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Evolution Activities


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Teaching Molecular Evolution and Phylogenetics
Nathan Lents
This activity uses DNA sequences, protein sequence, and chromosome-density maps to re-trace the ancestry of humans and some of their closest relatives.

Molecular evolution of gene families
Cara Constance, Hiram College (formerly at Holy Cross College)
Bioinformatics lab on concepts of orthologs and paralogs, sequence conservation at genomic DNA, mRNA and amino acid levels, and molecular phylogenetics. Wet-lab using RT-PCR to determine gene expression patterns in distinct tissues.

Searching Genbank
Jeff Bell, California State University-Chico
An active problem-based assignment that uses the Genbank database to teach the basics of molecular biology and molecular evolution

The Evolution of Pearson’s Correlation Coefficient/Exploring Relationships between Two Quantitative Variables
Gary Kader, Appalachian State University
The evolution of ideas is often ignored in the teaching of statistics. It is important to show students how definitions and formulas evolve. This activity describes a fairly straightforward activity of how measures of association can evolve.

Thermal Evolution of the Oceanic Lithosphere
Mark Behn, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
The goal of this problem set is to evaluate the thermal evolution of the oceanic lithosphere. As discussed in class, temperature in the oceanic upper mantle is well described by a half-space cooling model, in which ...

Rocks, Weathering, and Erosional Landscapes
Lindley Hanson, Salem State University
Students will identify a variety of silicate minerals and rocks and relate them to their topographic expression according to relative resistance.

Geo-Savvy Assessment
Kathleen Nicoll, University of Utah
I use this "landscape interpretation" exercise to assess what students know coming into my classroom - so that I can pitch the lecture at the right level. I also use a similar structured assessment at the ...

Field Observations of Weathering and Mass Wasting
Lisa Davis, University of Alabama, The
Students are asked to identify and document, using photographs and sketches, weathering processes and mass wasting in their local area and to explain their observations in a written technical report using their ...

Timeline of the Early Earth
Selby Cull
Students assemble timelines of the early evolution of Earth's atmosphere, lithosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere by examining data from Archean rocks and minerals.

Geomorphology in the news
Nicole Gasparini, Tulane University of Louisiana
The activity requires students to present a current news story that has a geomorphic component. The students must relate course material to current events and society.

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