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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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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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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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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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Using Visual MODFLOW to Simulate Groundwater Flow and Transport part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
Investigate the Dupuit Approximation to describe groundwater flow in an unconfined aquifer, using a computer spreadsheet program and Visual MODFLOW (Waterloo Hydrogeologic, Inc.). The major strength of this ...

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Virtual Field Trip to the Book Cliffs part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Sedimentary Geology:Activities
Problem-based learning techniques have been applied to geological datasets collected and published about the Cretaceous Book Cliffs exposures in Utah.

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Using Soil Survey Information for Geomorphic Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
In this activity students will use information from a county-level soil survey to learn about the geomorphology of an area.

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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 ...

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Volcanic Ejecta from Sunset Crater part of Keyah Math:Activities
Students are provided with equations and geological data to estimate the velocities and impact effects of volcanic bombs that were ejected during the last eruption of Sunset Crater, a young cinder cone volcano in ...

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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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Wooster Case Study - Capture Curve Analysis part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Activities
This Excel based exercise has students calculate the shape of the capture zone of a contaminant recovery well. Students perform a sensitivity analysis by varying aquifer and pumping parameters to observe the impact ...

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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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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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Weathering of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks in a Semi-Arid Climate - An Engineering Application of Petrology part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Petrology:Teaching Examples
Students examine soils developed on igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks near Denver, Colorado. The 2-week exercise includes sample collection, description, and preparation, determining clay mineralogy by ...

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Working with USGS discharge data part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
In this exercise, we use the USGS real-time data available online, and use it to construct a rating curve for the Walla Walla river near Touchet. We then make a simple model of flood inundation in ArcGIS for the ...

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Watershed area and discharge relationships part of Cutting Edge:Courses:Hydrogeology:Hydrogeology, Soils, Geochemistry 2013:Activities
Students use USGS WaterData website to find data on area, average annual discharge and response to high-precip events in small watersheds in southern New England. Data for the class are compiled to generate graphs ...

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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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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 ...

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What is the Volume of the 1992 Eruption of Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua? part of Pedagogy in Action:Partners:Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:Physical Volcanology:Examples
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to calculate the volume a tephra deposit using an exponential-thinning model.

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