Initial Publication Date: May 13, 2019

Challenge B. Over Earth's vast history, gradual and catastrophic changes have both produced change

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) has noticed a significant decline in 18-30 year olds at State Parks. In an effort to target this age group, TWPD has commissioned your new company with its team of expert geological consultants to make seven geologically relevant SnapChat filters (one for each field stop). Your SnapChat filters must contain information that relates to one of three themes: (1) Life Through Time, (2) The Power of Water, or (3) Dynamic Earth Processes and Events. These SnapChat filters will allow park visitors, as well as anyone in close proximity, to travel "back to the past" through geological time, learning about the past environment, climate, and flora and fauna. Texas VR amateur geologists will be able to visit and sign TPWD's virtual logbook tracking their visits through time.

Your seven GeoLocation SnapChat filters should address a set of questions to support an understanding of the geology at the stop AND a set of questions related to the theme you select.

  1. Where in time (geologic time) and space (paleogeographic reconstruction and UTM coordinates) is the GeoLocation?
  2. What types of rocks are present, what is their lithology?
  3. What was Earth's climate like at the time (EarthViewer)?
  4. What geologic processes are recoded here?
  5. How is the landscape continuing to change?

To get you thinking about the three themes, we have included additional questions to consider

Life Through Time: (1) What organisms (plants and animals) existed in that environment at that time (fossil evidence)? (2) Water is essential for Life on Earth. What evidence do you see of the role of water on organisms (past and present) at this site? (3) How are humans agents of geologic change at this site today?

T he Power of Water: (1) What hydrologic processes at work today are reshaping the modern landscape? (2) What influence did water have on the rocks/sediments at this site? (3) How did the rocks form (e.g., the depositional environment for sedimentary rocks, emplacement process for igneous rocks, metamorphic and deformational processes for metamorphic rocks)?

Dynamic Earth Processes and Events: (1) What geologic processes or events are recoded in the rock record (faulting, uplift, rifting, flash flooding catastrophe, marine regression or transgression, mass extinction event, etc.)? (2) What processes at work today are reshaping the modern landscape at each SnapChat GeoLocation (think erosion, faulting, volcanism, mining, etc.)? (3) How did the rocks form (e.g., the depositional environment for sedimentary rocks, emplacement process for igneous rocks, metamorphic and deformational processes for metamorphic rocks)?


For Challenge B, we suggest downloading HHMI EarthViewer. HHMI's Biointeractive Deep Time and Dr. Andrew Knoll's HHMI lecture, Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future The Deep History of a Living Planet ar both excellent resources.


Learning Objectives

Students who successfully complete Challenge B can apply scientific reasoning and evidence from rock strata and ancient Earth materials to construct an account that organizes the billion-year-old history of Central Texas (NGSS MS ESS1 and HS ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe).

Questions drive scientific investigation and the pursuit of engineering design/ solutions. Examples of Essential Questions (Mapped to the Earth Science (ES) Literacy Principles)

  1. How do the rocks record its history? (ES 2.1)
  2. How is life recorded in the rock record? (ES 2.6)
  3. How do the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, an atmosphere interact? (ES 3.1)
  4. What processes shape Earth's surface?
  5. What impacts weathering, erosion and deposition? (ES 4.8)
  6. How and why do shorelines change through time? (ES 4.9)
  7. How might different depositional environments/emplacement modes impact resource development? (ES 7)
  8. What is the impact of the intersection of technology and society?


Formative: Instructors will check each team's progress toward solving the challenge, using the Daily Deliverables Team Road Check Report.docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 20kB Apr30 19).

Summative: "Go Public"-- On the last day of your GeoFORCE/ STEMFORCE experience, all teams will showcase the challenge products to their peers and a panel of expert guests. GoPublic_rubric_HLee.docx..docx (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 25kB May13 19)