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Volcanoes of other worlds
Volcanoes of Other Worlds explores and compares volcanism on other planets. What do we know about plate tectonics on other planets? Planetary bodies highlighted include the Earth's Moon, Mars, Venus and Jupiter's moon Io. Users can also link to Volcano World, an excellent web-source of volcano information.
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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
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The Use of a Piece of Land
The Use of a Piece of Land activity was developed by The Maine State Library. This activity engages students in a practical exercise in land use planning and makes students aware of the positive and negative aspects of land use laws and local zoning ordinances through role-playing. The students represent groups interested in purchasing the same piece of land. Each group must research to devise a plan that is legal and environmentally attractive, and present proposals to convince the current owne
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Using Investigative Cases in Geoscience
This website provides an overview of using investigative cases as teaching tools in geoscience. The site is part of the Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience project. Information includes a description of how cases serve as springboards to student-designed investigations and how cases engage students and faculty in collaborative problem posing, problem solving, and persuasion.
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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.
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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.
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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
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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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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
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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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Swampeast Missouri
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
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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.
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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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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.
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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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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.
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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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