Teach the Earth > Geodesy > Teaching Activities > Acoustic Waves and Seismac

Acoustic Waves and Seismac

Remke Van Dam
Michigan State University
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This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Nov 21, 2011


The students will expand on their knowledge of acoustic signals (from class lectures and book readings) by watching videos and doing an in-class exercise with the seismac program.

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I intend to use this activity for a large undergraduate class for non-science majors, called Natural Hazards and Disasters.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered


How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Students' understanding of different types of seismic waves should improve, as should their understanding of three-component seismic records.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Analysis of time-amplitude data.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

This is an in-class activity that does not require preparation on the part of the students. If the exercise is run with multiple computers, then students are asked to upload software onto their laptops and iphones/ipod touches.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Not yet available but I anticipate to use a series of clicker questions throughout this exercise.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

Download teaching materials and tips

Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs