Dendrochronologists use tree rings to go back in time to learn more about past climate. Using straws to recreate tree rings, you can learn how dendrochronologists work.
The Utah Geologic Survey’s interactive “Geologic Map Portal” (https://bit.ly/21xGMD3
) allows you to see the geologic map on top of a 3-dimensional surface and topographic map. This is helpful for visualizing how the geology shown on the map appears in nature (image below)
. Geologists also
In this activity, students will explore local places with wild elements, such as wildlife refuges. Students also will create maps showing spatial relationships between wild places and school, and they will find creative ways to record experiences.
If you were an alien visiting Earth for the first time, you might remark on the diverse and incredible landscapes and patterns around majestic mountains, green forests, rolling grasslands, and turquoise oceans. You also might recognize geometries of civilization and changing weather patterns. All this can be explored from space. In this activity you will explore our planet using Google Earth and locate natural and man-made patterns and landscapes on Earth’s surface that inspire you.
The USGS has been studying glaciers in Glacier National Park since 1850. It is estimated that there were 150 glaciers in the park back then, and when the national park was established in 1910. Today only 25 glaciers remain.
Scientists go back every year to repeat photographs, as well as to examine the ice and the ecology of the landscape to see how glacial retreat is affecting plant and animal species that live there.
A normal fault occurs when rocks break and move because they are being pulled apart. As the area is stretched, the rocks move along the fault. Each movement causes an earthquake. This model demonstrates how a block of rock is extended by a normal fault.
Abundant oil and natural gas form only where conditions in the Earth are just right. Doing this investigation will help you understand how geoscientists identify and explore petroleum-rich reserves.
This activity will help you to understand some of the factors that petroleum geologists need to consider when deciding where to recommend drilling for oil. Since people use petroleum products for energy and as source materials for petrochemicals, it is important as citizen scientists to understand the science and technology behind the search for oil and natural gas.
Natural gas, which is mostly methane, is an energy resource used for generating electricity and heating, powering transportation, and manufacturing products. Right now, one-quarter of the world’s energy comes from natural gas. In this investigation, you will make a simple model of how gases can form from decaying material. You will also explore the effects of temperature on gas formation.
Discuss how a 3-D model illustrates the geology of oil deposits. What challenges do you think petroleum geologists must overcome to recover oil?