Students will learn about different phytoplankton and what impacts their distribution by building a water column representing the Southern Ocean.

Students will build a water column that showcases the different types of phytoplankton found at different levels of the Southern Ocean. We will be using data collected from a 2014 Antarctic cruise on the Nathaniel B. Palmer by Dr. Hannah Joy-Warner as well as profile data collected from a GO-BGC float off the western coast of the Antarctic peninsula. Students will predict trends in phytoplankton distribution based on various changes in a marine environment.



Amber Lancaster

Additional Resources

Next Generation Science Standards

Crosscutting Concepts
  • Scale, proportion, and quantity
  • Systems and system models
Core Ideas
  • LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems
  • LS2.C: Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience
  • Developing and using models
  • Analyzing and interpreting data

Ocean Literacy Fundamental Concepts

  • 5.B: Most life in the ocean exists as microbes. Microbes are the most important primary producers in the ocean. Not only are they the most abundant life form in the ocean, they have extremely fast growth rates and life cycles.