Scale, Probability, Causation, and Correlation

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This assignment requires students to consider data related to how meteor impacts and volcanism may relate to mass extinction events. Students will apply their understanding of climate change and geophysics to answer questions based on published studies. They will also practice working with scientific notation, doing back of the envelope calculations and understanding scientific assumptions. This document serves as a student handout; an answer key is provided in an accompanying document.

Scale, Probability, Causation, and Correlation

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This assignment requires students to consider data related to how meteor impacts and volcanism may relate to mass extinction events. Students will apply their understanding of climate change and geophysics to answer questions based on published studies. They will also practice working with scientific notation, doing back of the envelope calculations and understanding scientific assumptions. This document serves as an answer key; a student handout is provided in an accompanying document.

Earth Science Seminar 3

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This document serves as a teaching guide for the third of three seminars in a unit on earth science. This seminar focuses on the relationship between the Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary and dinosaur extinctions and encourages review of scale, probability, causation, and correlation. The guide includes an overview and reading list. Related seminar activities and assignment questions are provided in accompanying files.

Earth Science Unit Matrix

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This "matrix" outlines the content and main ideas in the Frontiers of Science unit on earth science. The document maps out the goals, lecture themes, readings, activities, assignments, and discussion topics for each of the sessions that together comprise the unit.

“African Climate Change and Human Evolution”: A Case Study

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In this class activity, students will analyze data on rainfall and dust levels in Africa in order to investigate two competing hypotheses about how climate affects human evolution. They will apply their understanding of orbital forcing factors and the use of proxy variables in order to develop a research plan they could use to study African climate change. This document serves as a student handout; an instructor guide is provided in the accompanying documents.

"African Climate Change and Human Evolution": A Case Study

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Orbital forcing parameters.

In this class activity, students will analyze data on rainfall and dust levels in Africa in order to investigate two competing hypotheses about how climate affects human evolution. They will apply their understanding of orbital forcing factors and the use of proxy variables in order to develop a research plan they could use to study African climate change. This document serves as an instructor guide; student handouts are provided in accompanying documents.

Astronomy Lecture 2: Lives of the Stars

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In this second lecture of three in the Frontiers of Science unit on astronomy, Columbia University professor David Helfand explores the life history of a star, a biography encompassing millions of years, and how astrophysicists are able to trace stellar evolution. A lecture video and companion PowerPoint presentation are also available on FoSO.

Astronomy Lecture 2: Lives of the Stars

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Lives of the Stars

In this second lecture video of three in the Frontiers of Science unit on astronomy, Columbia University professor David Helfand explores the life history of a star, a biography encompassing millions of years, and how astrophysicists are able to trace stellar evolution. A lecture transcript and companion PowerPoint presentation are also available on FoSO.

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Astronomy Lecture 2: Lives of the Stars

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Whirlpool galaxy (M51) and companion galaxy.

In this PowerPoint presentation, the second of three in the Frontiers of Science unit on astronomy, Columbia University professor David Helfand explores the life history of a star, a biography encompassing millions of years, and how astrophysicists are able to trace stellar evolution. A lecture video and transcript are also available on FoSO.

Biodiversity Final Exam

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This exam consists of five multipart questions related to the biodiversity materials presented in Frontiers of Science. The document provided here contains the questions and associated figures, while the answers are provided in a separate document. Each question requires students to apply their understanding of both content and the scientific habits of mind learned in the biodiversity unit. (Note: We provide the exam questions and answers to guide instructors in designing their own assessments. Since this Web site is freely accessible to anyone, including students, we recommend revising these questions to suit your own course content.)