Quaternary Paleoecology and Climate Change, Bladen County, NC

Martin B. Farley
University of North Carolina-Pembroke
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  1. 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.

  2. 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: Jun 4, 2009


Interpretation of Quaternary pollen record from Carolina Bay lakes in southeastern NC. This records goes back to the last interglacial and shows how much climate has changed vegetation even in this unglaciated spot.

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undergraduate paleontology course, primary audience science education majors

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Basic knowledge of plant groups
Understanding pollen as a fossil type
Geologic setting of NC Quaternary

How the activity is situated in the course

stand-alone exercise


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Student analysis using local real data via an approach used in the scientific literature.
Recognize significant Quaternary paleoecologic and climatic changes even in unglaciated areas

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Interpret and synthesize multivariate data
Use of scientific reasoning to evaluate a proposed origin for Carolina Bays

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

Students analyze a Quaternary pollen diagram from lakes in Bladen County, NC. This diagram contains (from the top down) the current deglaciation, the last glacial, and the previous interglacial. Students These lakes occur in Carolina Bays and students also evaluate a proposal that meteorite impact created the Bays.

Determining whether students have met the goals

Compare student answers to the solution set and also evaluate their reasoning to open-ended questions.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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