Pedagogy in Action > Library > Mathematical and Statistical Models > Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples > Vostok Ice Core: Excel (Mac or PC)

Vostok Ice Core: Excel (Mac or PC)

Professor Stephanie Pfirman, Barnard College. Based on data of J. Chapellaz, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l'Environment, Grenoble. Archived at: Lamont-Dohert Earth Observatory (more info) . Starting Point page organized by R.M. MacKay.

This resource received a gold-star rating from a Panel Peer Review

These materials were reviewed using face-to-face NSF-style review panel of geoscience and geoscience education experts to review groups of resources addressing a single theme. Panelists wrote reviews that addressed the criteria:

  1. scientific accuracy and currency
  2. usability and
  3. pedagogical effectiveness
Reviewers rated the resources:
  1. Accept
  2. Accept with minor revisions
  3. Accept with major revisions, or
  4. Reject.
They also singled out those resources they considered particularly exemplary, which are given a gold star rating.

Following the panel meetings, the conveners wrote summaries of the panel discussion for each resource; these were transmitted to the creator, along with anonymous versions of the reviews. Relatively few resources were accepted as is. In most cases, the majority of the resources were either designated as 1) Reject or 2) Accept with major revisions. Resources were most often rejected for their lack of completeness to be used in a classroom or they contained scientific inaccuracies.


This page first made public: Sep 7, 2006

This material was originally created for Starting Point:Introductory Geology
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.

Summary

Students use Excel to graph and analyze Vostok Ice core data (more info) (160,000 years of Ice core data from Vostok Station). Data includes ice age, ice depth, carbon dioxide, methane, dust, and deuterium isotope relative abundance (dD). Students use the equation:

Temperature (deg-C)=-55.5+(dD + 440)/6 to infer temperatures from dD.

This is a complete activity that requires a working knowledge of Excel (see teaching notes and tips).

Learning Goals

Context for Use

This activity can be as a homework assignment or lab activity in an introductory geoscience course with climate change content. Instructors may want to use the Vostok ice core data to make graphs for interactive lecture or other graphical analysis activities.

Description and Teaching Materials

All required materials are available at The Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory link Vostok Ice core data lab (more info)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity requires a working knowledge of Excel and will likely take student three to four hours to complete. It is recommended that you have students do one of the activitites below first.

Assessment

The activity comes with very specific instructions on the expected lab report format. This provides students with clear expectations and can be used instructors to help assess student performance.

References and Resources

See more Mathematical and Statistical Models Examples »