Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience

The Starting Point collection consists of resources found within the Starting Point website to support teaching entry-level undergraduate geoscience of all types. The collection includes modules on instructional methods that make up the Starting Point site. Examples demonstrate ways of using these methods in geoscience courses and laboratories, and the websites referenced in the site that provide additional information and resources. The collection includes resources that span the needs of faculty and graduate students in designing, developing, and delivering entry-level undergraduate courses in the geosciences. It consists primarily of instructional materials and activities, annotations and materials supporting the use of instructional materials and activities, information on instructional methods and issues in teaching customized for geoscientists, primary sources, review articles, summaries and bibliographies pertaining to pedagogy, assessment, issues in teaching, course development and management, and learning science.

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  • Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Arachnology Home Page
Rating

This clearinghouse page provides links to thousands of web sites from around the world devoted to arachnids (spiders and their relatives). The links are organized into categories: researchers and societies, subjects (kids' pages, poison, spider myths, and others), arachnids by order, and specialized pages (scientific papers, image-only sites, spider silk, and others). Non-English sites are grouped by language; there are many sites in Dutch, French, German, and Spanish.

Subject:
Life Science
Geoscience
Material Type:
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
NSDL Staff
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Biological Sciences Gateways and Resources
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Herman Vanuytven
University of Antwerp
Date Added:
10/21/2014
Children's Misconceptions about Weather: A Review of the Literature
Rating

This paper presents the results of a study that includes some basic concepts about the weather, how some children misunderstand these concepts, and possible reasons for the misunderstandings. Student misconceptions can provide an opening for instruction. When teachers know what their students are thinking about a topic they can tailor experiments and activities which challenge the students' thinking. This list of topic-related misconceptions is made available to teachers so they can review the list prior to instruction in order to prepare lessons which challenge students' preconcieved notions about weather.

Subject:
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
DLESE Community Collection
Author:
California State University, Long Beach
Laura Henriques
Date Added:
10/31/2014
Contour Basics
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

Contour Basics is an exercise designed to introduce students to contour plots. The Contour Activity is a great on-line resource that starts slowly and increases in difficulty. It teaches students basic techniques for generating contours, introduces students to the subtleties of generating contour plots with sparse data, provides many opportunities for students to assess their own progress and understanding and has complete on-line drawing capabilities. The exercise is geared toward atmospheric and oceanic sciences but is beneficial for all geoscience students. In addition to the exercise, this site includes information on teaching materials, teaching notes and tips, assessment suggestions and additional references. This activity is part of the Starting Point Collection: http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/

Subject:
Education
Mathematics
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
AMSER LAR Collection
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Ackerman, Steve
MacKay, R.M.
Steve Ackerman and Tom Whittaker, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Space Science and Engineering Center. Starting Point page organized by R.M. MacKay.
Whittaker, Tom
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Coral Bleaching: Making Our Oceans Whiter
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

The Coral Bleaching: Making our Oceans Whiter lesson was developed by National Geographic. This lesson plan deals with coral reefs and the recent increase in coral bleaching. The students will be learning about the ecology of reefs, the habitats they create, the algal symbiosis that ends with bleaching, and the role of human impact. The plan also outlines a role-playing debate for the students, and an in-character written assignment to come up with a compromise to protect the reefs and the economies that depend on them. On this Starting Point page, teachers can find learning goals, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment hints and references and resources dealing with this exercise. It also describes the context in which the virtual tour, another feature of the webpage, is best used.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
AMSER LAR Collection
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Rebecca Teed
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Creating Maps with Terraserver
Rating

This site from SERC's Starting Point describes the creation of specialized maps for lab or lecture locations within the United States using the Terraserver site, a collaboration between the USGS and Microsoft. The site provides instructions for using Terraserver to create custom, downloadable, site-specific maps, as well as an example lab exercise that uses Terraserver.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Manduca, Cathy
Date Added:
11/02/2014
Creative Learning Exchange
Rating

The Creative Learning Exchange encourages a view of education for primary and secondary schools based on discovery as the essence of the learning process and advocates systems education implemented through learner-centered learning. CLE includes a comprehensive library of models and lesson plans

Subject:
Computing and Information
Education
Geoscience
Material Type:
Full Course
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Shodor
Provider Set:
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
CSERD: Computational Science Education Reference Desk
Author:
The Creative Learning Exchange
Date Added:
10/30/2014
Design and Construction of an Eco-House
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This interdisciplinary course is a real-world collaborative multi-year project that connects various departments, courses, and independent study projects on a college campus. Using the client/consultant model, students from several departments and a wide range of environmental backgrounds come together to explore the design of an efficient future student house on campus. Over a couple of years, students research and test building designs, energy for heating and power, natural flows of available energy, natural ecosystem processes including living machines, and possible materials to use in the eventual construction of the eco-house. This SERC Starting Point site includes learning goals, context for use, teaching tips and materials, assessment, and references.

