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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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Introduction to well logs for use in the petroleum industry part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Activities
This exercise uses a suite of well logs (aka electric logs) to interpret lithology within a stratigraphic section and to determine fluid content within borehole rocks.

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Introduction to GIS through river meandering and landslide mapping part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Sedimentology, Geomorphology, and Paleontology 2014:Activities
The primary goal of this lab is to develop basic ArcGIS skills for geomorphology students and give them a taste of what is possible in GIS. The lab is written for the GIS novice, and thus includes detailed ...

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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.

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Quantifying Groundwater Baseflow and Improving Math Skills through a Stream-Discharge Exercise part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
A two-part exercise is presented where students quantify stream discharge and use the data to determine groundwater baseflow. They first use tedious hand calculations to compute discharge; then develop their own ...

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Using Excel for Aquifer Test part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Entry level undergraduate students who use commercial software packages for aquifer test often feel frustrated and distant from real field test. This session introduces a method of aquifer test using Excel ...

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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.

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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 ...

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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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Is There a Trend in Hurricane Number or Intensity? part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
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 ...

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Learning About Marine Sediments Using Real Data part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
This exercise set explores marine sediments using real core photos and composition data from the scientific ocean drilling programs DSDP, ODP, and IODP in an inquiry-based approach.

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Seasonal variation in light, mixing depth and primary productivity in temperate northern hemisphere waters part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Oceanography:Activities
In this exercise students work with light, temperature, and phytoplankton biomass proxy (chlorophyll a concentration) data to; Become more skilled in reading and interpreting semi log graphs, temperature profiles, ...

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Relative Geologic Time and the Geologic Time Scale part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Paleontology:Activities
Group simulation of the development of the geologic time scale illustrating concepts of correlation and relative time. Extremely effective for teaching the significance of the geologic time scale.

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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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Using GIS to estimate the volume of snow and water in a drainage basin part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Todd Rayne, Hamilton College Summary This activity uses field measurements and GIS to estimate the volume of water in the form of snow in a field site. Context Type and level of course I use this in a ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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