Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute

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2014 | Back to top

Group Topic/Workshop Materials
DeAnna Lee-Rivers
Beth Marass
My Nguyen
The Carbon Atom—A Limitless Life Story

This lesson will encourage students to interact the Carbon cycle as a Carbon atom in a multi-modal format. During their analysis of the Carbon Cycle, students will be focused on the various forms the Carbon atom will be in culminating the predicting ocean acidification trends. Students will be completing a matching activity with the vocabulary and definitions associated with the Carbon Cycle. After a brief peer interaction opportunity, students will analyze real-time carbon dioxide data from the Environmental Protection Agency looking for trends and examining possible causes of the fluctuations in amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Lastly, students will create a visually appealing poster using technology to explain their segment of the Carbon Cycle. This lesson can be used as a preview lesson or a review lesson after biogeochemical cycles has been taught.

Overview Presentation | Lesson Plan Page
Alia Thompson
Lindsay Knippenberg
Alex Lockwood
Data Tales—What story does the data tell?

Is there a best way to communicate scientific data? In this lesson students will participate in a variety of activities to use storytelling to communicate complex data sets. The lesson starts with opinion polling, a group storytelling activity and ends with the students creating their own stories to describe a scientific data set and reviewing their peers’ stories. Students will learn to think critically about scientific data and then communicate their understanding to a broad audience by telling the story of their data.

Overview Presentation | Lesson Plan Page
Miriam Sutton
Robert Flores
Katie Lodes
Elizabeth Eubanks
Citizen Science using JellyWatch

Students will use the app to download and analyze raw data of sightings recorded through this citizen science initiative. Students will use a modified data set from to investigate the geographic distribution of the jellyfish sightings recorded. Students will also use real-time data from to search for recent sightings of jellies in their own region, where applicable. Students will communicate their findings for a formative assessment using an Infographic platform. Multiple extensions allow the flexibility for students to collect their own data and to demonstrate the importance of programs that collect such data.

Overview Presentation | Lesson Plan Page
Bobby Bullard
Jennifer Seki
Valerie Hartmann
Howard Dimmick
Dominique Evans-Bye
Causes and Consequences of Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs)

Students will study the causes and consequences of harmful algal blooms (HABs) by learning about nutrient cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous that contribute to phytoplankton growth through eutrophication.  They will learn about the relative size and different types of plankton, design their own plankton, and create a class plankton food web for the Gulf of Maine or their local area.  Next, they will discover the human impacts on the propagation of HABs through point and non-point agricultural, industrial, and urban human contributions.  They will also discuss the effects of HABs on marine wildlife and humans.  Students will use data collected from various research vessels and attempt to describe the relationship between temperature and chlorophyll A concentration. As a final project, they will create either a Map Journal or an Infographic to illustrate what they have learned in an electronic, graphic medium.  In addition, the teacher will select from a variety of short-write formats for students to complete and demonstrate their comprehension as daily exit passes.

Lesson Plan Page
Michelle Smith
Mary Keymel
Shawn Chesser
Katrina Alegado
Who turned out the lights? (Bioluminescence Unit)

Unit Overview Presentation

Bioluminescence—“Sparkle” in the Ocean!

Have you ever wondered why animals glow in the ocean?  How does this benefit their survival?  This unit will lead students through an introduction to bioluminescence with a beginning presentation, webquest, research, discussion, and Vine assessment.  Students will then utilize near real-time data and analyze various articles to demonstrate claims and evidence regarding bioluminescence.  Finally, students will research specific organisms to gain a deeper understanding of bioluminescence and finish with a creative writing sample.  Throughout this unit students will create multiple technology rich projects to prove their knowledge of this “sparkle” in the ocean!

Lesson Plan Page

Where did the sparkle go? Part I

What happened to the “sparkle” in the Mosquito Bay?  Student groups will investigate the current hypotheses/claims as to why the Mosquito Bay has gone dark.  Students will gather information from the internet to investigate claims/hypotheses about why scientists feel the dinoflagellates in the Mosquito Bay are no longer glowing.  After the students have collected their information, they will prepare an infographic, prezi, or powerpoint to share with their classmates.

Lesson Plan Page

Where did the sparkle go? Part II

In this lesson the students will use real-time data, archived data and published papers to explore the possible causes of a decline in bioluminescent dinoflagelettes in Mosquito Bay, Vieques Island, Puerto Rico.  The students will read a news article about an event and data mine the article for possible causes. Working in groups, they will explore each claim using a combination of buoy data and professional papers.  After completing their work, the students will create an info-graphic display to showcase their findings. With the amount of bad science and the number of false claims presented by the media these days it’s important for students to understand how to gather their own information and use it to develop their own beliefs and ideas.

