Thursday, March 13, 2008

Landside Activity...

I am designing an activity for a group of 8th grade girls on landslides. I am going to have them generate a couple of landslides with different substrates (wet/dry, different grain sizes, different cohesion). I'm going to try a few different materials this weekend to 'field test' the activity and make sure it will work. If anyone has some advice or experience, I'd appreciate any tips.

The Plan:
Introduction on 'Women in Geology'
Rita Colwell
Mary Kraus
Kitty Milliken
Michele L. W. Tuttle
(I could go on forever. What successful female geologists would you recommend?)

Introduction on 'Landslides'
What they are (generally)
Driving forces (interactive - have them make educated guesses on why they occur)
Different types (chart - relate to features the have seen)
Generate their own landslides (different materials, mud, sand, pebbles, sandstone, then wet vs. dry then collect all the data from each group - I just hope the materials work as expected)
Identifying Landslides (show them a bathymetric map of Hawaii, identifying areas of landslide hazards, huge landslides, small landslides, and implications for development)

That should fill up an hour to an hour and a half. If their is time, I will fill it with opportunities for women in geology. It's a hot field to get a job right now!

Do you have any suggestions? I'll write up a more detailed activity as I work out the kinks. Here are some resources I've been using in the mean time.

Landslide Hazard Manual
Map of Hawaiian Islands
USGS Bathymetry of Hawaiian Islands
Oahu Field Trip
Oahu Topography


Anonymous said...

Regarding women in geology, can I suggest Inge Lehmann discoverer of the inner core.

On a personal level Janet Watson who taught me Precambrian geology and was first woman president of the Geological Society (of London).

Jessica Ball said...

Florence Bascom, the first female USGS geologist (and the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in geology in the United States).

I might include in the driving forces a bit about angle of repose and its relation to slope failure - we did a lot of that in surface processes.

Cool idea!

Silver Fox said...

Mel, I summarized some mining geology news today, including some info on exploration geology as a hot field to get into right now.

Sounds like you've got a good activity, there.

Mel said...

Thanks for the suggestions on women in geology! Keep them coming.
The angle of repose is the main feature I am hoping to demonstrate. Most landslides occur at angles >30 degrees and will slide at a lower angle when wet. I am trying to recreate that in miniature. At the very least students should be able to identify landslide hazards on a map by slope angle. I'll let everyone know how it goes!

Silver Fox said...

P.S., Tanya Atwater, famous in plate tectonics. Don't know what she's up to these days.

Kim said...

Ditto on Tanya Atwater, who brought plate tectonics onto land by explaining the San Andreas Fault in her PhD. She just retired from UC Santa Barbara, though she's still working on visualizations.

Marie Morisawa, river hydrologist.

Naomi Oreskes, historian of geoscience.

Jan Tullis, who made deformation within crystals make sense.

Bryan said...

You could always mention Mary Anning (paleontologist during the early 1800s). Some of her finds (Icthyosaurs for example) were used to demonstrate extinctions do occur.