Using EARTH to educate and
inspire about the ocean
Katie Lodes, Beth Marass, Linda McIntosh
• Today’s technology allows teachers in any geographic area access to
real-time ocean data.
• Although all of us may have an interest in the ocean, we all don’t
live near the ocean.
• For many teachers using this data in the classroom can be a
daunting endeavor, Education and Research: Testing Hypotheses
(EARTH) website and workshops sponsored by the Monterey Bay
Aquarium Research Institute takes the frustration out of lesson
• Join us as we present and discuss three lessons from the EARTH
website that we have used in our classrooms.
Where in the US are we located?
Why should the land-locked care?
Dead zone in Gulf of Mexico is linked to excess nitrogen and phosphorus
draining from the midwest (all watersheds lead to the ocean)
Seafood is flown in from the west, east, gulf and Alaska (The Discover
Channel’s Deadliest Catch has more than a cult following)
Vacationing on the coast …HAB
Ocean regulates our climate and weather (no matter where we live: water cycle,
in fact most biogeochemical cycles)
The ocean makes earth habitable (provides oxygen…..)
Ocean supports life and ecosystems (viruses to blue whales)
The ocean is largely unexplored (what medical marvel has yet to be
What’s the benefit of real-time
and near-real time data ?
According to the National Ocean Observing Systems
Educational Product Workshop Literature Review Results
“K-12 students are not normally taught to seek understanding
(they’re taught to seek answers) and so data-based inquiry
projects can be a challenge for many students (and teachers,
too). Students need training in the use of computers as an
inquiry tool rather than just an answer-seeking tool.”
EARTH uses near-real-time data from
ocean observatories to design and test
outreach with the Internet as an
interface to scientists, teachers,
students, and the public.
How does EARTH help to
inspire and educate?
•Bring classroom teachers and
•Create excitement around the research
happening TODAY in the Oceans
•Work with peers and scientists to
create lessons that fit in today's
EARTH Disciplines and
Lesson Plan Links (Rough Drafts)
have lesson plan ideas
“Lacking a bit of polish” lessons
Katie Lodes: Classification and Elkhorn Slough Case Study
Beth Marass: Pelagic Predators
Linda McIntosh: What’s up in the Arabian Sea?
THE EARTH LESSONS…..
students classified the organisms into groups that made
sense to them and then constructed dichotomous keys
February 13, 2009 about 3:30 pm central
February 16, 2009 about 8:30 pm CDT
Ocean Research and Conservation
Eye –In- The- Sea footage
April 23, 2009 (unsure of time)
LIVE VIDEO WILL
IF working video feed is in black box
Click here for more information
on the organisms
Click on image to get more info
Elkhorn Slough Case Study klodes
VERY OPEN ENDED LESSON PLAN
Three main layers
Three main layers
USE THESE BUOYS TO MAKE HYPOTHESES/PREDICTIONS
RESULTS ON NEXT SLIDE
Click on LO1 (or buoy of your choice)
Click on Plot below for graphs on next page
Results from “canned data”
Three main layers
Print out a copy of your graph and then answer the following questions:
•What variable is on each axis?
•What is the title of the graph?
•What are the units?
•Are the units consistent when different time frames are graphed?
•What does each line represent?
•Can you predict any relationships between variables?
•Are these relationships consistent over longer periods of time?
•Do the same relationships hold true for other mooring sites?
Print out one copy of the tide
What type of tide would you
How can you back this up
from the graph?
Pelagic Predators Beth Marass
Students will be able to:
1. Identify a variety of pelagic predators
2. Describe different methods used by
scientists to carry out pelagic research
3. List different physical and biological factors
required for survival
4. Explain how these factors influence
• Students will visit the following sites
• TOPP Tagging of Pacific Pelagics
Choose a pelagic animal and the map
will show their journey
• You can view by zones
• View by Zones:
You can view by species-Pinnepeds
• View by Species:
Shortfin Mako Shark
Northern Elephant Seal
Southern Elephant Seal
Leatherback Sea Turtle
They can visit animated information on
• Will show the
Temperature over the
Week as the
Harp seals and
Maps and Data
• They show
Data as well
Caribbean Conservation Corporation
• Students can follow a turtle
• Learn about their life cycles
• Adopt a turtle
Common Name: Loggerhead - named for its exceptionally large
Description: Head is very large with heavy strong jaws.
