Teach the Earth > Introductory Courses > Activities > Geoprofiles


Matt Brueseke
Kansas 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: Apr 30, 2008


An essay describing the work geologists/earth scientists perform, based on profiles in Monroe and Wiccander's Physical Geology textbook (5th ed.).

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Used for an introductory Physical Geology class.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Nothing related to the Geology/Earth Science.

How the activity is situated in the course

Stand-alone homework assignment given early in the semester.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Better understanding of what Geologists/Earth Scientists do for a living.

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

The project involves reading brief essays (Geoprofiles) and writing a summary that answers a set of questions (five) about one of the essays. Summarizing how the Geoprofiles relate to the individual student's interests is the main critical thinking component.

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

My overall goal was to expose the students to what geologists actually do for work (e.g. that there are lots of different career paths) and simultaneously use the assignment as a recruiting tool. I also use this as an opportunity to help my students' writing skills. In the future, I will probably use a similar exercise for Introductory Physical Geology courses, though it will likely be with different "Geoprofiles" as I use a different textbook.

Determining whether students have met the goals

I asses the students based on whether they addressed the five questions in their essay, as well as their grammar and writing quality.

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