Lesson Plan Page

Who put the Sparkle in the Ocean?

Who put the sparkle in the ocean? This lesson explores bioluminscent dinoflagellates as a part of a unit on bioluminescence. Using web-based resources, student groups research dinoflagellates to uncover their cell biology, ecology, and significance. Students demonstrate their understanding through a creative, non-fiction story on a day in the life of their dinoflagellate.

Lesson Plan Page
Megan Jones
Megan O'Neill
Kathy Couchon
Seafloor Siphon or What's Going on in the Basement?

The hidden portion of the water cycle is revealed! It is under the seafloor! Students will use temperature data collected from two different sites in the Pacific Ocean to graph the water flow within the oceanic crust! Discoveries of how the water flows in and out of the seafloor will be made. Students will also design and test technology used in the sampling collection methods.

Lesson Plan Page

2013 | Back to top

Group Topic/Workshop Materials
Beth Marass
Beverly Owens
Digging up the Dirt on Microbes

This lesson includes a series of activities that will help students to build a basic understanding of organisms that live in sediment on and below the ocean floor. During this lesson, students will conduct a series of hands-on experiments to simulate the tasks that scientists complete while examining sediment samples and data taken from the deep biosphere. Students will conduct pH and nitrogen tests, examine physical characteristics of a Winogradsky column, extract DNA, and culture bacteria on agar plates.

Overview Presentation (Keynote) | Lesson Plan Page
Caitlyn Ullock
Jennifer Seki
Living Life to the Extreme

The requirements for human life on Earth as we know it are not necessarily the requirements for all life on Earth.  Students will be researching literature on organisms that live in extreme environments such as salt beds, hydrothermal vents, and deep ocean sediments.  They will present their findings, and apply that knowledge to the search for life within our universe.  Astrobiologists hypothesize that life on other planetary bodies will be found in similar environments. 

Lesson Plan Page
Donna Reinhart
Katrina Alegado

Students will be interpreting and analyzing HOT-DOG real-time data from the Aloha Station to compare graphs with a computer simulation.  Specifically, students will make observations of patterns within time-series visualizations of temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, nitrates, and phosphates.  They will discover evidence between these ocean graphs and the initial visual simulation to make connections about El Nino and La Nina years.  Finally, they will generate a conclusion, and synthesize their learning with a presentation.  (How does ocean El Nino and/or La Nina affect humans with data to support their presentation?  How does this relate to climate change?).

Overview Presentation (PDF) | Lesson Plan Page
Alia Thompson
Bradley Mason

What's in the Water?

Steve Seal
Carmelina Livingston
Elizabeth Eubanks
Lindsay Knippenberg
Visualization, Interpretation, and Communication of Scientific Data (VICSD)

Students will explore, interpret and communicate scientific data by using various scientific observations and visualizations. By using data and crosscutting concepts to bridge core ideas throughout the fields of science and engineering, students will develop skills needed to deepen their understanding of connections and intellectual tools, and develop a coherent and scientifically based view of the world.

Lesson Plan Page
Nettie McMiller
Anne McCarthy
Getting STOQ'd about HOTS Graphs
Jenna Gasparino
Martha Chacon
Science and Literacy

2012 | Back to top

Group Topic/Workshop Materials
Ashley Norton
Katie Lodes
Oh How, Oh How Does Your Gag Grouper Grow?
Lesson Plan (Middle/High School | Elementary School)
Gag Grouper Life Cycle Prezi
Temperature Data and Gag Grouper Larva (PowerPoint)
Student Assessment
Gag Grouper Survival Game
Rhana Paris
Sara Hallas
Beth Marass
Catching the Wandering Eel
Lesson Plan | PowerPoint
Fishery Biologist
Financial Manager
Water Quality Scientist
Land Trustee Study Guide
Word Search [Solution]
Carmelina Livingston
Anne McCarthy
Tools of the Trade
Lesson Plan
Picture Cards
Media Cards
Data Output Cards
Function Cards
News Video
Katrina Alegado
Atlantic Ocean vs. Pacific Ocean: What Do You Know?
Lesson Plan
Student Instructions
Student Webquest Instructions
Excel Instructions
Excel Example
Venn Diagram Template
Final Evaluation
Jenny Lee Art and Ocean Literacy
Lesson Plan | PowerPoint
Erin Bode Tracking Your Trash [Lesson Plan]
Miriam Sutton Sitting on the Dock of the Bay, Watching BOB Float Away
Lesson Plan
Ana Salazar
Donna Reinhart
David Grant
Hurricanes and Hatchlings Don’t Mix
Lesson Plan
Hurricane Worksheet
Standards & Benchmarks
Ocean Literacy
Mary Rosa
Rachel Crawford
Michelle Darguzas
Go With the Flow
Lesson Plan | PowerPoint
Background Resources
Student Data Sheet
Fluid Motion (PowerPoint)
Elizabeth Eubanks Surf, Swim or Stay Home: Using Real-Time Data to Predict and Compare
Lesson Plan | PowerPoint
Student Data Sheet
Angela Taylor Mystery of the Disappearing Sand
Lesson Plan
Sand Mystery Letter (Word | PDF)
Questions for Students
Robert Roth Get Your Feet Wet! Intro to Water Quality [Lesson | Materials]

