Earth System Science Courses


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An Experiential Pedagogy for Sustainability Ethics: The Externalities Game part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Games:Examples
The Externalities Game is a non-cooperative game that teaches students about the concept of environmental externalities and allows them to directly experience the moral dimensions of collective action problems. It has been particularly effective for teaching students about the moral aspects of the climate change. Grades are used to create the tension between earning individual grade points at the expense of group benefit. This is part of a research project funded by the National Science Foundation.

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Comparing Carbon Calculators part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with Data:Examples
Carbon calculators, no matter how well intended as tools to help measure energy footprints, tend to be black boxes and can produce wildly different results, depending on the calculations used to weigh various ...

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Glacier (?) National Park part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Teaching with SSAC:Examples
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum/Geology of National Parks module. Students examine data about the disappearing glaciers in the park; after calculating percentage change in the number of glaciers from 1850 to 2000, they interpolate to estimate when Grinnell glacier will be gone.

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Greenhouse Emissions Reduction Role-Play Exercise part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Role Playing:Examples
When the science is so clear, why is it so difficult to make agreements that will reduce our impact on climate change? This exercise is designed to help students explore that important question in an active and ...

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Teaching Mineral and Rock Identification with a Jigsaw Activity part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Jigsaws:Examples
In this Jigsaw activity, groups of four students are tasked with identifying 20 different minerals (or rocks).

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The Pet Rock Project - Developing Professional Communication in a Petrology Course part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Professional Communications Projects:Examples

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Finding the Missing Half T-Rex (a study of faults) part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Guided Discovery Problems:Examples
In this structural geology activity, students are faced with a problem whose solution requires an understanding of faults. Using inductive reasoning and a set of wood blocks, students discover a general rule about faults and then apply that rule to the specific problem.

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Density, Buoyancy and Convection part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Guided Discovery Problems:Examples
In this three-hour guided-discovery lab, students observe the process of convection in a glitter lamp (similar to a lava lamp) and then discover how and why convection occurs through a series of hands-on ...

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Seasons and Why the Equator is Warmer than the Poles part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Guided Discovery Problems:Examples
One of the most common and persistent scientific misconceptions is that Earth's seasons are caused by Earth's distance from the sun. A closely related and perhaps more common misconception is that the ...

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Advanced Moon Project part of Pedagogy in Action:Library:Guided Discovery Problems:Examples
The moon project is a semester-long research project about the moon; each student explores one of four assigned topics. Over 1-2 months, students make daily naked-eye observations of the moon and construct graphs ...

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