Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

EARTH Workshop 2003

EARTH Workshop Home | Schedule
Pelagic Predators | Charismatic Megafauna | MAM | Seeing Underwater
| Iron Story | Marine Trends | UFOs

Why did the Pelagic Predator cross the Ocean? | Back to top

by Jennifer, Katie, Susanna and Barbara

Unit Description
  • Day 1�Student Data Tracking Sheet
    • Students "track" themselves for 24 hours
  • Day 2�Discuss tracking
    • Discuss things that Randy mentioned, like the differences between studying the savanna and studying the oceans
    • Continue the discussion and get into the technology that is being used to gather this data
    • Show them the maps of data points (that don�t exist yet on the TOPP site)
    • Look at other data sets as an example of what might be used for the exercise (e.g. NOAA site that goes over all of the SST data)
    • Introduce Student Activity Sheet
      • Form small groups with chosen organisms
      • Using the maps and data available, generate a presentation
      • No rubric set up yet so that the teacher can determine the specific information that they are interested in gathering
      • Important to compare the data gathered from the tags to the more traditional data from satellites, etc. (Links to some of these data sets would be great if they were on the TOPP site!)
      • Figure out why the animal is there�no right answer, but the idea is to get the student thinking about theses questions for themselves and then perhaps designing their own experiments
  • Potential collaboration with history/social studies (e.g. why do people move and settle?)
  • STDs would be the acronym for the Student Data Tracking sheet�perhaps rename this?
  • Similar tracking program with food webs/food chains where students track everything that they put into their mouth�could be some nice connections with ecology and other fields
  • Perhaps use a local community/school map to overlay the information
  • Kelly is working with palm pilots and doing some mapping, identification lessons

Thematic Unit on "Charismatic Megafauna" | Back to top

by Stephen and Mike

Unit Description
  • Interdisciplinary approach�potential for numerous partnerships
    • Math
    • Science
    • Social Studies/History
    • English/Language Arts
  • Long term data tracking�put up a large map in your classroom and, using different color pins, follow animals for years; can cover trends with your class in addition to more detailed current information
  • TOPP is currently a lot of show but no go�there is some information on animal tracking so this lesson focused on seals as a demo (buried website had 9 seals profiled); but it could be extrapolated to other animals
  • Data include dive profile, distance and direction of travel for individuals
  • Question�Can the ideas/conclusions derived from one animal be applied to the whole population?
  • Important concepts�graphing, metric conversions,
  • Data example�there are two basic patterns, but can�t tell if they are seasonal or what other factor(s) might be involved�it would be good to have the students thinking about this, but we also need the data so that they can test their hypotheses
  • Think about real world problems�why don�t researchers follow the same seal year after year (they molt!)�good to get the students thinking
  • Additional resources would be helpful
    • Bathometric maps of the area corresponding to tracked species locality�provides the ability to compare dive data to water column depth (i.e., is this a mid-column or benthic activity?)
    • We need the ability to easily locate animal by calendar day to clearly see migrations
    • It would be nice to drag and drop the curser anywhere on the migration route, and be re-directed to data for the day
    • It would be nice to have food sources hot linked to each animal, and localities of the food, or preferred oceanic conditions for mobile food
  • Interesting that the NOAA chart mixes meters and PSI�good opportunity to discuss the problems with using different measurement methods (e.g., NASA) and the importance of putting units into your data
  • Take middle school students to an elementary school and have the students present to the lower grades
  • It could be really fun to make this a long-term across-grade project�put the large map in the hallway and let the students follow animals regardless of grade

MAM�Marine Animals on the Move | Back to top

by Michelle and Ashley

Unit Description
  • Goal�figuring out how to link the two schools together
  • This would be a semester long project and could be in either small groups or just in partners
  • With the different grade levels, the complexity of the question and answer will vary greatly, but the importance of long-term data collection will be the same central question
  • Assessment would be a final presentation
  • Elementary (interns) will have to provide data to the 11/12 graders
  • 11/12 graders (scientists) will be responsible for �reteaching� the material
  • Both levels will keep a journal that will be shared
  • �Shape Books� (e.g., Pokey the Leatherback by Michelle and Ashley
  • It's interesting that this across-grade-level integration of the material is coming up with TOPP�this material is clearly attractive and useful to different grade levels
  • Real-time document�shows to all students the roles and responsibilities of the others
  • Put on your �lab coat� and go to the lab (for first graders, this type of hands-on activity is great)
  • Great that all ages (even elementary) are keeping track of questions

Seeing Underwater�Marine Observations | Back to top

by Patti

Unit Description
  • There is some mistrust of the scientific community and the data gathered, so this is focused on the technology
  • What instruments are involved and what kind of data can be collected?
  • Overview of the different MBARI Web pages/links
  • There are suggestions provided here, but there are not specific instructions to keep the activity a little more open-ended
  • The problem with some classroom textbooks is that there isn�t much about the technology in them
  • Makes good use of the MBARI Web site
  • Perhaps add information about the people involved and their background/career information