2011 | Back to top

Group Workshop Materials
Donna Reinhart

Ocean Acidification
Ocean Acidification Lesson Plan
Buffering capacity
CO2 Dissolution
Introduction to pH
Solubility of CO2
Miriam Sutton Ocean Acidification
Earth's Future Oceans PowerPoint
Earth's Future Oceans Lesson Plan
Article Excerpts
Student Data Sheet
Teacher Key
Barbara Simon-Waters Ocean Acidification
Pop, pH, and CO2 Lesson Plan
pH, CO2 Graphs
Student Data Sheet
Beth Marass
Jenny Heckathorn
Ocean Acidification
Anthropogenic CO2 and our Oceans Lesson
Katie Lodes Ocean Acidification
Here Today, Gone in 2061 Lesson Plan
Here Today Rubric
Here Today Student Reflection Sheet
facebook Template
Deanna Wheeler
Sea Floor Mapping
Sea Floor Mapping Lesson Plan Part 1
Monterey Bay Fly Through (Google Earth)
Carmelina Livingston
Sea Floor Mapping
Background Information
Sea Floor Mapping Lesson Plan Part 2
Image Library
Ocean Floor Features Vocabulary
Ocean Floor Features Headings
Ocean Floor Features Images
Ocean Floor Features Teacher Guide
Teresa Hedges Sea Floor Mapping
NOAA Ocean Service Education: Seafloor Mapping
NOAA Sounding Box Activity
Sounding Box Color Chart
Sounding Box Depth Chart
Katrina Alegado
Sea Floor Mapping
Ocean Depths Lesson Plan
Bathymetry Final Evaluation
Marita Kleissler Sea Floor Mapping
Underwater Map Dance
Beth Trowbridge
Sheryl Sotelo
Watershed Awareness
Watershed Awareness PowerPoint
Watershed Awareness Lesson Plan
Spring Bloom PowerPoint
Ocean Hydrology Investigation Data Sheet
Anne McCarthy
Kama Almasi
Danielle Dickson
Fish Ecology
Swimming the Gauntlet Lesson Plan
Fish Image Worksheets
Student Reflection
Calculator Instructions
Pacific Cod Information Sheet
Walleye Pollock Information Sheet
Sablefish Life History
Pacific Ocean Perch Information Sheet
Tree Diagram
Pam Garcia
Lisa Golisek
Bonita Nelson
Fish Ecology
Today's Fish is Your Tomorrow PowerPoint
Today's Fish is Your Tomorrow Lesson Plan

Science Notebook Rubric
Fish Hat Template
Fishing Technology Worksheet

2010 | Back to top

Group Workshop Materials
Carmelina Livingston
Steve Seal
Anne McCarthy
Gliders and Ocean Observation
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Instructions for Glider Data Explorations
Assessment Rubric
Diving with Gliders Lesson Plan
Ocean Observing With Gliders
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Colleen Walsh
Misty Scevola
Miriam Sutton
Ashley Spencer
Drift Away With Me
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Teacher Resources
Student Worksheet
“Rubber Duckies Map The World” article
Rubber Duckies Student Worksheet
Stella Data (.csv | .xls)
Message in a Bottle Activity
John Cary Hypoxia and Upwelling
Tammy Springer
Barb Alameda
Oil Spill Disaster—Whose Problem is it?
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Student Worksheet
(Photo 1 | Photo 2)
Rodger Johnson An Introduction to Real Time Data
Kama Almasi
Terri Hanshumaker
Drifters and Ocean Currents
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Julie Ribar Moon River
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Salmon Run Survivor Activity
Rich Berensen Systems, Models and Simulations
Modeling (Drifters) Lesson Plan
Kara Allen
Jo Train
Jana Osterlund
Dana Spink
Christie Walker
Rivers to the Sea
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Observation Worksheet
VoiceThread Worksheet
Assessment Rubric
Watershed Pictures
Donna Reinhart
Barbara Waters
Beth Marass
Modeling the Oil Spill in the Gulf
Student Introduction to Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill
Modeling the Oil Spill
(Teacher Notes | Student Hand-out)
Gulf of Mexico Buoy—Student Handout
Oil Spill Plume—Student Handout #2
Vicki Fella-Pleier
Kathy Newman
Jennifer Sunderman
Oil-Munching Mini-Monsters Oil Spill Science Friday Podcast
Pat Whetstone Ocean’s Deadliest Catch—Duu-wat cha Si’˜s-xu
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)