Subject:
Life Science
Chemistry
Geoscience
Material Type:
Full Course
Reading
Syllabus
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Cathy Manduca
Environmental Studies Course, Carleton College Professor Gary Wagenbach gwagenba@carleton.edu and Lecturer Richard Strong rstrong@acws.carleton.edu, Compiled by Suzanne Savanick, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College, ssavanic@carleton.edu
Date Added:
02/16/2011
The Educational Multimedia Visualization Center
Rating

Teachers looking for ways to incorporate dynamic visuals into their earth science courses need look no further than this fine site. Created by staff members at the department of earth science at the University of California, Santa Barbara, the site contains dozens of interactive animations and visualization tools that can be used in the classroom to demonstrate various processes. These resources are contained within the "Downloads" section, and visitors can peruse the table of contents for specific features. The table of contents includes global tectonics, regional plate tectonics, Ice Age earth, and four other chapters. Some of these animations include the deglaciation of North America, the South Atlantic spreading, and the Himalayan collision.

Subject:
Education
Geoscience
Material Type:
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Internet Scout Project
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Internet Scout Project
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
UCSB Geology Department
University of California at Santa Barbara
Date Added:
11/02/2014
Environmental Assessment Course
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This semester-long project on conducting an environmental audit of a college campus can be done by an individual or by groups of students working in teams. Each group will research a different aspect of campus operations; they will collect data, analyze their findings, and make recommendations for improvements. This SERC Starting Point site includes learning goals, context for use, teaching tips and materials, assessment, and references.

Subject:
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Full Course
Reading
Syllabus
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Cathy Manduca
Suzanne Savanick
Suzanne Savanick, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College. Based on a Greening the Campus environmental studies colloquium course taught at Carleton College in 1991.
Date Added:
02/16/2011
European Starlings and Woodpeckers
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

In this Starting Point investigative case, students will explore niche competition and population ecology by developing plans for species density studies. They will also develop a plan to re-establish a species (the woodpecker) in an area where there are almost none left. Users can access information regarding learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment hints, references and topics covered.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Case Study
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Arthur Nonhof
Developed for Lifelines Online by Arthur G. Nonhof. (www.bioquest.org/lifelines/)
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Floodplains in the Field (with GIS)
Rating

In this exercise from SERC's Starting Point, students measure a topographic and geologic cross-section across a floodplain by simple surveying and auguring techniques. This example demonstrates how basic GIS elements can enhance learning by adding spatial context and introducing mapping techniques. GIS elements encourage students to consider the spatial context of field observations, introduce GPS measurements, and can involve desktop GIS analyses.

Subject:
Education
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
AMSER LAR Collection
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Brian Welch
Mary Savina
Savina, Mary
Welch, Brian
Date Added:
10/16/2014
The Forecast Factory
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

The Forest Factory classroom exercise is an introduction to the topic of weather forecasting. Students role-play the various elements in forecasting process such as equations, announcers, data analysts, and airplanes. By following the script, the students will summarize the entire process in a single class period. This lesson plan is well suited to large classes in lecture-hall settings. This Starting Point website provides a discussion and summary of this teaching method as well as extensions to other topics, such as global climate modeling. This website also describes the learning goals and context of use of this exercise. It also provides teaching notes, a list of necessary teaching materials, assessment hints and additional resources.

Subject:
Education
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
Provider Set:
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
DLESE Community Collection
Author:
John Knox
Rebecca Teed
Date Added:
02/16/2011
The GLOBE Program
Rating

GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) is a worldwide, hands-on, primary and secondary school-based science education program. Students can learn to take scientific measurements in the fields of atmospheric science, hydrology, soils, and land cover. They can report their data through the internet, create maps and graphs to analyze the data, and collaborate with scientists and other students around the world. For teachers, professional development workshops, "how-to" videos, and a help desk are available. The site is available in several languages, including French and Spanish.

