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The Heat is On: Understanding Local Climate Change
Dan Zalles, SRI International
Students draw conclusions about the extent to which multiple decades of temperature data about Phoenix suggest that a shift in local climate is taking place as opposed to exhibiting nothing more than natural ...

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Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Rate of Lava Flow
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question In 1983, an eruption began at Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii that has proved to be the largest and longest-lived eruption since records began in 1823. Lava has poured out of the volcano at an average rate of ...

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Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Weight of Gold
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Let's suppose that you have a shoe box full of water (the box is waterproof, of course). The shoe box weighs about 9 kg (19.8 pounds). Suppose you emptied the box and filled it completely with rock ...

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Harker Diagrams
Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Oct. 26, 2004. Description In this exercise, students use whole-rock major- and trace-element compositions of volcanic ...

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Determining Mantle Temperature and Composition from Discontinuities
Anna Courtier, James Madison University
This pair of activities uses observations of mantle discontinuity structure to examine mantle heterogeneity and differences in the depth extent of melt sources for ridges and "hotspots." The first ...

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Finding the Moho under Milwaukee
Vince Cronin, Baylor University
A seismogram was recorded at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by Keith Sverdrup during the explosive demolition of a section of the nearby Hoan Bridge on December 28, 2000. The explosive demolition and ...

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Where is that chunk of crust going?
Vince Cronin, Baylor University
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

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Calculating a Simple Phase Diagram: Diamond=Graphite
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a very short exercise designed to get students to understand how the Gibbs energy equation is used to calculate the location of a reaction in P-T space. I use it in-class and have students work on it in ...

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Introduction to Gibbs Energy
Dexter Perkins, University of North Dakota-Main Campus
This is a short project that can be used in-class or as homework. It involves just a few questions and it is intended to help students understand the idea of Gibbs free energy.

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Calculation of your personal carbon footprint
Scott Giorgis, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This worksheet walks the students through the steps for calculating their personal carbon footprint. Additionally it helps them consider options for reducing their carbon footprint and the potential costs of those ...

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