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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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NanTroSEIZE in 3-D part of Cutting Edge:Online Teaching:Activities for Teaching Online
We have developed a web-based virtual expedition, NanTroSEIZE in 3-D, based on a seismic survey associated with the NanTroSEIZE program of NSF-MARGINS and IODP to study the properties of the plate boundary fault ...

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Using Excel to plot numerical and analytical forms of the diffusion equation part of Cutting Edge: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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Cool Cores Capture Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Cool Cores Capture Climate Change
DATA: ANDRILL Sediment Core Data. TOOL: Paleontological Stratigraphic Interval Construction and Analysis Tool (PSICAT). SUMMARY: Create graphic models of sediment cores based on data provided by ANDRILL scientists to demonstrate evidence of climate change over Earth's Geologic Time.

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Climate History from Deep Sea Sediments part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Case Study: Climate History from Deep Sea Sediments
DATA: Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Core Data. TOOL: Virtual Ocean. SUMMARY: Locate potential core, log, and seismic data to map the marine sediment biostratigraphy. Search for a specific planktonic foraminifera that prefers warmer ocean conditions.

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Poleward Heat Transport Jigsaw part of Cutting Edge: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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Groundwater Consulting Lab part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students are given a real-world scenario in this lab exercise in which they must determine the extent of groundwater contamination while staying within a budget. They progressively request more information and ...

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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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Testing the Fixed-hotspot-moving-plate model part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students examine hot spot tracks, magnetic inclination data, and coral data from the Hawaii-Emperor Seamount Chain to test the hypothesis that hotspots are fixed. Most students have learned somewhere that hotspots ...

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The Heat is On: Understanding Local Climate Change part of Cutting Edge:Visualization:Examples
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 ...

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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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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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Confirmation of the IPCC Prediction re: Increased Storminess part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Hurricanes-Climate Change Connection:Activities
A two-part culminating activity for a meteorology/climatology unit in an Earth Science course centered upon data acquisition and analysis regarding the confirmation of the IPCC predicition regarding increased ...

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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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Working with Electron Microprobe Data from a High Pressure Experiment - Calculating Mineral Formulas, Unit Cell Content, and Geothermometry part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
In this problem set students use electron microprobe analyses of a peridotite partial melting experiment to determine mineral formulas, calculate unit cell content, plot results on a classification diagram, and use ...

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Floods on the Minnesota River part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Introductory Courses:Activities
Students download and manipulate data from historical floods on the Minnesota River (could be done for any river) and use to establish a flood hazard zone for St. Peter, Minnesota. This lab was developed by ...

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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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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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How Fast Do Materials Weather? part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Interactive Lectures:Examples
A think-pair-share activity in which students calculate weathering rates from tombstone weathering data. -

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Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Analyzing the Antarctic Ozone Hole
DATA: Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer (TOMS) Images. TOOLS: ImageJ, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Animate and explore 10 years of Southern Hemisphere ozone images. Then measure and graph the area of the ozone hole over time.

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