Classroom and Lab Activities

This collection of teaching materials allows for the sharing of ideas and activities within the community of geoscience teachers. Do you have a favorite teaching activity you'd like to share? Please help us expand this collection by contributing your own teaching materials.

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Results 1 - 10 of 396 matches

Mock United Nations Climate Negotiations Exercise
Shangrila Wynn, The Evergreen State College
This is a version of the UN climate mock negotiations exercise developed by Shangrila Joshi Wynn.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Exploring Climate Change Effects on Water Availability and Agriculture
Betsy Bancroft, Gonzaga University
This activity has students work together to summarize regional effects of climate change and other environmental issues, which a focus on how these issues may influence agriculture and water availability. Students present a region to the group and create a layperson summary of the effects of climate change and other environmental change on their region.

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Climate Change Mind Map
Woody Moses, Highline Community College

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Greenhouse Effect Lab
Krista Larsen, Carleton College
In this lab, students measure temperature changes inside soda bottles (one with CO2 added, the other with only air inside) as incandescent light is shined on them to model the Greenhouse Effect.

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Relating Late-Quaternary Plant and Animal Distributions to Past and Future Climate
Samantha Kaplan, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
A guided activity for students to explore the relationship between climate and plant and animal distributions in the past, present, and future. Students use the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, USDA Climate Change Tree Atlas, USGS Atlas of Relations Between Climatic Parameters and Distributions of Important Trees and Shrubs in North America (Professional Paper 1650 A/B), and climate model output.

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Species distributions in response to environmental gradients in the Upper Midwest of the United States - an example using the Neotoma database
Alison Smith, Kent State University-Main Campus
Pollen and ostracode records are used here to examine the migration of a major ecotone (transition zone between two biomes) in the Northern Midwest known as the prairie-forest border. Using the Neotoma database, we can explore the modern geographic distribution of prairie and forest vegetation (represented by pollen data) and of saline and freshwater lakes (represented by ostracodes, microscopic aquatic crustaceans) and then track the shifting boundary of the prairie forest border over the most recent 12,000 years using a lake sediment core.

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Volume of oceans, and sea-level variations
Charly Bank, University of Toronto
The activity combines aspects of Earth science (volume of oceans and ice sheets) with calculus (area of a 1x1 degree tile) and Matlab programming. Students calculate the volume of oceans and of ice sheets given the ...

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MATLAB Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Lab Exercise: Exploring the Neotoma Paleoecology Database
John (Jack) Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This lab introduces students and other interested users to the Neotoma Paleoecology Database and Neotoma Explorer. Neotoma DB is a public-access and community-supported repository of paleoecological data, mostly from the late Quaternary. These data are widely used by scientists to study species responses to past climate change.

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Exploring El Niño
Kevin Theissen, University of St. Thomas (MN)
In this introductory-level lab activity, students first view a 20-minute portion of an informative video to learn about the operation of an array of moored buoys that is used to detect changes in the El Niño ...

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Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 1: Exploring the Arctic
Karin Kirk, Freelance Science Writer and Geoscientist; Anne Gold, University of Colorado at Boulder
This activity introduces students to the Arctic, including different definitions of the Arctic and exploration of the Arctic environment and Arctic people. Students set out on a virtual exploration of the geography ...

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