Reducing Volcanic Hazards to People and Property - An Assignment with Electronic Peer Review
Through an electronic peer review assignment, students write a general summary of major hazards to humans in the vicinity of volcanoes. Then, students are provided a list of volcanoes and must choose one to determine what actions they would take to minimize the risks to a population. This activity is detailed on this Starting Point site, which includes its learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and materials, recommended assessment method, resources, and references.
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Post-Settlement Erosion and Deposition
In this example, a field laboratory in introductory geology becomes a test of a hypothesis: Does the model proposed by Stanley Trimble for Coon Creek, Wisconsin adequately describe the history of post-European-settlement erosion and deposition in a small drainage in southeast Minnesota? This field lab is detailed on the site, which describes leaning goals, a context for this lab's use, teaching notes and downloadable handouts, and assessment recommendations. There are additional references and l
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Holy Starbucks, Batman!
In this case study activity, students will investigate caffeine as a potential new pollutant in a northwest river system. Effects of caffeine on invertebrates and salmon fry will be explored through field work and lab work. This example page is part of the Starting Point collection and was adapted from the Lifelines Online case study. Users will find information including learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment ideas, references and topics covered
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Groundwater Pump Test
In this lab, students conduct a groundwater pump test and interpret aquifer properties. Creating a use context for this lab, this website describes the learning goals, provides teaching notes, materials and assessment recommendations, and links the user to additional resources and references. This laboratory activity is part of the Starting Point Collection.
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Exploration to Mars... or Not? An Exercise with Split-Screen Electronic Peer Review
Split-screen technology is utilized for an electronic peer review assignment that has students justify whether humans should continue their investigations of the Red Planet or not. This Starting Point page builds a context for the activity by describing the learning goals, teaching notes and materials, and recommending assessment methods. References and resource links are included.
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Wonderful Life: Genes and Evolution
This is the homepage for a course focusing on evolution, the nature of science, and how to write well. The course focuses on Burgess Shale and starts with "Wonderful Life" (Gould, 1989), to study arthropods, evolution, and geologic time from this point, but also analyze why Gould is such an effective writer. The course web site contains the syllabus, descriptions of assignments, links to helpful and interesting resources (including annotated lists of relevant books and scientific controversies),
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Quicksand Questions: Short In-class Activity
This Starting Point classroom activity prompts students with questions during a lecture on quicksand. Their answers can be collected with classroom response systems or through a think-pair-share activity. This activity allows an instructor to review the answers with the class and immediately address any points of misunderstanding or content areas that need clarification. The details of this exercise are found on this website, which provides learning goals and context, teaching materials such as
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The Berlin Blockade
Clark Clifford was special counsel to President Harry S. Truman from 1946 to 1950. In this video segment, he recounts the 1948 Berlin blockade-the first major East-West confrontation in which Western policymakers were required to grapple with choices that risked war with the Soviet Union, a power seen as capable of overrunning Western Europe. Clifford recalls assessing the risk of an unexpected escalation of tension if moves made by the West were perceived as provocations. He heralds the decisio
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Why Topography?
Part of the supporting resources for the School of Earth Sciences dynamic earth module, the -Why Topography?- site discusses two models introduced in the 19th century that are still used to explain topographic variations. These models are the Pratt and Airy models of isostasy. In the Pratt model, high topography (relative to surroundings) is due to lower density whereas in the Airy model, high topography is due to thick crust.
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Soil Horizons
This site features Flash animations that illustrate the development of soil horizons and their characteristics. Animations depict the processes of eluviation and illuviation, soil thickness and biomantle development, and a typical progression of soil profile development from bedrock to mature soil. These visual resources may be suitable for integration into lectures, labs and other teaching activities.
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Postglacial Flooding of the Bering Land Bridge
This geospatial animation shows sea level rising across the land bridge between Siberia and Alaska. During the last Glacial Maximum (~21,000 years ago), the Bering Land Bridge was a vast tundra plain connecting Asia and North America. At that time, the global sea level was 120 meters lower than it is today. Melting ice sheets and glaciers caused the sea level to rise and flood the land bridge. A QuickTime file of this animation can be viewed or downloaded for analysis, education and outreach. Th
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Mountains and Mass Wasting
This lecture discusses physical and chemical processes that break down rocks and rock debris transportation mechanisms. Physical weathering includes abrasion, fragmentation, frost wedging, and thermal expansion and contraction. Chemical weathering includes solution, oxidation and hydration, and hydrolysis. The lecture notes are supported by images such as photographs, satellite photos, and diagrams depicting glacial features and frost wedging.
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Moisture Animations
This site features GIFs, Java applets, MPEGs, and Flash animations that illustrate various forms of precipitation and moisture. They include an animation of air parcels and water vapor colliding with condensation nuclei which results in condensation and cloud formation, an interactive precipitation animation applet that allows the user to set wet and dry bulb temperatures to see if snow, ice, freezing rain, sleet, super cooled droplets, raindrops, or drizzle will fall, an animation of lake effec
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Teaching Structural Geology in the 21st Century
This site from the "On the Cutting Edge" workshop series offers a variety of resources for faculty members who teach undergraduate structural geology. There are collections of classroom activities, internet and computer resources, useful articles and maps, presentations from the summer 2004 workshop on teaching structural geology, working groups and a discussion forum, and lots of creative ideas for teaching structural geology. Students will also find the site useful for supplementing class lect
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Teaching Structural Geology in the 21st Century
This site from the "On the Cutting Edge" workshop series contains a collection of activities that can be used in undergraduate structural geology courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more.
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Solar System Animations
This site features Flash animations that illustrate phases of the moon, distances between planets, total, partial, and annular eclipses, and solar system formation that includes an example of the impact that created the moon. These resources are suitable for use in lectures, labs, or other teaching activities.
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Derivatives and Extrema
The particular ability of the internet to demonstrate concepts interactively in a visually arresting fashion is fully realized in this attractive and easily navigated site. An interactive screen allows the user to select a function and examine the visual representation of its derivative through magnification of the resulting graph. The site provides a wonderful opportunity to see and understand the sometimes elusive concept of derivation. This resource is part of the Teaching Quantitative Skills
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Santa Clara County, California's Historic Silicon Valley
features 28 historic places that illustrate how this fertile valley blossomed from small agricultural towns linked by railroad into a center of technological innovation. Located south of San Francisco, the history of Santa Clara County is rich with stories of Spanish and Mexican settlement, the romance of the Gold-Rush era, the pastoral beauty of abundant orchards, of post-war suburbanization, the race to the moon, and the invention of the silicon chip.
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1983 Gallagher commercial stills
Still from the 1983 commercial featuring Gallagher, a father and son sharing lunch and a love of food from McDonald's.
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Understanding Mathematics
Peter Alfeld wrote this study guide for undergraduate mathematics students at the University of Utah. Alfeld discusses what it means to understand mathematics rather than just understanding how to solve problems, and how to approach mathematics in a more effective way. Links to comments, examples, and frequently asked questions are included.
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