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Evolution in Your "Pet" Group
Peg Yacobucci, Bowling Green State University-Main Campus
This writing exercise asks students to use library resources to locate a peer-reviewed journal article that describes research on the evolution of their individual "pet" taxonomic group. After reading the ...

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 vs. Creationism Term Paper Assignment
Katherine Bulinski, Bellarmine University
A term paper assigned for a Evolution vs. Creationism freshman seminar class. The purpose of this assignment is to allow students to critically evaluate one aspect of the Evolution vs. Creationism debate.

Mid-level spreadsheeting and complex modeling of real-world scarp evolution
William Locke, Montana State University-Bozeman
This exercise is a second or familiarization exercise in spreadsheeting, but is also a mathematical model for slope evolution. It uses the concept of "erosivity" (generally, the relative ratio of driving and resisting forces) and slope angle to reshape an initial topography. Finally, it asks the students themselves to come up with a real-world situation worth modeling.

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.

Timing of mineralization in the palm of your hand: Cross-cutting relations, copper minerals and ore-forming hydrothermal fluid evolution
Barb Dutrow, Louisiana State University
This lab is designed to familiarize students with the geologic history of an ore-deposit, deciphered in the palm of your hand. By determining cross cutting relations of veins and mineralogy, students decipher the ...

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