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Browse this collection of activities that all incorporate teaching with data. Activities have been submitted via a number of projects.


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Assessing the Risk of Invasive Species Using Community Science Data
Matthew Heard, Belmont University
This module introduces students who are already familiar with GIS to doing comparative analyses with large-scale community science (often called citizen science) data sets. Students will explore how we can use ...

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Bomb Cyclones - They're Explosive!
Jacqui Jenkins-Degan, Marine Technology Program, Cape Fear Community College
Storms can have devastating impacts on coastal communities. Typically, tropical storms like hurricanes get the most attention, but there are other types of storms that occur at more northern latitudes that can be ...

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Lake Mixing Module
This module was initially developed by Carey, C.C., J.L. Klug, and R.L. Fuller. 1 August 2015. Project EDDIE: Dynamics of Lake Mixing. Project EDDIE Module 3, Version 1. cemast.illinoisstate.edu/data-for-students/modules/lake-mixing.shtml. Module development was supported by NSF DEB 1245707.
Stratified lakes exhibit vertical gradients in organisms, nutrients, and oxygen, which have important implications for ecosystem structure and functioning. Mixing disrupts these gradients by redistributing these ...

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Module 4: Global Records of Climate Change - The Deep Sea and Ice Cores
Russell Graham, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
In this module, students explore and analyze records of past climate. In the first part of the module, students are given background information about long-term records of Earth's climate: deep sea sediment cores and ice cores. Students are also introduced to Oxygen isotopes and how they are used as records of past climate. Students complete a set of exercises that assess their understanding of the material and ask them to analyze data about the Laurentide Ice Sheet using the Neotoma Explorer. In the second part of the module, students examine Antarctic ice core data and apply their knowledge from the beginning of the module. Part of the Neotoma Education Modules for Biotic Response to Climate Change.

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Module 5: Some Modern Biotic Responses to Climate Change
Russell Graham, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
In this module, students explore biotic responses to changing climate. The module steps through different styles of response (i.e. stasis, adaptation, extinction) and provides examples of each from modern biota. Students are given a set of exercises where they create a hypothesis for future mammal distribution changes. Part of the Neotoma Education Modules for Biotic Response to Climate Change.

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Module 6: Modern (Living) Animals – What Do the Habitat Preferences and Geographic Distribution of Modern Animals Tell Us about Why Animals Live Where They Do?
James S. Oliver III and Russell W. Graham, The Pennsylvania State University
Paleoecologists reconstruct past climates and ecosystems by comparing the habits and habitats preferred by living animals or ones closely related to those found as fossils. In this module, students take the first step in this process by examining modern species distributions to make observations about species habitat preferences. Given a list of species, students use the Neotoma Explorer to obtain species distribution maps and compare them to temperature and precipitation maps. A series of questions guide them through their comparison and analysis of the maps. Part of the Neotoma Education Modules for Biotic Response to Climate Change.

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Module 7: Mammal Responses to Climate Change in the Past and the Future with Neotoma Explorer
Russell Graham, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Animal distributions are frequently controlled by climate extremes, especially seasonal ones. Therefore, if the climate changes from cold to warm (or vice versa) then using modern mammal distributions and modern climate conditions it is possible to make predictions about how the mammal will respond to the climate change -- whether it is past or future. In this module students use the Neotoma Paleoecological Database to test predictions, or establish hypotheses, about how certain species of mammals have responded to climate change in the past and how they might do so on the future. Part of the Neotoma Education Modules for Biotic Response to Climate Change.

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Relating Late-Quaternary Plant and Animal Distributions to Past and Future Climate
Samantha Kaplan, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
A guided activity for students to explore the relationship between climate and plant and animal distributions in the past, present, and future. Students use the Neotoma Paleoecology Database, USDA Climate Change Tree Atlas, USGS Atlas of Relations Between Climatic Parameters and Distributions of Important Trees and Shrubs in North America (Professional Paper 1650 A/B), and climate model output.

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Species distributions in response to environmental gradients in the Upper Midwest of the United States - an example using the Neotoma database
Alison Smith, Kent State University-Main Campus
Pollen and ostracode records are used here to examine the migration of a major ecotone (transition zone between two biomes) in the Northern Midwest known as the prairie-forest border. Using the Neotoma database, we can explore the modern geographic distribution of prairie and forest vegetation (represented by pollen data) and of saline and freshwater lakes (represented by ostracodes, microscopic aquatic crustaceans) and then track the shifting boundary of the prairie forest border over the most recent 12,000 years using a lake sediment core.

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Using Univariate Statistics to Understand Regional Drainage Patterns
Peter Adams, University of Florida
In this activity, students use MATLAB to compare two data sets of organic matter content in order to provide quantitative evidence that tests the null hypothesis that sediment samples have the same fluvial source. ...

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Lab Exercise: Exploring the Neotoma Paleoecology Database
John (Jack) Williams, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This lab introduces students and other interested users to the Neotoma Paleoecology Database and Neotoma Explorer. Neotoma DB is a public-access and community-supported repository of paleoecological data, mostly from the late Quaternary. These data are widely used by scientists to study species responses to past climate change.

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Intro to Graphing
Debra Woodall, Daytona College
Intro to Graphing is a 2-phase exercise that introduces students to Excel for the purposes of properly storing their data and producing graphs.

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Introduction to well logs for use in the petroleum industry
Walter Borowski, Eastern Kentucky University
This exercise uses a suite of well logs (aka electric logs) to interpret lithology within a stratigraphic section and to determine fluid content within borehole rocks.

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Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 2: Do you really want to visit the Arctic?
Karin Kirk, Freelance Science Writer and Geoscientist
This jigsaw activity is designed for students to become familiar with several datasets of Arctic weather data, collected in Eureka on Ellesmere Island. Students join a role-playing activity to read and interpret ...

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Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 1: Exploring the Arctic
Karin Kirk, Freelance Science Writer and Geoscientist; Anne Gold, University of Colorado at Boulder
This activity introduces students to the Arctic, including different definitions of the Arctic and exploration of the Arctic environment and Arctic people. Students set out on a virtual exploration of the geography ...

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Arctic Climate Curriculum, Activity 3: Exploring Arctic Climate Data
Karin Kirk, Freelance Science Writer and Geoscientist; Anne Gold, University of Colorado at Boulder
Students dig into authentic Arctic climate data to unravel some causes and effects related to the seasonal melting of the snowpack. In particular, students learn about albedo and its relationship to snowmelt. This ...

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Seasonal variation in light, mixing depth and primary productivity in temperate northern hemisphere waters
Lauren Sahl, Maine Maritime Academy
In this exercise students work with light, temperature, and phytoplankton biomass proxy (chlorophyll a concentration) data to; Become more skilled in reading and interpreting semi log graphs, temperature profiles, ...

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VEPP: Volcanic activity and monitoring of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawaii
Lizzette Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras Campus
Brief three-line description of the activity or assignment and its strengths: This is a 10-week group project for a Volcanic Hazards elective course, for undergraduate geology students. Students will access and ...

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Using Soil Survey Information for Geomorphic Analysis
Holly Dolliver, University of Wisconsin-River Falls
In this activity students will use information from a county-level soil survey to learn about the geomorphology of an area.

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Working with USGS discharge data
Nick Bader, Whitman College
In this exercise, we use the USGS real-time data available online, and use it to construct a rating curve for the Walla Walla river near Touchet. We then make a simple model of flood inundation in ArcGIS for the ...

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