be advantageous to develop and use additional datasets that focus on concepts or geographic features that are of special interest in that location. For an introduction to a course or for a review of material that was previously presented in class, either the Our Place in the World (from CEN 514) or the Mapping Southampton and the World (from SBC 205) activity would be good choices for activities to adapt to the local context. For preparation for a field trip or a post-trip review, a modification of the Nissequogue River Canoe Trip activity (from the STEP program) would be an appropriate choice.
Environmental Reconnaissance of a Salt Marsh part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
This is a field and computer laboratory exercise that introduces undergraduate students, advanced high school students, and members of the general public to using Google Earth, GPS, aerial imagery, and an online illustrated vegetation and tidal marsh environment identification guide to distinguish and map vegetational and physical environmental zones within a salt marsh. They also learn about the physical and ecological relationships between these environments. Students use GPS devices to collect field data as waypoints and tracks, and upload the data to computers in GPX format. They learn to open the data in Google Earth along with infrared and color aerial imagery, and use the GPS data to interpret the aerial imagery. Using Google Earth tools, they draw polygons to demarcate the boundaries of environmental zones in the wetlands that they recognize on the imagery. The students and instructors also take photographs of the students in each of these environmental zones and embed the photographs into information balloons of placemarks in Google Earth. The exercise was originally designed for use at Flax Pond, a salt marsh on the North Shore of Long Island. However, it can easily be adapted for use in other tidal marshes, and can serve as a template for developing similar activities to be conducted at other locations in which aerial imagery can be used to distinguish various forms of land cover.
Selecting Sites for Renewable Energy Projects part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth:Examples
Society's efforts to find and develop renewable energy sources are driven by the need to mitigate detrimental environmental effects brought about by some current sources, and supply problems associated with using non-renewable sources. For these reasons, energy issues are currently prominent in the media. Future scientists and other citizens need to become literate concerning the technical aspects of using renewable energy sources, and how these sources relate to Earth system processes. In this activity, undergraduate students use Google Earth to investigate a variety of renewable energy sources and select sites within the United States that would be appropriate for projects based on those sources. These sources include solar energy, bioenergy, hydroelectricity, tidal power, wind energy, wave energy, geothermal, osmotic, and ocean and lake thermal energy.
Geoscience and Global Concerns part of Cutting Edge:Energy:Energy Courses
An exploration of how technologically-based problems facing the United States and the world relate to the Earth system, including the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. The set of issues include such geoscience-based topics as fossil fuel resources, nuclear power, renewable energy sources, global warming, meteorology, and seismology.
Teaching with Google Earth part of Cutting Edge:Teaching Methods:Teaching with Google Earth
Created by Glenn A. Richard, Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University A Complete Guide to Using Google Earth in the Geoscience Classroom What is Google Earth? - provides Google Earth basics, including ...