Eruption! is a volcanic crisis simulation model that showcases a series of villages that surround an active volcano and is part of the Interactive Models for Geological Education Online (IMGEO) series. The goal of the exercise is to preserve as many people and as much property as possible in spite of the threat from the volcano. Students role-play as villagers, the governor, volcanologists, and the press. The rules of the simulation, plus guides for teaching assistants and students, are availabl
Chronos: a network for Earth system history
CHRONOS (Greek: time) aims to create a dynamic, interactive and time-calibrated framework for Earth history. CHRONOS's main objective is to develop a network of databases and visualization and analytical methodologies that broadly deal with chronostratigraphy - that is, with developing a better tool (the time scale) for understanding fundamental Earth processes through time. The CHRONOS platform will provide a new investigative environment for interdisciplinary Earth history research that includ
The Living Edens: Virtual Yellowstone Tour
This Starting Point page describes a virtual tour of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming featured on the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) website. In this tour, students act as park rangers to research geological features of Yellowstone, locate these features on maps, and describe and define associated geologic terms. The features discussed include geysers, hot springs, canyons, waterfalls and mudpots. On this page, users can find learning goals, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, as
Rocks and Weathered Rocks
In this lab, students examine what happens when rocks weather, how different minerals weather at different rates, and what the ultimate byproducts are. This website builds context for lab use, details the learning goals and teaching notes, provides teaching materials and lab assessment recommendations, and additional references and resources.
Human Impacts on Sharks: Developing an Essay Through Peer-Review on a Discussion Board
Through computer technology (WebCT, Blackboard), students develop a paper topic (in this case, the human impacts on sharks) that is peer reviewed by additional students answering guided questions. This Starting Point page details the learning goals, context of use, teaching materials, and assessment method for this activity. Also included are useful references and resources and topics discussed.
Developing a Local Stratigraphy
In this lab activity students describe rock types in a variety of exposures to construct a regional stratigraphy. Learning goals, teaching notes and materials, equipment lists, and assessment recommendations are all provided on this website. Additionally, there are links to useful references and resources, including related field labs.
The Nancy Creek Challenge
The Nancy Creek Challenge is part of the Starting Point module. The Case study requires students to examine fish kill in Nancy Creek and identify the environmental conditions that favor life in a fresh water ecosystem. Students will work in small groups to assess the situation. The group will be allowed to gather resources from various places in an effort to develop a possible solution for the situation. The page also contains information regarding learning goals, context for use, teaching notes
Home, Home on the River
In this case study activity, students will examine the complex issues that result from human use of ecologically sensitive areas. The students will investigate these issues from the point of view of their major/career path. This example page is part of the Starting Point collection and was adapted from the Lifelines Online case study. Users can access information about the exercise's learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment ideas, references and to
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
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.
"Adopt an Outcrop"
In this lab, each student or small student group "adopts" a different outcrop or road cut, describing and interpreting both the outcrop scale features and hand specimens. This website provides a context for the use of this lab, and describes learning goals, teaching notes and assessment. It also includes downloadable handouts and other teaching materials.
Comparing Rain-Gauge Data with Radar-Derived Precipitation Estimates
In this lab, student teams collect rain-gauge data and compare it with radar-derived (NEXRAD) precipitation estimates. They use GIS to look for discrepancies between the two datasets and explain them by looking for sources of error in the method. This website details the lab's context and learning goals, and includes teaching notes and materials, assessment recommendations, and links to useful references and resources.
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
Floodplains in the field
In this lab, students measure a topographic and geologic cross-section across a floodplain by simple surveying and augering techniques. Placing the lab context for use, this site provides learning goals and skills, equipment lists, teaching notes and materials, assessment recommendations, and links to further references and resources.
Assembling a Geologic History
Through a higher-order integration of concepts and observations, students can combine information from several field labs, all discussed in the Starting Point collection, to construct an overall geologic history of the local region. This site details the learning goals, teaching notes and materials, method of assessment, and context of use of this lab. It also provides links to additional references and resources.
Cans and Can`ts of Teaching Evolution
This essay discusses what U.S. public school teachers are allowed to say about evolution and religious creation accounts. Eugenie Scott, the author, cites and describes the relevant legal cases that have been judged. The essay also contains links to other essays on the topic of teaching evolution in public schools.
National Weather Service: Graphical Forecast
This site displays a click-and-zoom map of the US showing forecast temperatures as well as several other meteorological variables, normally updated every hour. Also available are maps showing chance of precipitation, temperature and wind, weather, dew point, weather, precipitation, dew point and cover. Maps can be changed to see forecasts for the current day, that night, and three days following. This is an experimental product of the National Digital Forecast Database, produced by the National
How fast do materials weather?
In the activities described on this website, instructors giving a lecture on weathering ask students to calculate weathering rates from tombstone weathering data from urban and rural settings. The Starting Point site includes downloadable teaching materials, information on learning goals and context for the exercise, and links to useful resources and references.
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
Biodiversity stuff to do: Endangered!
This Ology game site contains rules and a board for a board game dealing with extinction, particularly the modern biodiversity crisis. The players need to read endangered species facts from the board to answer questions on the spaces that they land in so that they can progress. Users can follow links to what to do and materials needed for the game.