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.
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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
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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
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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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"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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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.
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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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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.
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Interactive Lectures
Starting Point's introduction to Interactive Lectures, and more specifically their use in the entry level geoscience setting. This module on Interactive Lectures has strategies and specific examples of activities to involve students in large and small lecture-based classes. It includes discussions of what interactive lecture is, how and why it is used, and links the user to more specific examples and further resources.
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Ice Core Gateway
This site is home to a web-based browse and visualization tool for ice core data archived by the World Data Centers for Paleoclimatology and for Glaciology. This page offers several different ways of finding specific ice core data sets. Browsing can be done by project, by data type, geographically (via the Webmapper applet) and searches are possible by variable, PI and other criteria. Clickable regional maps a java applet which will display detailed maps of ice core data locations, and allow use
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Describe and Interpret Images: Folded Strata
This Starting Point exercise asks students to describe and interpret an image of folded strata at Dent De Morcles. There are several questions students must address with respect to the image. This Starting Point website includes suggestions for using this technique, as well as teaching notes, learning goals, and extensive additional resource links and references.
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TRMM Online Visualization and Analysis System (TOVAS)
This site provides users with a friendly web-based interface for visualization and analysis of Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), gridded rainfall products and other precipitation data. It is applicable to variety of researches and applications, such as climate study and monitoring, weather events study and monitoring, agricultural crop monitoring, rainfall algorithm study, and data products comparison.
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McNamara's Whiz Kid
Alain Enthoven, an MIT economist, was the country's first assistant secretary of defense for systems analysis from 1965 to 1969. In this video segment, Enthoven recounts how public interpretation of 'flexible response' strategy ran counter to both the administration's overriding goal-to prevent nuclear war-and its bottom line: that nuclear war is unwinnable. In his interview conducted for War and Peace in the Nuclear Age: 'The Education of Robert McNamara,' Enthoven sets the stage for the missil
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