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The Changing Ocean – Daily Changes in the Ocean Student Worksheet Name: Date: Mariner Worksheet This lesson focuses on one type of user who is interested in knowing about daily shifts in the marine environment – the commercial fisherman. Use this worksheet with the corresponding Google Earth files to learn more about how a commercial fisherman might use real-time information to decide whether it’s safe to go fishing. Envision yourself as a lobsterman in Maine. You are awake before the sun comes up and you start to make your coffee as you listen to the weather forecast. The radio says that the high for your area will be 64°F, and there is a slight chance of rain. Question: What other kinds of information would you want to know before traveling out to sea? Why is this information important to you? To help provide you with this information, various entities, such as the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, have moored buoys with data-collecting sensors throughout the Gulf of Maine. Today, using a Google Earth interface, you are going to explore wave height data at various locations in the Gulf of Maine. In the end, you will decide whether you think today is a good day to go fishing. Directions: In Google Earth, open the Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System.kmz, which you’ve downloaded into your My Places folder. Make sure that all the buoys in the folder are active. Now, zoom so you can see the whole Gulf of Maine and all 10 buoys indicated by red diamond icons: A, B, C, E, F, I, J, L, M, and N. Double-click on a buoy of your choice, but be sure to write down which buoy you chose. A window will open with information specific to this buoy location. Read the information, study the graphs, and write your responses to the questions in the pop-up down on this worksheet. Feel free to explore more than one buoy. Question 1: Based on this information, do you think today is a good day to go fishing? Question 2: Based on this new information, would you change your mind about fishing today? Please write your response on the worksheet. Question 3: How do the wave heights compare to the two charts above? Based on the comparison of today’s wave forecast (Graph 1), a typical calm day at this buoy location (Graph 2), and the very rough seas depicted during the Patriot’s Day Storm (Graph 3), do you believe today is a safe day to go fishing? For Further Exploration… At the GoMOOS web site (www.gomoos.org), you can access real-time information on wind speed, wind direction, wind gusts, wave height, air temperature, water temperature, visibility, and more. Just visit the “Hourly Data” section, choose a buoy, and the most current data will appear on the right-hand of your screen. You can also look at wave forecast plots and circulation models. If you’re interested in looking at historical data, visit the Graphing and Download (http://www.gomoos.org/gnd/) section of the GoMOOS web site, where you can graph multiple types of data over periods of time.
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