Geodesy Teaching Activities


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Unit 1: Slip-sliding away: case study landslides in Italy and Peru part of Surface Process Hazards
How have mass-wasting events affected communities, and what lessons have we learned from these natural disasters that might help us mitigate future hazards? In this unit, students answer these questions by being ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:Tectonic Geomorphology, Landforms/Processes:Mass Movement, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Environmental Science:Sustainability, Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting, Earthquakes, Geography, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):College Introductory
Collection Source: GETSI
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Unit 1: Exploring the Reservoirs and Pathways and Methods to Measure the Hydrologic Cycle part of Eyes on the Hydrosphere: Tracking Water Resources
How does water move throughout the Earth system? How do scientists measure the amount of water that moves through these pathways? This unit provides an alternative way for students to learn the major components of ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Geoscience:Hydrology, Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity, Environmental Science, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water:Water cycle/groundwater-surface water interface
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):College Introductory
Collection Source: GETSI
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Unit 4: Comparing risks at different volcanoes part of Monitoring Volcanoes and Communicating Risks
Students assess the risks from three different volcanoes based on the Risk Equation, Risk = Hazard x Value x Vulnerability. The three volcanoes--Fuego Guatemala, Rinjani Indonesia, and Moana Loa Hawaii--have ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Collection Source: GETSI
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Unit 4: Anatomy of a tragic slide: Oso Landslide case study part of Surface Process Hazards
Landslides can have profound societal consequences, such as did the slide that occurred near Oso, Washington in 2014. Forty-three people were killed and entire rural neighborhood was destroyed. In this unit, ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:Landforms/Processes:Mass Movement, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Sustainability, Natural Hazards, Health Sciences, Geography, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):College Introductory
Collection Source: GETSI
GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Unit 2: Kinematic GPS/GNSS Methods part of High Precision Positioning with Static and Kinematic GPS
The application of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in the earth sciences has become commonplace. GNSS data can be collected rapidly and compared in common reference frames. Real-time kinematic (RTK) GNSS ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:GIS/Mapping/Field Techniques, Geography:Geospatial, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Collection Source: GETSI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Unit 2.1: Measuring Topography with Kinematic GPS/GNSS part of High Precision Positioning with Static and Kinematic GPS
Kinematic GNSS surveys can provide a rapid means of collecting widely distributed, high-precision topographic data. The advantages of this technique over optical instruments such as a total station are that it only ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:GIS/Mapping/Field Techniques, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Geography:Geospatial
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Collection Source: GETSI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Exploring California's Plate Motion and Deformation with GPS | Lessons on Plate Tectonics part of Activities
Students analyze data to study the motion of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates. From GPS data, students detect relative motion between the plates in the San Andreas fault zone--with and without earthquakes. To get to that discovery, they use physical models to understand the architecture of GPS, from satellites to sensitive stations on the ground. They learn to interpret time series data collected by stations (in the spreading regime of Iceland), to cast data as horizontal north-south and east-west vectors, and to add those vectors head-to-tail.Students then apply their skills and understanding to data in the context of the strike-slip fault zone of a transform plate boundary. They interpret time series plots from an earthquake in Parkfield, CA to calculate the resulting slip on the fault and (optionally) the earthquake's magnitude.

Subject: Geoscience, Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12), Middle (6-8)
Quantitative Skills: Vectors and Matrices, Estimation, Models and Modeling
EarthScope Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data: Data:GPS/GNSS, Geophysics GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: EarthScope
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Volcano Monitoring with GPS: Westdahl Volcano Alaska part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Learners use graphs of GPS position data to determine how the shape of Westdahl Volcano, Alaska is changing. If the flanks of a volcano swell or recede, it is a potential indication of magma movement and changing ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Volcanism, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Engineering
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Quantitative Skills: Vectors and Matrices, Graphs
EarthScope Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data: Data:GPS/GNSS, Geophysics GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: ANGLE, EarthScope
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Exploring Tectonic Motions with GPS part of EarthScope ANGLE:Educational Materials:Activities
Using a map showing the horizontal velocities of GPS stations in the Plate Boundary Observatory and other GPS networks in Alaska and Western United States, students are able to describe the motions in different regions by interpreting the vectors resulting from long-term high-precision Global Positioning System (GPS) data. Show more information on NGSS alignment Hide NGSS ALIGNMENT Disciplinary Core Ideas History of Earth: HS-ESS1-5 Earth' Systems: MS-ESS2-2 Earth and Human Activity: MS-ESS3-2, HS-ESS3-1 Science and Engineering Practices 4. Analyzing and Interpreting Data 5. Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking 6. Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Crosscutting Concepts 4. Systems and System Models 7. Stability and Change

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Quantitative Skills: Vectors and Matrices
EarthScope Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data: Data:GPS/GNSS, Geophysics GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: EarthScope, ANGLE
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Getting started with Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry part of Cutting Edge:Enhance Your Teaching:Teaching with Online Field Experiences:Activities
Structure from Motion (SfM) photogrammetry method uses overlapping images to create a 3D point cloud of an object or landscape. It can be applied to everything from fault scarps to landslides to topography. This ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
EarthScope Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data:Structure from Motion
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Unit 2.2: Change Detection with Kinematic GPS/GNSS part of High Precision Positioning with Static and Kinematic GPS
Though it may be difficult to perceive, landscapes are constantly changing form and position. High-precision GNSS is one of a handful of techniques capable of quantifying these changes and is a key component of ...

