Wingra Marsh: A Purple Population Problem
This case study is part of the Starting Point module. The activity requires students to author a presentation to the Grounds Management Committee of their school. Students must give their recommendation for the control of the invasive species purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) on the Edgewood College campus. Users can find a variety of information related to this case study including learning goals, teaching tips, notes and materials, assessment ideas, references, a context for use and a lis
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
Rio Grande Wildlife Refuge
This investigative case is part of the Starting Point module. In this exercise students role play as professional ecologists working for the fish and wildlife service. Students must develop a plan to manage a new wildlife refuge along the Rio Grande River. The fish and wildlife service plans to connect forest islands along the river, which will become not only a new refuge but also a "wildlife corridor." Users can access information regarding learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and t
"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.
In this Starting Point case study, students will explore wetland hydrology and biology. They will decide whether or not to restore a wetland or retain dams and drainage systems. Students will also examine the complexity of decisions regarding wetland restoration as well as investigate viewpoints of various stakeholders in the draining of wetlands. While the activity is set in Missouri, the case can apply to any wetland conservation or restoration project. Users can access information regarding l
Studying Aquifers in Outcrop
In this field lab, students describe two (or more) different rock types in outcrop, with an emphasis on the hydrogeologic properties of the rocks. Students are asked to draw sketches, take notes and ask questions about the how water may move through a rock unit . This website describes the learning goals and context use of the lab, and provides an equipment list, teaching notes and materials, a recommended method of assessment, and links to useful references and resources.
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.
Planetary Climate Exercise
This MS Word document explains roles for a Planetary Climate role-playing exercise dealing with the atmospheres of Venus and the Earth. Roles include experts on coal, carbon dioxide, heat balance, spectroscopy, atmospheric transmission and the water cycle.
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.
Joint Institute for the Atmosphere and Ocean
The Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) is a joint institute of NOAA and the University of Washington. This homepage makes a variety of data and resources available, including real-time and historical climate data, atlases and animations. Users can follow links to science information, JISAO programs and people, seminars and additional links.
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.
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
NEXRAD National Mosaic Reflectivity Images
The NEXRAD National Mosaic Reflectivity site allows users to search for reflectivity images by date. Daily images are available for 1 April 1995 to 18 April 1997, and hourly images are available for 19 April 1997 to 22 March 2004. The images are clickable maps that allows users to zoom in and out of the United States reflectivity images.
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),
Order it up!
"Order It Up" is a free, downloadable computer game described on this Starting Point webpage. This Java applet could be the basis for a great think-pair-share activity about solar system statistics. This website describes the learning goals and context for this exercise, and gives teaching notes and materials, as well as a detailed list of additional programs and websites that could be used to craft a unique activity.
Ocean Stratigraphy Challenge
This exercise is a complex puzzle that begins with a description of a stratigraphic section from a deep-sea core. Students are asked to explain the sequence of rock and sediment types and to devise an experiment to test this hypothesis. The Starting Point website describes the learning goals, context, teaching notes and materials, recommended assessment methods, and additional resource links for this activity.
'Borders' begins with a short dramatic piece that introduces the issues of complicity, resistance, and boundaries. This work continues to investigate these themes in the style of a documentary. In the prologue, actor Steve Buscemi plays Ted, a young scientist who goes to work at a large scientific research facility. Here he develops ideas that, much to the dismay and rebuff of his jealous fellow researchers who gather around a vending machine, are embraced by his supervisors. The young scientist