These teaching activities have been contributed by participants in Cutting Edge workshops and related to the themes of this workshop - hydrogeology, soils, low-temperature geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and upper-division environmental science. You may also access the full listing of Teaching Activities on the Cutting Edge website.
Results 1 - 10 of 556 matches
Kinetics of Herbicide Photodegradation part of Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB:Matlab Workshop 2019:Activities
Kristi Closser, California State University-Fresno
This lab activity is designed to connect student's knowledge of reaction rates to actual data and an unfamiliar system (photodegradation of phenylurea herbicides in the presence of various catalysts). Students ...
Synthesizing Marine Data Sets using MATLAB part of Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB:Matlab Workshop 2018:Activities
Diane Fribance, Coastal Carolina University
Students use MATLAB to analyze an oceanographic data set collected in an estuary on a class boat trip, and put it into context using time-series data downloaded from online sources. Some basic oceanographic ...
Mock United Nations Climate Negotiations Exercise part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Shangrila Wynn, The Evergreen State College
This is a version of the UN climate mock negotiations exercise developed by Shangrila Joshi Wynn.
Exploring Climate Change Effects on Water Availability and Agriculture part of Curriculum for the Bioregion:Activities
Betsy Bancroft, Gonzaga University
This activity has students work together to summarize regional effects of climate change and other environmental issues, which a focus on how these issues may influence agriculture and water availability. Students present a region to the group and create a layperson summary of the effects of climate change and other environmental change on their region.
How Many People Can the Aquifer Support? part of NAGT:Teaching Resources:Teaching Materials Collection
Samantha Lindgren, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The simulation has several conditions in which students are able to collect and analyze data. The first of these scenarios models the water table in an area where there has been no human development. Students observe the annual, cyclical pattern of the water table over a five-year time period, and then use this as the control for comparison to other scenarios. Students then investigate scenarios in which a city, or a city plus a farm, are added. Students can choose to add wells to the city and the farm and select well pumping rates to meet human consumption needs in the city. Wells that are added in the farm scenario have predetermined pumping rates and are active during the growing season only. As students add wells and gather data, they observe the effects on the wetlands, outflow of the river, and changes to the water table. When a single cell on the map is selected, a graph is generated showing water table data over a five year period for that cell. Using the graphs, students can quantitatively make observations and use data in order to create computational models. They can analyze and interpret the results of pumping over time and the effect on the water table and river outflow. Students can calculate the area of the wetland using the graphs generated by the simulation for each scenario. Examining cross-sections of the map also encourages students to make qualitative observations. Students can further investigate the relationship between surface and groundwater by adding a drought option to each scenario. Students will collect and analyze data as before, and draw conclusions across the investigated scenarios to understand the effects of drought. After examining current data and news articles from California, students are asked to construct explanations based on evidence collected in the simulation for how the availability of fresh water, in addition to natural hazards such as drought, and climate change, influence human activity.
Relating Late-Quaternary Plant and Animal Distributions to Past and Future Climate part of Neotoma:Teaching Activities
Samantha Kaplan, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
A guided activity for students to explore the relationship between climate and plant and animal distributions in the past, present, and future. Students use the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, USDA Climate Change Tree Atlas, USGS Atlas of Relations Between Climatic Parameters and Distributions of Important Trees and Shrubs in North America (Professional Paper 1650 A/B), and climate model output.
Species distributions in response to environmental gradients in the Upper Midwest of the United States - an example using the Neotoma database part of Neotoma:Teaching Activities
Alison Smith, Kent State University-Main Campus
Pollen and ostracode records are used here to examine the migration of a major ecotone (transition zone between two biomes) in the Northern Midwest known as the prairie-forest border. Using the Neotoma database, we can explore the modern geographic distribution of prairie and forest vegetation (represented by pollen data) and of saline and freshwater lakes (represented by ostracodes, microscopic aquatic crustaceans) and then track the shifting boundary of the prairie forest border over the most recent 12,000 years using a lake sediment core.
Using Univariate Statistics to Understand Regional Drainage Patterns part of Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB:Teaching with MATLAB 2015:Teaching Activities
Peter Adams, University of Florida
In this activity, students use MATLAB to compare two data sets of organic matter content in order to provide quantitative evidence that tests the null hypothesis that sediment samples have the same fluvial source. ...
Volume of oceans, and sea-level variations part of Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB:Teaching with MATLAB 2015:Teaching Activities
Charly Bank, University of Toronto
The activity combines aspects of Earth science (volume of oceans and ice sheets) with calculus (area of a 1x1 degree tile) and Matlab programming. Students calculate the volume of oceans and of ice sheets given the ...
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Signal processing and earthquake triggering part of Teaching Computation in the Sciences Using MATLAB:Teaching with MATLAB 2015:Teaching Activities
Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, Western Washington University
In this exercise, written for an undergraduate seismology class, students use MATLAB to analyze waveforms from the 2004 Sumatra M9.0 earthquake, as they were recorded on three seismic stations in Alaska. Two of ...
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