EARTH 2018 – Day 5

Objective: Day 5 Presentations of Lesson Plans
0730–0800 Breakfast
0830–1130 Presentations—(15 minutes each)
Lesson Plans


Brynn Johnson & Dana Mohn

Stranded…How You Can Help!

Students will learn what marine mammal stranding is, how to read and interpret data to determine where and why strandings are occurring, and create a PSA to raise awareness about proper response to strandings. The data used in this lesson was provided by the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. This lesson can also be adapted to use local data.

Overview Presentation

Lesson materials:


Megan McCall & George Feldman

Hatch a Tag

Much of the data available to students wanting to understand marine biology requires understanding why, where and how animals are observed. This lesson will serve to create this baseline and introduce students to real datasets. Students will discuss what data they would want to get from animals in the wild. They will work as groups to design a tag, and how to attach it to an animal (considering ethics- nothing an average person wouldn’t do to their body or clothing and external attachment, bracelet, falls off at some point). Next they will test their engineering and investigate what data real world scientists gather.

Overview presentation

Lesson materials:

Thinking Sinking

Students will have personal experience of increasing pressure. Those experiences can be extended to understand animals at different depths. Then they will use MBARI’s Deep Sea Guide to find animals, and put them on a vertical crosscut of the bay.

Lesson materials:


Annie Forman & Erik Fowler

Ocean Acidification; Investigating Data

Overview presentation

Middle school lesson:

This activity was written with a middle school audience in mind, and provides an introduction to ocean acidification using a video from the California Academy of Sciences. After the introduction, students are guided through a yearlong, seasonal sampling of 1 or more bodies of water in their geographical area (the Pacific Coast of Northwest Oregon is the one used in the lesson).  Next, students use data collected from a buoy off the coast of Washington state to analyze and interpret possible cause and effect of changing patterns in pH levels in the ocean.  Finally, students will create a hypothesis and ask a question regarding ocean acidity levels as a jump-off point for their year long investigation.

High School Lesson:

Assuming teacher has introduced basic concepts of climate change (NASA), ocean acidification and environmental impacts (CA Academy of Sciences) and the pH scale (CU Boulder PhET simulation), students will explore recent and live data from buoys and oceanographic research vessels (scientists doing science) – including calculating mean/median of a data set (reinforcing basic statistics, reading and interpreting data and graphs), making predictions about pH (claim/evidence/reasoning), understanding both natural and anthropogenic factors on oceanic pH (variables in science), and reviewing known impacts to marine ecosystems.  


Katie Lodes

The WAR for Carbonate Ions in Ocean Acidification

This short activity allows students to visualize the negative impacts on ocean organisms as the pH of the ocean drops (ocean acidification or OA). It focuses on the how the changes in ocean chemistry, as more CO2 dissolves in the water, affects life in the ocean.  Student groups play four rounds of a modified card game War with the changes in the rules as the pH of the ocean drops. This activity will help uncover student misconceptions that in order for OA to hurt organisms, the pH must reach acidic levels. This lesson is part of a broader unit on pH which would be applicable to both chemistry courses and the biochemistry unit in biology as well as ecological impacts of a changing environment.

Lesson Materials:


Megan McDonald

Intro to ROVs

This is an introductory lesson to familiarize students with how ROVs are built and why ROVs are used. Students will observe a variety of deep sea organisms using MBARI YouTube videos and the MBARI Deep Sea guide. Students will explore the subject of why and how ROVs are used to collect data regarding the deep sea. Students will work to design a model ROV that will be used in a later lesson to build a functioning ROV.

Overview presentation

Lesson Materials:


Jim Johnson

Blue Mud Shrimp Mystery Update

This lesson plan is an extension of the Blue Mud Shrimp Mystery adding information and activities on the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) threatening the white tail deer and elk population in Pennsylvania and other places.  It will align with the Pennsylvania Academic Standards, NGSS, and the PA Game Commission environmental education public outreach program.  It will be an extension of the Blue Mud Shrimp Mystery: Zombie Shrimp but will expand the aquatic version of the lesson plan to include terrestrial animals.

