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Landscape Evolution Debate
Amanda Schmidt, Oberlin College
Students are assigned to read one of the three papers on tectonic geomorphology (landscape evolution) published by Nature in 2003 (Burbank et al., Dadson et al., and Reiners et al.). All also read the editorial by ...

Mechanisms of Evolution
Rene Shroat-Lewis, University of Arkansas at Little Rock
This exercise uses simple experiments to examine the process of natural selection, which is driven by variation in genetic traits within a population, the potential for offspring to inherit traits from their ...

Teaching geologic time and rates of landscape evolution with dice
Kate Ruhl, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Landscape evolution provides a convenient framework for understanding geologic time and rates because students can observe how processes like erosion and deposition shape their surroundings. In this example, students build 3-D sandbox models based on topographic maps and design and stage a "virtual adventure race." Sandbox landscapes are used to illustrate erosional processes,while local examples are used to discuss landscapes as transient or steady over different time- and length scales. Dice experiments illustrate radioactive decay and the shape of the age equation curve, and 14C dating, geochronology and thermochronology are introduced as "stopwatches" that start when a plant dies, a crystal forms, or a rock nears the surface and cools to a certain temperature. The sandbox model and thermochronometer "stopwatches" are combined to measure erosion rates and rates of landscape change. Ultimately, model rates (cm/hour) calculated from stopwatch times on the order of seconds can be related to geologic rates (km/My) calculated from real million-year-old samples.

The Evolution of Earth through Time
Phil Stokes, The University of Arizona
This activity is designed for large freshman courses (>200 students) and is used in-class. The activity requires a short (15 minute) overview of Earth history before students have the opportunity to work through ...

Evolution of Normal Fault Systems During Progressive Deformation
Bob Burger, Smith College
This activity is based on QuickTime movies and color digital photographs derived from sandbox experiments that produce normal faults in a variety of boundary conditions following experiments developed by Ken ...

Co-evolution of Life and Minerals
Penelope Boston, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
Based on the 2010 Scientific American paper by Hazen, and the more technical 2008 paper of Hazen et al, both of which explore the effect of the biosphere on the tremendous number of mineral species that occur on ...

Evolution of antibiotic resistance in bacteria
Elena Bray Speth, Saint Louis University-Main Campus
This activity is intended to guide students to apply principles of evolution by natural selection to explain a real world biological phenomenon (the evolution of bacteria populations resistant to common ...

Investigating slope failure and landscape evolution with red beans and rice!
Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Students investigate the behavior of a slope profile over geological timescales using a very simple experimental apparatus. The lab allows students to understand concepts of equilibrium, controls on slope profile, ...

Landscape Models
David Marchetti, Western State College of Colorado
An introduction to using WILSIM, an on-line lanscape evolution model.

Red Beans and Rice: Slope failure experimental modeling
Tom Hickson, University of St. Thomas (MN)
Students replicate a slope failure experiment published in Science (Densmore et al., 1997) using a simple, acrylic slope failure box in an effort to forge a link between autocyclic processes, long-term landscape ...

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