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Browse this collection of activities that all incorporate teaching with data. Activities have been submitted via a number of projects.


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The Modern Atmospheric CO2 Record
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students compare carbon dioxide (CO2) data from Mauna Loa Observatory, Barrow (Alaska), and the South Pole over the past 40 years to help them better understand what controls atmospheric CO2. -

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Is There a Trend in Hurricane Number or Intensity?
Todd Ellis, SUNY College at Oneonta
This lab guides students through an examination of the hurricane record to determine if there is a trend in hurricane intensity over the past 40 years and introduces some issues related to statistics and ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine (College Level)
Brian Welch
College-level adaptation of the Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter. Students explore the critical role phytoplankton play in the marine food web. -

Sun Spot Analysis
Bob Mackay, Clark College; Mike Clark
Introductory students use Excel to graph monthly mean Greenwich sunspot numbers from 1749 to 2004 and perform a spectral analysis of the data using the free software program "Spectra". -

Using Mass Balance to Understand Atmospheric CFCs
Bob Mackay, Clark College
Students use an interactive online mass balance model help understand the observed levels of chlorofluorocarbon CFC-12 over the recent past. -

Stream Characteristics Lab
Wendy Van Norden, harvard-westlake school
Students determine the relationship between the sinuosity of a river and its gradient by calculating gradients and sinuosity, and generating a graph on Excel. They then test the relationship by making measurements on a picture generated on Google Earth.

Understanding the Scope of Inequality
Fareeda Griffith
The purpose of this module is to familiarize students in an Introduction to Sociology and Anthropology course to social science data. Students will explore inequality in the United States by examining census data.

Interrogating the Colonial Census in India
This page authored by Parna Sengupta, Carleton College
This assignment, divided into two parts, asks students to consider the decennial census as both a tool of modern (colonial) governance and a source of historical data.

Principles of Sociology
Theresa Ciabattari, Wake Forest University
We have spent the last few weeks discussing race, class, and gender inequalities and how sociologists conceptualize these inequalities on the structural, rather than the individual, level. In this second research report, you will have the opportunity to apply this structural perspective. You will use U.S. Census data from 1950 to 1990 to analyze shifts in occupational structures in your home state and how these shifts vary by race, sex, or education.

Using Census Data to Explore Race and Ethnicity
Sandra Apgar, Sinclair Community College
Students will interpret CensusScope data regarding segregation exposure and the dissimilarity index from a sociological perspective.

AIDS in Sub-Sahara Africa: A Detailed Examination of Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Uganda
Kathy Rowell, Sinclair Community College
This module is intended to introduce students to one of the greatest social problems to face this planet, the global epidemic of HIV/AIDS and to increase their computer and research skills within sociology.

Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 3: Exploring Arctic Climate Data
Karin Kirk, Carleton College; Anne Gold, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students dig into authentic Arctic climate data to unravel some causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack. In particular, students learn about albedo and its relationship to snowmelt. This ...

Shift in life expectancy
Holly Partridge
Determining the shift in expected life span over a century and the social and environmental impact

Shifting Attitudes on the Second Shift: A Statistical Analysis of Women and Work
Liz Raleigh
(How) have public attitudes about work and gender changed over the last 25 years? Using the General Social Survey (available online) students will conduct a descriptive statistical analysis of Americans perceptions about women and work from 1988. They will then contextualize their findings within the contemporary literature about these issues.


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