Students will be introduced to the Blue Mud Shrimp lesson and will then explore the CWD as it relates to the Pennsylvania deer and elk herd.  Students will be exposed to the background of the disease, its risk of causing extinction of the whitetail deer and elk in Pennsylvania, and will be encouraged to conduct independent research on various aspects of the CWD program and will suggest possible actions to correct or reduce the risk of transmission.


Carisa Ketchen, Melissa Kilgore, Adam Reis, Stacey Sebert

Can You Build Your Shipwright?

Students will start by completing a webquest on the different equipment that can be found at an ocean observatory. They will explore a variety of research equipment used to determine the biochemical and geophysical activities of our oceans. Students will be able to compare and contrast data for inshore vs offshore mooring systems and gliders.

Then students will be given grant money to decide which equipment they will need to conduct their research, keeping in mind restraints such as ship dimensions, storage, food, fuel, etc. Students will then design a blueprint of a research vessel and create a slideshow discussing the rationality of their design with the class.

Overview presentation


Kate Russo

Marine Algae and the Mystery of Dissolved Oxygen!

Earth has finite resources, and as a result, matter recycles throughout the world by biogeochemical cycles.  The Carbon/Oxygen Cycle is a biogeochemical cycle that is driven by photosynthesis and cellular respiration. As a result of organisms performing these two processes, levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) change within water columns.  Inspired by the information available via the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), this lesson will focus on the the impact of photosynthesis on the DO levels, specifically off the coast of New Jersey.  Resources to access similar data in other locations will be available at the end of this document.

The students will propose what plants need in order to perform photosynthesis.  Based upon the discussed information, the students will conduct experiments using a chemical indicator of carbon dioxide, Bromothymol blue (BTB) solution.   BTB is blue in color but will change to green and then yellow based upon an increase in carbon dioxide concentration in a BTB solution. Students will set up test tubes with BTB solution and aquatic plants.  At the end of setup day, students will make predictions about potential color changes to the BTB solution. From there, students will access and interpret near real time marine data of dissolved oxygen to determine if their predictions are supported by real-world evidence.  After 48 hours of sitting, students will return to their BTB solution lab setup to evaluate their results and determine if their predictions were supported by the real-world data and their results.

Lesson Materials:


Tanya Boynay, Ian Dickson, Nancy FitzGerald, Mirriam Sutton, Jillian Worssam

Marine Mammal Strandings

Using marine mammal stranding data, students will create a model to document the location of strandings on the Oregon coast. The data will be coded to include anthropogenic (human) reasons for strandings which will lead the students to look for patterns and develop future research questions. Students will map 40 data points of ten different marine mammals stranded along the Oregon coast between 2013 and 2017.

Lesson Materials:


Elizabeth Eubanks

Marine Careers: Meet Marine Movers and Shakers

Students will be introduced to an array of marine advocates including scientists, artists, educators and
students. These films can be used to introduce students to marine advocates/enthusiasts on a personal level
and as introduction to a variety of ways to implement marine advocacy into a career.

Lesson Materials:


Lisa Ballard & Sara Pursel

Data, or it Didn’t Happen

This lesson is aimed at helping students improve their skills with claims, evidence, and reasoning. There are two case studies available, one on ocean acidification and one on invasive species. Students will watch an introduction video, read and explore information on the topic, then answer prompts based on data (temperature, salinity, and pH for ocean acidification, mud shrimp sampling with carapace size and sex for invasive species).

Overview presentation

Lesson Materials:


Dina DiSantis

Is Climate Change Impacting Salmon Populations?

Climate change is a topic we hear about every day, from increasing sea levels, warming oceans, and melting polar ice caps. But is climate change impacting our salmon populations? Students will utilize Pacific Decadal Oscillation data, and Coho and Chinook Salmon data to explore the connection between salmon returns and water temperature.

Lesson Materials:

1130–1200 Final Evaluationhttps://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EARTH2018-Final
1200–1300 Lunch
1200 Safe Travels home!

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