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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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Using NOAA NCDC Pollen Database to study vegetation history
Cathy Whitlock, Montana State University-Bozeman
This lab exercise uses SiteSeer, a public domain software available through NOAA/NCDC, to learn how to retrieve and query the NOAA NCDC pollen database. Students first work through a set of simple exercises that ...

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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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VEPP: Volcanic activity and monitoring of Pu`u `O`o, Kilauea volcano, Hawaii
Lizzette Rodriguez, University of Puerto Rico - Mayaguez 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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Volcanic Ejecta from Sunset Crater
Steven Semken, Arizona State University at the Tempe Campus
Students are provided with equations and geological data to estimate the velocities and impact effects of volcanic bombs that were ejected during the last eruption of Sunset Crater, a young cinder cone volcano in ...

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Vostok Ice Core: Excel (Mac or PC)
Professor Stephanie Pfirman, Barnard College. Based on data of J. Chapellaz, Laboratoire de Glaciologie et Geophysique de l'Environment, Grenoble. Archived at: Lamont-Dohert Earth Observatory (more info) . Starting Point page organized by R.M. MacKay.
Students use Excel to graph and analyze Vostok ice core data (160,000 years of Ice core data from Vostok Station). Data includes ice age, ice depth, carbon dioxide, methane, dust, and deuterium isotope relative ...

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Where is that chunk of crust going?
Vince Cronin, Baylor University
I introduce students to GPS, frames of reference, and the permanent GPS stations in the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory (PBO) in class, and obtain near-real-time data for two stations from UNAVCO. We use ...

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Weathering of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks in a Semi-Arid Climate - An Engineering Application of Petrology
Wendy Harrison, National Science Foundation; Ric Wendlandt, Colorado School of Mines
Students examine soils developed on igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks near Denver, Colorado. The 2-week exercise includes sample collection, description, and preparation, determining clay mineralogy by ...

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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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Watershed area and discharge relationships
Steven Petsch, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Students use USGS WaterData website to find data on area, average annual discharge and response to high-precip events in small watersheds in southern New England. Data for the class are compiled to generate graphs ...

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What is the Volume of the 1992 Eruption of Cerro Negro Volcano, Nicaragua?
chuck connor, University of South Florida-St. Petersburg
SSAC Physical Volcanology module. Students build a spreadsheet to calculate the volume a tephra deposit using an exponential-thinning model.

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Abrupt climate change, greenhouse gases, and the bipolar see-saw
Kathleen Johnson, University of California-Irvine
In this activity, students work with paleoclimate proxy data (d18O, CH4, CO2)from the Byrd and GISP2 ice cores. Students prepare a graph of paleoclimate data and use the graph to answer several questions about the ...

Radiometric Dating Isochron exercise
John Weber, Grand Valley State University
Hands-on introduction to using the isochron method to determine radiometric ages.

Consequences of Modern Energy Use: A Remote Sensing analysis of the gulf oil spill using ArcGIS software.
Jared Beeton, Adams State College
Students download satellite imagery and conduct a remote sensing analysis of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill using ArcGIS software.

Reading Time Series Plots
Shelley Olds, UNAVCO
This activity provides a brief introduction to GPS and provides a student activity to practice creating and reading time series plots with simplified GPS data and with authentic GPS data from Iceland.

Dating Students: Relative vs. Numerical Time
Susan Zimmerman, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
This activity introduces students to the fundamental ideas of relative versus radiometric dating, using the students themselves as a sample population. In the first half, the students attempt to order the people in ...

When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine (College Level)
Brian Welch, Saint Olaf College
College-level adaptation of the Earth Exploration Toolbook chapter. Students explore the critical role phytoplankton play in the marine food web. -

Forecasting Lake Effect Snow in Lake Superior region
Bill Rose, Michigan Technological University
This exercise is designed to present the realistic problems of forecasting weather. Lake effect snows are hard to forecast because they depend on information that isn't part of the regular set of information ...

Investigating the Effect of Warmer Temperatures on Hurricanes
Serena Poli, Eastern Michigan University
Students investigate the link between ocean temperatures and hurricane intensity, analyze instrumental and historical data and speculate on possible future changes.

Climate Change and Atlantic Hurricanes: A GIS Inquiry
Chris Van de Ven, Albion College
Students make hypotheses about how hurricane numbers, locations, or intensities have been changing, and then use hurricane tracks, wind speed, barometric pressure, and dates to test their hypotheses.

Tropical Cyclones, Sea Surface Temperature, and Beyond
Danielle Schmitt, Princeton University
The activity will use historical data of sea surface temperature and tropical cyclone origin and/or tracks to identify trends. Students use Arc GIS to explore projected SST changes and predict areas where tropical ...


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