2009 | Back to top

Devon, John, Joanne, Katie Scientific Method: EITS (PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
EITS Rubrics
VARS—How to
EITS Video
Barb, Colleen, Ashley The Biology and Chemistry Behind HABs (PowerPoint)
Nitrogen Concentration and Algal Blooms (Lesson Plan)
HAB Nitrate Lab
Algae Student Fact Sheet
Killer Blooms Teacher Guide
Killer Blooms Student Handout
HABs News Video
Christine, Kirsten, Janet The Case of the Bloody Red Salt
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan | Rubric)
Bird Feather Data Sheet
Data Assessment Worksheet
Data Assessment Worksheet Key
Miriam, Lisa L. Sea Level Trends (PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Sea Level Data (Excel)
Data instructions (Fast Delivery)
Data Instructions (Research Quality)
Understanding Sea Level Change
Donna What are hydrothermal vents?
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Sue Do Sea Animals Cook at 194°?
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Student PowerPoint
Internet Activity Sheet
Vicki Salmon (PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Ron and Steve Can Technology Save the Pacific Salmon?
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Sample Data Sheet
New Marine Technology Worksheet
Where are the Fish?
(PowerPoint | Lesson Plan)
Linda, Beth, Joan Presentation Wiki

2008 | Back to top

Some Like It Hot

Microbe Matinee

Marine Microbes and the Temple of Bloom

Vicki, Donna, Laura It's Not Easy Being Green

2007 | Back to top

Stephany Hannon
Miriam Sutton
Is There a Tidal Influence on Nitrates?
(powerpoint, lesson plan, worksheet)
Devon Lee
Becky Kapley
Lisa Adams
Investigating Upwelling Events Using Real Time Data From The Monterey Bay
(powerpoint, lesson plan)
Christine Revelas
Biogeochemical Cycles in your Classroom
The Mighty Muckers Collaborative Data Collection
JoAnne Vanderhorst Dynamic Cycles Unit
Christine Planet Protection League
Linda Air/Ocean Temperature Lesson
Kevin & Julie Migrating Temperatures Lesson
Graphing Giovanni Data Lesson
Matt GRACE Presentation
John Sea Level Lesson
What is a Glacier?
What is Water?
Linda, Beth, Barb Arabian Sea Lesson
Esat Chesapeake Bay Hurricanes
Vicki & Angélica Eutrophication/Upwelling Lesson
Donna & Deb Global Warming Unit
Bill Ocean Acidification Lesson
Ocean Acidification Web Sites
Katie & Kim Ocean Acidification Lesson
Joanne Ocean Conveyor Lesson

2006 | Back to top

Katie Bioluminescence in the Deep Ocean Lesson plan
Deep Sea Observation Station project
Stephany and Eileen What is Bioluminescence? Lesson plan
Monitoring the Deep Sea Lesson plan
Stephen and Katie How Deviant Are You? Glider Lesson plan
Kevin and Lisa Glider Salinity/Temperature Profiles Lesson plan
John and Megan Searching for Stripers Lesson plan
Esat Ups & Downs for Oceanography
Chris Discrete vs. Continuous Data activity
Sam Visualizing Data
Damian Using Remote Sensing to Explore Ocean Circulation
What Makes a Glider Go Up and Down?

2005 | Back to top

Michelle/Ashley What is happening in the Elkhorn Slough?
Lesson Plan
Julie, Susanna, Steven, Eric Comparing the Effects of Precipitation on Nitrate Levels in the Old Salinas River Channel
John, Esat, Crystal Nitrate Levels in Elkhorn Slough
Lesson Plan
Katie, Kevin, Lisa, Rhonda, Barbara, Adele Slough Cycles
Ron, Urlette LOBO and You

2004 | Back to top

Primary Productivity

Seasonal effects

Building an Observatory

Human Effects on Nutrient Loading

2003 | Back to top

Walt Mooring Data Activity

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Last updated: Jul. 21, 2015