Causes and Consequences of Harmful Algal Blooms

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.

Authors:Bobby Bullard, Jennifer Seki, Valerie Hartmann, Howard Dimmick, Dominique Evans-Bye; EARTH 2014

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