Teach the Earth > Geomorphology > Teaching Activities > Landscape Models

Landscape Models

David Marchetti
Western State College of Colorado
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

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: Apr 30, 2008


An introduction to using WILSIM, an on-line lanscape evolution model.

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undergraduate course in geomorphology

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

background in initiation of overland flow -- critical distance, turbulent flow, etc.

genetic drainage terms - consequent, resequent, etc

understanding of hypsometry concepts

ususally done near the end of a semester-long geomorphology course

How the activity is situated in the course

as a lab


Content/concepts goals for this activity

a first step at attempting to model surface processes and test the relationship between simple variables

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

applying class/academic concepts to a computer simulation

testing hypotheses of process and response

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

In this assignment students model different scenarios of landscape evolution using an on-line landscape evolution model. The assignment takes them through several situations involving changes in commonly modeled landscape variables like overland flow, faulting and uplift, erosivity, and drainage incision. At the end I have students devise a situation (of variables) that tests a hypothesis or the sensitivity of the model to changes in a variable.
Designed for a geomorphology course
Uses online and/or real-time data

Determining whether students have met the goals

Their answers to questions on the lab and my observations of their working during lab.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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Supporting references/URLs


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