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Classroom Activities

These classroom and lab activities use data, simulations or modeling to teach geoscience topics. Examples include the use of model output, chemical analyses, remote sensing data, interactive data tools, or large databases.

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Is Greenland Melting? part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:GreenlandMelt
DATA: Thickness, velocity, and annual melt extents of the Greenland ice sheet TOOL: My World GIS SUMMARY: Explore map layers to examine annual melting and long-term changes of Greenland's ice sheet.

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Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
Based on great plate tectonic exercise by Sawyer et al. (2005 JGE), this small-group exercise with maps of data about earth's energy balance helps students visualize poleward heat transport.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures part of Integrating Research and Education:Crystallography:Directed Discovery of Crystal Structures
David Mogk and Kent Ratajeski Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT Published Jan. 25, 2005 Description This contribution is modified from a published exercise "Directed ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Environmental Health Risk Inventory part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Public Policy:Activities
In this activity, students perform an environmental health risk inventory of a selected locale. Students will address anthropogenic and natural health risks of an area using data collected from various online ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Detecting El Niño in Sea Surface Temperature Data part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:PMEL
DATA: Sea Surface Temperature (SST). TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Examine 15 years of SST data from the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory. Create and analyze average SST maps to identify El Nino and La Nina events.

CLEAN Selected This activity has been selected for inclusion in the CLEAN collection.
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Where is that chunk of crust going? part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Characterizing Plate Boundaries part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
Students examine maps showing four different types of geologic data along three specific plate boundaries, and document the patterns in the data along each boundary. Next, they compare their observations to the ...

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Using Excel to plot numerical and analytical forms of the diffusion equation part of Cutting Edge:Manage Your Career:Early Career:Previous Workshops:Workshop 2010:Teaching Activities
This computer-based assignment forces students to compare and contrast integral and differential forms of the conservation of mass equation, as well as analytical and numerical approaches to solution. Students are ...

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Harker Diagrams part of Integrating Research and Education:EarthChem:Compositional Diversity in Volcanic Suites
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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Reagents, Compositions, Weight Loss part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Mineralogy:Activities
This is a short experimental study of several different reagents and what happens to them when they are heated to 110° and 1200° C.

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Igneous Rock Compositions and Plate Tectonics part of Integrating Research and Education:EarthChem:Igneous Rocks and Tectonics
Allen Glazner, afg@unc.edu Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC Kent Ratajeski, kratajeski@montana.edu Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, MT ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Radiocarbon dating project part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Rates and Time:Teaching Activities
This is an example of an activity used in a Quaternary Geochronology course, in which a small group of students (3-4) is tasked with transforming a set of activity measurements into radiocarbon ages and calibrated ...

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Richmond's Urban Heat Island part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Urban Geology:Activities
Students will be asked questions regarding the causes and impacts of the UHI. They will also be asked to apply this knowledge to two real-world settings and analyze data collected at both locations.

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River Flooding and Erosion part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Urban Geology:Activities
Students take a real-life situation (river flooding and erosion), use real flood and map data, and make predictions and recommendations as to what to do to help alleviate the problem.

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Who Polluted Surface and Groundwater in This Place? part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students use water-well data and geology to determine which site caused groundwater and surface-water contamination.

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Using NOAA NCDC Pollen Database to study vegetation history part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
This lab exercise uses SiteSeer, a public domain software available through NOAA/NCDC, to learn how to retrieve and query the NOAA NCDC pollen database. Students first work through a set of simple exercises that ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Earthquake Investigation Workshop: Shake, Rattle, & Rock part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Geodesy:Activities
This workshop is part of an NSF-funded effort to provide professional development to STEM teachers in Rhode Island. In this activity, students will make "earthquakes" using a simple model, the earthquake ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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VEPP: Volcanic activity and monitoring of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawaii part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Volcano Exploration Project: Pu`u `O`o:Examples
Brief three-line description of the activity or assignment and its strengths: This is a 10-week group project for a Volcanic Hazards elective course, for undergraduate geology students. Students will access 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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Radioactive Decay and Geochronology part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
Students create a STELLA model of the radioactive decay process.

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Accessing Streamflow Data via the Worldwide Web part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Geodesy:Activities
The objectives of this exercise are to (a) use the worldwide web to access hydrologic data, and (b) compare precipitation/runoff characteristics in different regions of the USA.

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