Carapace is bony without ridges and has large, non-overlapping,
rough scutes (scales) present with 5 lateral scute. Carapace is
heart shaped. Front flippers are short and thick with 2 claws,
while the rear flippers can have 2 or 3 claws. Carapace is a
reddish-brown with a yellowish-brown plastron. Hatchlings
have a dark-brown carapace with flippers pale brown on
Follow Crush each dot is a different date
• Students answer the following:
• What are 4 factors that will influence a pelagic organisms behavior.
• Research the life cycle of your organism and find the following:
– Where do we find them in the Ocean?
– How do they reproduce and if possible, where?
– How often and how many offspring?
– What is their diet?
– How long do they live?
– How many are found in the oceans today?
Discussion and Conclusion
• Answer the following questions:
• How can we learn more about our environment by
studying pelagic predators?
• How do scientists study open-ocean animals?
• What information can we learn from pelagic
• How did the Biological and Physical factors that you
chose influence the behavior of your organism?
What’s up in the Arabian Sea? Linda McIntosh
Go to EARTH homepage
Click on Thursday
and scroll down to Presentations : Linda, Beth, Barb
Pirates make the news…
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Yemen special forces defeat pirates, take back four
ships in Arabian Sea battle
British captain describes fighting off Somali pirates in Arabian
Coalition Warship Thwarts Pirate Attack in Arabian Sea
Story Number: NNS071125-01
Release Date: 11/25/2007 3:15:00 PM
• In this activity Students will
– Become familiar with the geography of the
– Learn how to use the Giovanni “real time data”
internet tool by looking at the seas’ chlorophyll a,
surface temperature and wind direction over an
18 month period.
– They will apply this knowledge to gain
understanding and appreciation of the local
• Understanding the effect of monsoon winds and temperature
on upwelling and productivity
• Understand the effect of climate change on monsoon
• How these changes affect local biota
• How these changes influences the economy of the region
• Understanding the geography and culture of the region
• Observe and identify
– Relationships among chlorophyll, SST, SSH, wind speed and direction.
– Identify the political and geophysical boundaries surrounding the
Arabian Sea on a world map
– Construct graphs using recent data from Giovanni
– an understanding of the socio-economic dynamics of the region
– an ability to use Giovanni to generate and analyze real-time data
– Learn the about the culture and economy of those countries
– Graphs and images with the help of guiding questions
• Communicate results by
– Sharing information and working in small groups
– Drawing conclusions using their findings to propose local solutions to
the biological and socio-economic to response in the Arabian Sea due
to climate change.
Materials and Data
– Computers with internet access
– World Map
– Student activity sheets
• #1 Map of Arabian Sea and surrounding countries
• #2 Background information on local climate changes
followed by guiding questions for collecting information on
• #3 Wind data observations and directions for Giovanni line
• #4 Sea surface temperature and Chlorophyll a
Activity Sheet #1
Over the last decade the climate in the
Arabian Sea region has changed
dramatically. The area has seen
significant changes in the Summer
Monsoons. The surrounding countries
have seen major flooding as well as
yearly fish kills due to the loss of oxygen
in parts of the sea. Using real time
data, you will learn about the physical
changes that occur during the year in
the Arabian Sea. You will look at Sea
surface temperature (SST), wind
direction and chlorophyll a
concentration. Before we do that, let’s
learn more about the area. Students will label a blank map
and be assigned a specific
Activity Sheet #2
In your groups answer the following questions:
• What is the population and population density?
• What are the major religions?
• What is the average family income?
• What is their major food source?
• List 3 “Fun facts” that you learned about your
country as you researched, include at least one
that describes how their lives in your country have
changed in the last 10 years.
Before Activity sheet #3
The teacher will give a presentation on how to use the
1. Go to http://reason.gsfc.nasa.gov/Giovanni/
2. Click on the second one down
– OBPG SeaWiFS Monthly Global 9-km Products JAVA Version
3. Use Latitudes 30.0 oN to 10.0 o S.
Use Longitudes of 40.0 oE to 80.0 oE.
