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Teaching Activities

These teaching activities have been designed with the aim of helping develop students' quantitative skills, literacy, or reasoning. To search by a specific discipline, use the 'Refine the Results' links on the right.


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Modeling Early Earth Climate with GEEBITT
Cindy Shellito, University of Northern Colorado
This activity requires students to use a simple spreadsheet model to consider the roles of solar luminosity, planetary albedo, and greenhouse gases in controlling surface temperature in the present and during the ...

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Petrography and Petrogenesis of a Mid-Ocean Ridge Lava Suite
Matthew Smith, University of Florida; Mike Perfit, University of Florida
This activity is designed to accompany a set of thin sections available from the authors. Students investigate mid-ocean ride basalt petrography and relate observed mineralogic changes to relevant phase diagrams ...

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Izmit Earthquake
Sarah Titus, Carleton College
This lab allows students to analyze earthquake seismicity from the North Anatolian fault using a variety of methods.

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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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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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Two streams, two stories... How Humans Alter Floods and Streams
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
An activity/lab where students determine the changes in 100-year flood determinations for 2 streams over time.

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Earth's history in 4.56 meters: constructing a timeline with calculator tape
Eric Baer, Highline Community College
An activity where students make a geologic timeline from calculator tape.

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Radioactive Decay and Geochronology
Kirsten Menking, Vassar College
Students create a STELLA model of the radioactive decay process.

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Temperature Profiles in Permafrost
Kirsten Menking, Vassar College
Students use STELLA to create a model of heatflow in permafrost to attempt to replicate the findings of Lachenbruch and Marshall (1986), who used inflections in the geothermal gradient of Alaskan permafrost to search for evidence of climatic change.

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