Subject:
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Provider:
Internet Scout Project
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
UCAR Staff
Provider Set:
Internet Scout Project
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
NASA Earth and Space Science Education Collection
Author:
www.globe.gov/
Date Added:
11/05/2014
GPS Treasure Hunt
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This game is actually an on-campus field lab that has students using directions and a GPS receiver to make their way from one stop to the next. At each stop, they identify a building stone (or tree for an environmental studies or plant biology class). If possible, have the students work in small groups, taking turns using the GPS receiver and with each group having its own direction sheet. At the end, they collect a ticket for an edible prize. On this Starting Point page, users can access information about the exercise's learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment ideas, references and topics covered.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Case Study
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
AMSER LAR Collection
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Rebecca Teed
Teed, Rebecca
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Global and hemispheric temperature anomalies--land and marine instrumental records
Rating

This site features an article describing climatological anomalies and general trends over the past 150 years. The article is linked to data to which it refers, and also to its references.

Subject:
Education
Geoscience
Provider:
Internet Scout Project
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Internet Scout Project
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center
D. E. Parker
K. R. Briffa
P. D. Jones
T. J. Osborn
Date Added:
11/07/2014
Image Classification
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

In this exercise from SERC's Starting Point, students get experience with image classification. Images are an increasingly important source of information about land cover and land use over time because comparisons of historic and current images can provide an estimate of change in the landscape.

Subject:
Technology
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Space Science
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Data Set
Diagram/Illustration
Reading
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
AMSER LAR Collection
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Brian Welch
Cote, Paul
Welch, Brian C.
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Investigating Regional Hydrogeology of the Mid-Atlantic Coastal Plain
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

Exercise to recognize regional groundwater flow in the Cretaceous aquifers of the North Carolina and Virginia Coastal Plain and their changes through time. Includes interpreting flow before and after human withdrawals, so students can discover impacts on the groundwater system, especially for depletion and saltwater intrusion.

Subject:
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Provider:
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
Pedagogy in Action
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Martin B. Farley
Date Added:
08/28/2012
Investigative Case-Malama Keone'o'oi
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This Starting Point teaching module highlights a case study of Malama Keone'o'oi. Students will learn techniques for conducting a local environmental assessment in an ecologically sensitive area. Identification of native plants and methodologies for sampling will be taught in the classroom and then reinforced in the field. The module also includes a community awareness and conservation aspect. Users will find information regarding learning goals, context for use, teaching notes and tips, teaching materials, assessment hints, references and topics covered.

Subject:
Education
Life Science
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Geoscience
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Assessment
Case Study
Diagram/Illustration
Lesson Plan
Reading
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Ann Coopersmith
Developed for Lifelines Online by Ann Coopersmith at Maui Community College. (http://www.bioquest.org/lifelines/)
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: Groundwater and Archaeology
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This site from SERC features Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) warm up questions about groundwater and archaeology. The questions examine causes for groundwater rising to the base of monuments and the damage this process is causing, solutions to rising groundwater problems, the significance of monuments and whether they should be saved.

Subject:
Education
Ecology
Forestry and Agriculture
Mathematics
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Interactive
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
AMSER LAR Collection
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Guerin, Laura
Laura Guertin
Manduca, Cathy
Date Added:
02/16/2011
Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) WarmUp Activity: Marine Archaeology and Technology
Conditions of Use:
Remix and Share
Rating

This site from SERC details Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) warm up questions about marine archeology and technology. The questions examine how technology has helped and hurt marine archeology, costs of using technology in marine archeology, and various aspects of Bob Ballard's 1999 Ashkelon expedition. Assessment tips and related resources are provided.

Subject:
Education
Chemistry
Geoscience
Physics
Material Type:
Activity/Lab
Diagram/Illustration
Interactive
Lesson Plan
Reading
Teaching/Learning Strategy
Provider:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College
Provider Set:
AMSER: Applied Math and Science Education Repository
AMSER LAR Collection
Starting Point (SERC)
Starting Point: Teaching Entry Level Geoscience
Author:
Guertin, Laura
Laura Guertin
Date Added:
02/16/2011