Bermuda�An Inquiry Based Hypothesis | Back to top

by Esat

Unit Description
  • Everybody knows about Bermuda and the mysteries within�this activity draws on that knowledge to get the students thinking about mysteries and inquiry
  • This activity should be tried/tested beforehand to ensure success (or be ready with some discussion avenues)
  • Lead boat should probably be handled by instructor
  • There should be a proposal (written) before any activity that addresses the inquiry steps. Observations, theory, test, results from previous tests, etc.
  • Doesn�t really address the idea of data�but does focus on the �suspended� activity so this is more of an issue of our instructions
  • It would not be hard to make this related to observatories, moorings, AUVs, and ROVs by using this background material and then designing and engineering vehicles
  • Use other materials for boats (besides Pb), like clay; maybe even look into other odd material that have been used to make boats!
  • Could also premeasure sand, add it until the boat sinks and then measure what�s left to find out how much it took to sink�but this activity is more focused on the stepwise process of sinking the boat

Oceanic Anemia�The Iron Story | Back to top

by Julie, Jonah, Polly and Rhonda

Unit Description
  • This topic seemed to include a huge number of different concepts that could be applied�we started at the end with the objectives
  • The final project would be an environmental summit with a discussion of student research
  • Start very broad, could go anywhere; we narrowed it down a bit and focused on the biological pump (but this could have gone into the global economics, circulation patterns, etc.)
  • This activity will require an introduction�many areas will not be aware of this issue!
  • Many schools have spec-20s so basic measurements can be made
  • Perhaps link to Habitat project and see if they thought about adding iron to the system to get rid of the CO2
  • Problem�how to get iron free water?
    • Chelators?
    • Condensing and making your own water?

Marine Trends and Analysis | Back to top

by John, Ron, Tony and Kelly

Unit Description
  • Day 1�Virtual field trip
  • Day 2�Hold the Anchovies
  • Day 3�Discussion of the development of trends from the data (This is a great skill! Now you can take any set of data and do some pretty neat stuff.)
  • Day 4�Virtual Canyon virtual dive
    • Look at raw data (ouch, there�s a lot of numbers!)
    • CTD data can be pulled out of VARS and leads to a good discussion on the comparison between the two databases (ROV CTD is every 15 seconds; VARS is done based on annotations)
  • Day 5�Working in groups to manipulate and analyze data; (Assessment�view progress on the computer or have something turned in)
  • Day 6�Generation of a graph showing a trend/link between biological and physical data
  • Day 7�Generation of a written report using the graph to summarize the trend, supported by the data; then a group presentation to the class/peers
  • Also did some backwards planning�what type of assessment is possible and then going backwards based on the data available
  • Different grade levels are represented by the group
  • Graphing calculator usage is important and more common these days
  • Notebook is important�this would be checked daily
  • How much data? Teacher would provide the first initial screening by selecting organisms or requesting specific data sets rather than taking all the data!
  • Be good to focus on 2-3 areas in the canyon and look at this over time (comparison with seasons, etc.)
  • Be great to have links to other career opportunities (techs, cook, etc.)
  • �Greatest hits� data would be most useful

Unidentified Floating Objects | Back to top

by Victor and Terrie

Unit Description
  • Real data is interesting to students and public at all levels!
  • Create laminated cards (from frame grabs); let the students spread them out and then organize them (by whatever method they choose); then have them present their findings
  • Discussion about why and how things are grouped together
  • Research and try to identify the organisms on the cards and results can be posted on the website (hopefully with some type of feedback validating the interaction)
  • Hope to get this into the classroom this year!
  • Classification is going to be important, students can reflect on their changing ideas on how classification is done
  • Maybe include a pre-survey on taxonomy and how it is used and then give this back to them afterwards to see how it has changed
  • Lots of opportunities here for different classification levels
    • Think about changing kingdoms, the Protista which are really just the garbage can of taxonomy
    • You can start at whatever level you need
  • Good exercise for lower grade as well
  • Online Bingo�where daily animals are posted on a website
  • Size is an important topic�image grabs may or may not be representative of size�perhaps put this onto the frame grab
  • Kiosk at MBA or MBARI�try your hand at identifying these organisms

EARTH Workshop Home | Schedule
Pelagic Predators | Charismatic Megafauna | MAM | Seeing Underwater
| Iron Story | Marine Trends | UFOs


Last updated: Jul. 15, 2013

Full-hemisphere views of the Earth from GOES (Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites).
GOES satellites are built by NASA and operated by NOAA.

EARTH logo designed by Jennifer Trask, 2003