Subject: Geography:Geospatial, Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:GIS/Mapping/Field Techniques, Landforms/Processes:Mass Movement, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Collection Source: GETSI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Unit 3: Static GPS/GNSS Methods part of High Precision Positioning with Static and Kinematic GPS
The application of Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) in the earth sciences has become commonplace. GNSS data can produce high-accuracy, high-resolution measurements in common reference frames. Static GNSS ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:Landforms/Processes, Geography:Geospatial, Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:Landforms/Processes:Mass Movement, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:GIS/Mapping/Field Techniques
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Collection Source: GETSI
GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Unit 3: Understanding landslide factors part of Surface Process Hazards
How do slope characteristics and magnitude of forces dictate whether or not a slope will fail? Can environmental and built characteristics change the magnitude of these forces? In this unit, students qualitatively ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geomorphology:Landforms/Processes, Landforms/Processes:Mass Movement, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Mass Wasting, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):College Introductory
Collection Source: GETSI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Unit 1: Climate Change and Sea Level: Who Are the Stakeholders? part of Understanding Our Changing Climate
How are rising sea levels already influencing different regions? This unit offers case study examples for a coastal developing country (Bangladesh), a major coastal urban area (southern California), and an island ...

Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology, Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity, Geoscience:Geology:Environmental Geology, Geophysics:Geodesy, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change, Environmental Science:Sustainability, Global Change and Climate:Sea Level Change, Environmental Science, Global Change and Climate, Global Change and Climate:Climate Change, Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Climate Change:Impacts of climate change, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Collection Source: GETSI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Unit 2: Earthquakes, GPS, and Plate Movement part of Measuring the Earth with GPS
GPS data can measure bedrock motion in response to deformation of the ground near plate boundaries because of plate tectonics. In this module, students will learn how to read GPS data to interpret how the bedrock ...

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Geography:Geospatial, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):College Introductory
Collection Source: GETSI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Converging Tectonic Plates Demonstration part of Activities
During this demo, participants use springs and a map of the Pacific Northwest with GPS vectors to investigate the stresses and surface expression of subduction zones, specifically the Juan de Fuca plate diving beneath the North American plate.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geography:Geospatial, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards:Earthquakes
Grade Level: High School (9-12), Middle (6-8), College Lower (13-14)
Quantitative Skills: Models and Modeling
EarthScope Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data: Data:GPS/GNSS, Geophysics GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: EarthScope
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Unit 4: Groundwater, GPS, and Water Resources part of Measuring the Earth with GPS
GPS data can measure ground elevation change in response to the changing amount of groundwater in valleys and snow cover in mountains. In this module, students will learn how to read GPS data to interpret how the ...

Subject: Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water:Water supply/water resource evaluation, Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water, Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity:Groundwater , Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Geography:Geospatial
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):College Introductory
Collection Source: GETSI
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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GETSI Developed This material was developed and reviewed through the GETSI curricular materials development process.
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Measuring Plate Motion with GPS: Iceland | Lessons on Plate Tectonics part of Activities
This lesson teaches middle and high school students to understand the architecture of GPS—from satellites to research quality stations on the ground. This is done with physical models and a presentation. Then students learn to interpret data for the station's position through time ("time series plots"). Students represent time series data as velocity vectors and add the vectors to create a total horizontal velocity vector. They apply their skills to discover that the Mid-Atlantic Ridge is rifting Iceland. They cement and expand their understanding of GPS data with an abstraction using cars and maps. Finally, they explore GPS vectors in the context of global plate tectonics.

Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy, Environmental Science:Natural Hazards, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geoscience
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), High School (9-12), Middle (6-8)
Quantitative Skills: Vectors and Matrices
EarthScope Geophysics Data: Geophysics Data: Data:GPS/GNSS, Geophysics GPS/GNSS
Collection Source: EarthScope
On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Measuring Ground Motion with GPS: How GPS Works part of Activities
With printouts of typical GPS velocity vectors found near different tectonic boundaries and models of a GPS station, demonstrate how GPS work to measure ground motion.GPS velocity vectors point in the direction that a GPS station moves as the ground it is anchored to moves. The length of a velocity vector corresponds to the rate of motion. GPS velocity vectors thus provide useful information for how Earth's crust deforms in different tectonic settings.

Subject: Geography:Geospatial, Geoscience:Geology:Tectonics, Geophysics:Geodesy
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14), Middle (6-8), High School (9-12)
Quantitative Skills: Models and Modeling
Collection Source: EarthScope
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Unit 2: Monitoring surface and groundwater supply in central and western US part of Eyes on the Hydrosphere: Tracking Water Resources
In Unit 2, students learn how the techniques for water budgeting (covered in Unit 1) can be used to monitor both groundwater (High Plains Aquifer) and surface water (western mountain watershed) systems. Students ...

Subject: Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity, Water Quality and Quantity:Water Conservation, Groundwater , Environmental Science:Land Use and Planning, Sustainability, Geoscience:Hydrology:Surface Water:Water Management and Policy, Environmental Science, Natural Hazards:Extreme Weather:Drought, Environmental Science:Water Quality and Quantity:Surface Water , Geoscience:Hydrology, Geology:Environmental Geology, Geoscience:Hydrology:Ground Water:Water supply/water resource evaluation, Geoscience:Atmospheric Science:Meteorology:Extreme weather, Geoscience:Geology:Geophysics:Geodesy
Collection Source: GETSI
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