A DIGITAL RESOURCE COLLECTION SUPPORTING THE USE OF EARTHCHEM DATABASES IN GEOSCIENCE COURSES
A digital resource collection (http://serc.carleton.edu/research_education/cyberinfrastructure/index.html) has been created and housed at the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College to support the use of online databases in various geoscience courses, including igneous petrology, volcanology, isotope geochemistry, tectonics, and historical geology. The exercises highlighted in the collection are designed to complement or replace traditional class lectures, and each is accompanied by a Teaching Notes page for instructors which provides additional details about the target audience, required skills, goals and objectives, and evaluation. By working through the exercises, students emulate the scientific process by gathering data, manipulating complex datasets, formulating and testing hypotheses, and making reasoned conclusions. Sample topics include: compositional diversity in volcanic suites, crystallization-differentiation of basaltic magma, igneous rocks and plate tectonics, volcanic landforms and magma composition, Sr isotopic compositions of mafic volcanic rocks in the western U.S., and Cenozoic volcanic history of the western U.S. The exercises vary in the amount of detail provided, from highly structured step-by-step instructions with hints and worked examples, to more open-ended study questions ideal for initiating and framing group discussion. Some exercises are designed as exemplars and contain answer keys, while others do not provide answers. All are ready for download and student use.