4. For a chlorophyll a image select the following Parameters:
chlorophyll a concentration
Data Type: parameters
Plot Type: Time Series, Area-averaged
Begin Year: 2006 Begin Month: January
End Year: 2007 End Month: June
Activity Sheet #3
While watching the
1. What changes do you
observe in the wind
direction throughout the
year and in what months
do these changes occur?
2. Watch the animation again
and carefully observe the
coastlines of Somalia and
India. What inference(s)
can you make as to what
may be happening in
these locations during
certain times of the year?
Activity sheet #3 Cont
They will plot out both the chlorophyll and sea surface graph over the last 18
months and answer the following questions
• What month indicates a high Chlorophyll a
• What month indicates a low Chlorophyll a
• What month indicates a high Sea Surface
• What month indicates a low Sea Surface
• Explain possible reasons why the months for these
two parameters do not coincide.
Activity sheet #4
Based on their observation of the line graph-students will return to Giovanni
and print out the high and low months of Chlorophyll a and SST.
In their groups they will answer the following questions:
1. During what month is the peak of the WET monsoon season?
2. What evidence do you have from the wind animation?
3. During what month is the peak of the DRY monsoon season?
4. What evidence to you have from the wind animation?
5. Suggest a possible reason for the LOW Sea Surface Temperatures off the coast
6. What evidence do you have to support your reason?
7. Does this affect the chlorophyll a concentration? Explain.
From all your observations, draw conclusions to what is occurring in the Arabian Sea
over a year. Be sure to include wind evidence, sea surface temperatures, and
chlorophyll a observations. What effect would this have on the fish populations
in the Arabian Sea?
Using your observations, offer an explanation as to why fish kills have occurred in the
past decade off the coast of Oman
Propose solutions that have resulted in these fish kills.
– Groups will make oral presentations of their findings
– Complete the Student Activity Worksheets
– Follow-up writing assignment to be determined by the individual teacher*
• Students will make group presentations, by country, to report on their
findings; they will
– explain their observations of the interactions of SST and wind direction on
locations and concentrations chlorophyll levels
– describe the timing and extent of the NE and SW monsoons on the Arabian
Sea and relate it to primary productivity levels
– Explain the impact of the monsoon on their country’s climate and population
– Propose possible solutions to the physical and biological changes in the
Arabian Sea that impact their geo-political regions (e.g. fishing practices,
• Student Activity Worksheets will be evaluated for content accuracy and
Take the real
time data for
SSH and place it
on Google Earth
How do you do this?
1. Generating Near Real-Time Altimetry data from CCSA and importing the
data via a .kml file into GoogleEarth. This will show you SSH (height of
water, cold and warm) in the Arabian Sea.
a. Go to: Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research (CCAR)
Enter Date of interest
Longitude (40, 80) and latitude (0, 30)
Output options: Google Earth .kml
NOTE: If you do not see this option, Google “CCAR” and enter via Google .
The “Google Earth .kml” option will appear
Other options are all default
b. Press “submit”
c. a TOPEX picture will be generated as you will be asked to save as a .kml
and then open. Save image (to desktop or other location).
2. Open Google Earth (or it may open automatically as you open the saved
file). From Google Earth open the saved file and go to the region .
1. All of the graphs and images required for this activity are in pdf form
below so that if internet resources are not available the teacher can print
the resources for the students and complete the activity (pdfs of the
visuals listed in procedure above)
map geopolitical map of Arabian Sea
3. Giovanni: http://giovanni.gsfc.nasa.gov/
Monsoon Winds and Carbon Cycles in the Arabian Sea
• Arabian Sea Process Study ,Sharon Smith
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
The 1997Asian Summer Monsoon
What is a Monsoon (article)
Link to real-time data on monsoons in Arabian Sea
And just like studying the ocean,
E.A.R.T.H. is dynamic, inspiring
St. Joseph’s Academy, St. Louis, MO
Sanford High School, Sanford, ME
Swampscott High School, Swampscott, MA