Earth Sciences and Astronomy
Mt. San Antonio College
Becca is a professor at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA, where she teaches physical geology, Earth science, oceanography, natural disasters, geology of California, and field studies. She is currently a module developer for the InTeGrate project.
How to be a field geologist: an in-class exercise to introduce students to basic outcrop analysis part of Cutting Edge:Geoscience in the Field:Activities
This in-class exercise is designed to give students practice analyzing outcrops before they go on a field trip. First, students watch a short video tutorial on analyzing an outcrop. Then, they are given a color photograph of an outcrop and a hand sample and complete a field notebook entry for the outcrop.
Evaluating the lines of evidence for plate tectonics part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Activities
In this in-class exercise, students compare several lines of evidence that support the ideas of continental drift and plate tectonics. Before the class meeting, each student is given a preparation assignment in which he/she studies one "continental drift" and one "ocean floor data" map. In class, students divide into teams of 3, with each team member having prepared different specialties. They discuss their respective maps and look for spatial patterns among the data.
OCEA10: Introduction to oceanography part of Cutting Edge:Oceanography:Courses
Even though the majority of the Earth's surface is covered by seawater, the average person is less aware of what is happening in the ocean than what is happening on land. In this course, we will work together to answer several fundamental questions: Which factors control life in the ocean? How do we know what we know about the ocean? What's at the bottom of the ocean? How does the water in the ocean move? How are human activities and climate change altering the ocean? OCEA 10 provides an introduction to the ocean environment, including geological, chemical, physical, and biological oceanography topics.
Field studies, Central California part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Course
Field studies of Central California is an introductory field geology course for community college students. Students meet for 3 hours per week of lecture, take one 4-day field trip to the Eastern Sierras to study volcanic and glacial processes, and take one 3-day field trip to Morro Bay to study coastal processes. Major topics include plate tectonics, rock identification, outcrop analysis, map interpretation, volcanic processes, glacial processes, marine taxonomy, and coastal geology, all with an emphasis on Central California.
Developing meaningful and manageable research opportunities for community college students: lessons learned from semester #1 part of SAGE 2YC:Workforce, Transfer, and Careers:Preparing Students in Two-year Colleges for Careers:Essays
Each semester, there are a handful of students in the science building every day working at the tables outside of the classrooms, dropping by office hours with hand samples, and asking questions after class related to, but beyond the scope of, the topic covered that day. They are the "repeat offenders" who have taken several courses in the department and are hungry for more. But when I say "more", I don't mean yet another rock identification lab or plate tectonics lecture...
Enjoy making observations and being frustrated? If you answered "yes", a career in geoscience is for you! part of Integrate:Workshops:Teaching the Methods of Geoscience:Essays
Enjoy making observations and being frustrated? If you answered "yes", a career in geoscience is for you! Becca Walker, Earth Sciences and Astronomy, Mt. San Antonio College Geologists observe and ...
Case Study 4.2- Predicting Glacial Futures part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students predict rates of change using recent data from marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland. They calculate the average rate of area change for a set of 34 glaciers from 2001 to 2009 and use this average rate of change to predict what the area change will be between 2009 and 2010. They make similar predictions for five individual glaciers as well and think about how certain they are in their predictions. Finally, they compare their predictions to the 2010 and 2011 data and consider scientists' ability to predict how marine-terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland will change in the future.
Case Study 4.1- Reflecting on What is Happening to Greenland's Ice part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students consider Greenland reflectivity changes from 2000 to 2012. Some students receive yearly albedo data for low elevations, while other students receive high-elevation data. After each student has studied his/her data set, students work in groups and discuss how albedo changes annually, how the 2012 data differ from 2000 to 2011, and which elevations experienced the most change. They also look at a 2012 map to visualize Greenland albedo anomalies and what these anomalies may indicate about how the Greenland ice sheet is changing.
Climate Change Adaptation Strategies part of Climate of Change
These are the examples of climate change adaptation strategies for Case Study 6.1. Students may access them online on this page or may be provided with hard copies of these examples.
Case Study 6.1- Adapting to a Changing World part of Climate of Change
In this activity, students consider how several communities are adapting to climate change-related problems including drought's impacts on agriculture, loss of assets due to climate-related hazards, freshwater availability, and extreme heat waves. They will read brief case studies about agro-forestry, insurance strategies, the "Room for the River" program in the Netherlands, water storage from retreating glaciers, and city planning for heat waves. Based on these examples and knowledge of their own community, they will suggest possible adaptation strategies that will be most beneficial to their area.
SAGE2YC LA Local Workshop 2013: Leader