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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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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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Pollen and Climate Change part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Pollen and Climate Change
DATA: Pollen Viewer. TOOLS: Analyzing Digital Images, Spreadsheet. SUMMARY: Study the relationship between climate and the distribution of plants across North America, import data into spreadsheet and graph.

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Visualizing Carbon Pathways part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Carbon
DATA: NASA Satellite Images TOOLS: ImageJ and Image Composite Explorer (ICE) of NASA Earth Observations (NEO). SUMMARY: Build animations of satellite data to illustrate and explore carbon pathways through the Earth system.

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Research project to consider how projected climate change will impact a region of interest to the student part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
Students consult the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) chapters on climate projections and the primary scientific literature to write a research paper and present their results to the ...

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Marine Oxygen Isotopes and Changes in Global Ice Volume part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Climate Change:Activities
Students explore marine oxygen-isotope data from cores collected by the Ocean Drilling Program. The activity gives students access to real paleoclimate data, develops their skills in organizing and graphing data, ...

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Determining Mantle Temperature and Composition from Discontinuities part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
This pair of activities uses observations of mantle discontinuity structure to examine mantle heterogeneity and differences in the depth extent of melt sources for ridges and "hotspots." The first ...

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Finding the Moho under Milwaukee part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
A seismogram was recorded at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee by Keith Sverdrup during the explosive demolition of a section of the nearby Hoan Bridge on December 28, 2000. The explosive demolition and ...

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Cascadia Great Earthquake and Tsunami Suite part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The Cascadia Earthquakes and Tsunami Suite contains five case studies organized around understanding the potential for large earthquakes and ...

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Northridge: A Case Study of an Urban Earthquake part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Michael Mayhew and Michelle Hall, Science Education Solutions Summary The 1994 Northridge Earthquake Case Study explores the mystery of how such a major fault could have been missed within a tectonic basin that is ...

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Exploring NCAR Climate Change Data Using GIS part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:NCAR Climate Change Data with GIS
DATA: NCAR Climate Change Scenarios. TOOL: ArcGIS. SUMMARY: Calculate summer average temperatures during the growing season (June, July, and August) using simulated, present-day, climate-modeled output and compare these to temperatures calculated using projected, future, climate-modeled output. Create a temperature anomaly map to summarize the analysis.

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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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Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Starting Point-Teaching Entry Level Geoscience:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

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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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Exercise 8: Using LiDAR and GPS data to model the water table in ArcScene part of Cutting Edge:Courses:GIS and Remote Sensing:Activities2
Barbara and David Tewksbury, Hamilton College Tutorial for using the new LiDAR tools (LAS dataset and LAS toolbar) in ArcGIS 10.1 (Acrobat (PDF) 13.8MB Nov6 13). Same LiDAR Tutorial as a Word doc (Microsoft Word ...

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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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How Cities Affect Their Local Climate part of Earth Exploration Toolbook:Are Our Cities Warming the Earth?
DATA: GLOBE Program Surface Temperature. TOOL: My World GIS. SUMMARY: Explore the urban heat island effect using student collected surface temperature data. Subset large datasets, buffer others, examine spatial relationships, and gather statistics to investigate temperature differences in urban and rural school sites.

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How do Faults Slip: Earthquakes versus Episodic Tremor and Slip part of Cutting Edge:Topics:Deep Earth:Activities
A comparison of earthquakes and episodic tremor and slip using GPS and seismic data to illustrate how faults slip.

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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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NanTroSEIZE in 3-D part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching: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 ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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