PUPCYCLE (Phytoplankton response to the UPwelling Cycle) is a research project to measure the physiological responses of phytoplankton to upwelling. Upwelling tends to generate regions of high productivity in the oceans that can fuel phytoplankton blooms. Locating the microscopic phytoplankton that create these blooms can be quite challenging and scientists use a variety of methods, including satellite data and in situ (in place) data to assist them in locating regions with high productivity.

This activity allows students to incorporate data visualization skills to explore some of the data used to identify these highly productive regions. Students will compare BGC-Argo Float data (e.g., chlorophyll, dissolved oxygen) to Satellite data (e.g., chlorophyll) that overlaps during the PUPCYCLE II Research Cruise.



Miriam Sutton

Teacher Resources

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts
  • Cause and effect
  • Systems and system models

Core Ideas

  • ESS3.D Global Climate Change
  • ETS2.A: Interdependence of Science, Engineering, and Technology
  • Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concepts

  • 7.B: Understanding the ocean is more than a matter of curiosity. Exploration, inquiry and study are required to better understand ocean systems and processes.
  • 7.D: New technologies, sensors and tools are expanding our ability to explore the ocean. Ocean scientists are relying more and more on satellites, drifters, buoys, subsea observatories and unmanned submersibles.