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Activities and Assignments Using Mars Data

These activities are examples of how faculty are using cutting edge Mars data in commonly taught geosciences courses. If you have an activity you would like to share with your colleagues, just go to the contribute form and tell us about it.


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Did it Rain on Mars? Analysis of Valley Networks on Mars in an Intro Geo Course part of Activities
Students investigate the question of whether it might have rained on Mars by doing an activity based on an article by Hynek and Phillips (2003). Students do a simple drainage basin analysis based on Hynek and ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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Using THEMIS Images of Mars Graben in a Structural Geology Course part of Activities
Students use Mars THEMIS images of normal faults to learn to recognize features of normal faults systems that are typically obscured on Earth by erosion and/or deposition and to calculate displacement and estimate ...

On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Collection This activity is part of the On the Cutting Edge Exemplary Teaching Activities collection.
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MER (Mars Exploration Rover ) Landing Site Selection part of Activities
Via a jigsaw role-playing exercise in which students become geologists, astrobiologists and engineers, real data and available constrains are used to identify landing sites for the MER rovers. A debate format is ...

Comparative Planetary Geomorphology part of Activities
This is a laboratory exercise to introduce comparative planetary geomorphology by investigating common geologic features on the Earth, Moon, and Mars. -

Mars Hydrologic Environments part of Activities
This activity examines the nature of streams and basins at three locations on Mars. Originally meant for users with access to ArcGIS, the exercise can also be used in introductory geology courses using images ...

Analytical and Numerical Insight into Lava Flows and Cinder Cones on Earth, Mars and Venus part of Activities
This three part exercise introduces students to comparative planetary geology using volcanology as the subject and both analytical and (for visualization of cone-building processes) numerical methods. Material ...

Mars Landing Site Selection: An exercise in reading geologic maps and other geologic data sets part of Activities
Students use available Mars data to select the next rover landing sites, given appropriate engineering, geologic and biologic constraints. -

Estimating Discharge from Ares Vallis Using Pathfinder Images and MOLA Topography part of Activities
Students use Pathfinder lander images and MOLA topography, in combination with tools including a Hjulstrom diagram, ternary plot and a simple Manning equation, to estimate the discharge through Ares Vallis on Mars ...

Using Lava Flows & Volcanic Structures on Mars to Introduce the Concept of Relative Dating in Introductory Courses part of Activities
To compare bodies of rocks in the same region and determine the sequence of events that led to the formation of these rocks, geologists use a few simple rules of observation to help determine the relative ages of ...

Geologic Mapping on Mars part of Activities
This lab acivity gives students the opportunity to choose an area to map (with tracing paper and coloured pencils) from among some varied Martian terrains. -