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Quantitative Skills, Thinking, and Reasoning Activities


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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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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An Assessment of Hillslope Stability Using the Factor of Safety
Laura Moore, Oberlin College
In this homework assignment students are asked to consider the balance of forces on a hill slope using the Factor of Safety.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Campus Map Scale
Carrie Davis Todd, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown
Students are given a map of the campus and asked to devise a method to determine the map scale. The method for determining scale is not prescribed, requiring the students to work in small groups to brainstorm a ...

Measuring the Earth
Peter Copeland, University of Houston-University Park
With a colleague at the University of Kansas, we measure the size of the Earth using the method of Eratosthenese. This is handy because the UH and KU campuses are almost directly on a N-S line.

My Special Place
Sadredin Moosavi, Tulane University of Louisiana
Students pick a place of significance to them (their Special Place) for analysis in this semester-long project. (A model is provided by the instructor using a place the students are not likely to have visited.)

Laboratory Activity: The Sun and Climate
Peter Selkin, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
In this physical geography lab, students examine the relationship between solar altitude, solar declination, and temperature regimes. Using data collected in the field, mathematical relationships, and temperature records available on the Internet, students compare the insolation and climate in their location to that of other locations.

Reading Topographic Maps and Calculating Map Scale
Leslie Kanat, Johnson State College
Use a topographic map to deliniate a watershed, draw a map bar scale, and calculate a map ratio scale.

Illustrating Hillslope Diffusion with Physical and Numerical Models
Gregory Hancock, College of William and Mary
This problem illustrates how numerical theories are developed, how we might test this theory with an analog model, and how numerical models are constructed and the limitations of numerical modeling.

Back-of-the-Envelope Calculations: Scale of the Himalayas
Barb Tewksbury, Hamilton College
Question Let's imagine a scale model of the Earth, and let's imagine that the Earth is the size of a basketball. Suppose that you wanted to build the Himalayas to scale on the surface of the basketball. ...

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