Sue Swanson

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Beloit College

Materials Contributed through SERC-hosted Projects

Activities (3)

Fault-bounded mountains and morphometric properties part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This classroom activity is designed to help students see the utility of simple morphometric properties in fault-bounded mountain and piedmont environments. Rather than listing and describing commonly used properties in lecture, students develop their own properties by studying topographic maps of the Tobin Range in Nevada. The class later discusses the properties that the students develop and compares them to those used by geologists who worked in the region.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Drainage basin patterns and stream courses part of Cutting Edge:Geomorphology:Activities
This is a two- to three-day classroom activity and writing assignment that is designed to help students recognize typical drainage basin patterns and stream courses. In addition to discussing common drainage basin patterns and stream courses in lecture, students make determinations on their own by studying individually-assigned topographic and geologic maps and writing short paragraphs to describe their interpretations of their study areas. On the first day, students describe drainage basins and submit their written work to the instructor. On the second day, the written work is redistributed to a different student and this student must edit the paragraph, if necessary, and add information on stream courses. Final paragraphs are submitted to the instructor and redistributed to the entire class, so that each student has a full set of paragraphs and maps for use throughout the rest of the term.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Creating a Water Table Map for Newark Road Prairie part of Cutting Edge:Hydrogeology:Activities
This field exercise emphasizes visualization of the water table over construction of a water table map. Students develop a water table map from scratch, including installing shallow monitoring wells, surveying wells, measuring water levels, and drafting a professional map using ArcGIS. The exercise promotes a deeper level of understanding prior to the introduction of more advanced topics, and takes surprisingly little time once a field site is established.


Geomorphology part of Cutting Edge:Course Design:Goals Database
This course focuses on the origin and development of landforms created by fluvial, glacial, and eolian processes. In addition, the relationships of landforms to underlying geologic structures and the history of geologic and climatic changes as recorded by surface features are explored. Landscapes and surface processes are analyzed using air photos and topographic maps as well as field-mapping techniques and geographic information systems. Geomorphology is by nature an interdisciplinary science because the land surface is located at the interface of the earth's lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. As a result, this course aims to expand your knowledge of chemical and biological processes as well as geological processes that shape the earth's surface. Specifically, the purpose of the course is to study continental landforms and the fluvial, glacial, and eolian processes that form them. In addition, through both descriptive and quantitative analysis, the course will provide an understanding of the scales and rates at which the diversity of surface processes occur. This approach utilizes landscapes that are currently exposed to surface processes to reveal the geologic and climatic changes that have occurred as part of earth history.

Events and Communities

Geomorphology Workshop 2008 Participants

Hydrogeology Workshop 2005

Teaching About Energy in Geoscience Courses: Current Research and Pedagogy

Early Career '02 Participants