Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

Microbiology Activities | Back to top

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The Good, the Bad, and the Bountiful

This lesson uses a dramatization game to provide an introduction to microbes—what they are, what they do, where they are found and how they affect humans.
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Microbes and Climate

This activity is meant to provide students with an understanding of how microbes play a role in the climate system, from the formation of the atmosphere to current climate dynamics to the role of microbes in climate change.
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Predicting Growth

This lab is designed to give students a “hands-on” experience to help answer the question: How can you determine where in your environment you might find microorganisms?

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Microalgae: Blooms Gone Wild!

Students analyze near real time data that reflects algae concentrations and conditions that might foster that development and make educated predictions of potential for algae development given a set of environmental conditions.

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Microbes are a BLAST

This lesson provides students with an opportunity to explore the diversity of microbes in the marine environment.


Classification Activities | Back to top

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Sorting Objects

This lesson serves as an introduction to classification, using familiar objects to help students understand what attributes are used to classify things.
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Local Organism Sort

This lesson uses plants and/or animals that students are already familiar with to assist them in making connections between physical characteristics and categorization.
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Deep-sea Sort

This activity encourages students to take what they have learned about the principles of classification and apply it to deep-sea animals that they may have never seen before. Deep-sea images are included.
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Appearances are Deceiving

This lesson is intended to introduce students to selection processes that govern convergent evolution.  Students will focus on analogous physical and behavioral characteristics of organisms that are found in the deep ocean and how these characteristics are adaptive to this environment. 

Coastal Processes Activities | Back to top

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Elkhorn Slough Nitrogen Case Study

This activity uses realtime data from the MBARI LOBO ocean observatory project to introduce students to marine chemistry, environmental science and oceanography.
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Upwelling Case Study

This online activity guides students through an investigation to discover whether high Pacific Sardine landings are correlated with strong upwelling in Monterey Bay.
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The Blue Mud Shrimp Mystery

The ghosts of Halloween are past, but the mystery of these zombie shrimp will help students learn about the effects of invasive species on ecosystems.

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Mystery Spill Investigators

This activity provides an opportunity for students to use various resources including hands-on lab, vector analysis and a case study to determine what caused the massive bird death in Monterey Bay.

Marine Geology Activities | Back to top


Crossing the Pacific

This four-part activity will guide students to explore, investigate, and analyze our mysterious ocean floors.
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What's Really Under the Ocean?

What is really under the salt water in our worldwide oceans? This activity will guide students to explore, investigate, and analyze our mysterious ocean floors.

Ocean Acidification Activities | Back to top

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Ocean Acidification: Is There a Problem?

Students will utilize a guided WebQuest to research the possible future effects of ocean acidification, explore current models used to predict the changes in the ocean’s pH and discuss the current data collection for research.

Nutrient Cycle Activities | Back to top

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The Biological Pump

This slide show will take students step-by-step through the processes that are involved the biological pump.  Students will be encouraged to think about how the availability of nutrients such as nitrate and iron affect the amount of carbon dioxide that is eventually sequestered in the deep oceans.
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The SOFeX Expedition

This activity will help students understand the rationale, questions, research, technology and people involved in the Southern Ocean Iron Experiment (SOFeX) Cruise in 2002.
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Graphing Iron Data

This activity will help students understand how scientists assess the impacts of iron on ecosystem processes. Students will look at a spreadsheet of data collected from buoys in Monterey Bay. 


Physical Oceanography Activities | Back to top


Studying Tsunami

This page contains links and information to help students study and understand tsunami using examples from the recent earthquake in Japan and the tsunami event it generated.

Crossing the Pacific—Bathymetry

Students will work collaboratively to investigate ocean observing systems around the world to gain understanding of the Earth’s oceans and how scientists are studying these ecosystems.

Ocean Observing Activities | Back to top

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This activity allows students, working individually or in small groups, to retrieve information from pre-assigned web sites, retrieve real-time data to compare nitrate and phosphate concentrations at two open ocean monitoring sites, and construct an Excel graph using data from two different sites.
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Ocean Observation

This activity will help familiarize student with methods scientists use to study the ocean floor, and will encourage them to pose and investigate their own questions about the ocean.

ORCA Eye-in-the-Sea Activities | Back to top

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Critter Characteristics

This activity encourages students to apply their knowledge of natural selection, ocean life, and ocean zones to observe and analyze the unique adaptations needed by organisms that exist in the deep ocean.
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Observing Deeply

Animals and plants have a great variety of body plans and internal structures that contribute to their being able to make or find food and reproduce. In this activity, students will use technology to explore how animals in the deep sea are adapted to living in that environment.
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Who’s New in the Deep Sea?

This activity helps familiarize students with the technology and methods scientists use to study the deep sea, and helps students make possible connections between organisms and their habitat.

Satellite Technology Activities | Back to top

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Survival in the Open Ocean

This activity serves as an introduction to the open-ocean ecosystem, the animals that live there, why they are important and how they are studied by researchers.
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Satellite Tracking

This activity provides an opportunity for students to use satellite tagging data to answer questions related to open-ocean animals, their habitats and migratory behaviors.
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Student Tracking

In this activity, students will use various tracking techniques to become familiar with satellite tracking procedures, relevant questions, data sources and organization.
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Marine Animals on the Move

Over the course of this project students will be expected to collaborate and share collected data with a partnered school to create a final product that interprets possible connections between organisms and their environment based on the use of real-time satellite tracking data.

Marine Policy and Socioeconomics Activities | Back to top

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Career Exploration

This activity will help familiarize student with various careers in marine science and technology, and will help students find out what responsibilities, interests, aptitudes, schooling and experience are necessary to follow a particular career path.


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Last updated: Jul. 21, 2015