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Keeping Watch on Coral Reefs
http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/lessons/keep_watch.html

NOAA Ocean Service Education

This activity identifies and explains the benefits of and threats to coral reef systems. Students read tutorials, describe the role of satellites, analyze oceanographic data and identify actions that can be undertaken to reduce or eliminate threats to coral reefs. As a culminating activity, students prepare a public education program.

Activity takes one or two 45-minute class periods. Computer access is useful but not required.

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Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Individual organisms survive within specific ranges of temperature, precipitation, humidity, and sunlight. Organisms exposed to climate conditions outside their normal range must adapt or migrate, or they will perish.
About Teaching Principle 3
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Growing evidence shows that changes in many physical and biological systems are linked to human-caused global warming. Some changes resulting from human activities have decreased the capacity of the environment to support various species and have substantially reduced ecosystem biodiversity and ecological resilience.
About Teaching Principle 6
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Ecosystems on land and in the ocean have been and will continue to be disturbed by climate change. Animals, plants, bacteria, and viruses will migrate to new areas with favorable climate conditions. Infectious diseases and certain species will be able to invade areas that they did not previously inhabit.
About Teaching Principle 7
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Energy Literacy

Energy decisions are influenced by environmental factors.
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5.6 Environmental factors.
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Energy decisions are influenced by several factors.
Humans live within Earth's ecosystems.
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3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..
Biological processes depend on energy flow through the Earth system.
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Biological processes depend on energy flow.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:A) Organisms, populations, and communities
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A) Organisms, populations, and communities.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:C) Systems and connections
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C) Systems and connections.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Human activities, such as reducing the amount of forest cover, increasing the amount and variety of chemicals released into the atmosphere, and intensive farming, have changed the earth's land, oceans, and atmosphere. Some of these changes have decreased the capacity of the environment to support some life forms.
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The world contains a wide diversity of physical conditions, which creates a wide variety of environments: freshwater, marine, forest, desert, grassland, mountain, and others. In any particular environment, the growth and survival of organisms depend on the physical conditions
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Changes in environmental conditions can affect the survival of individual organisms and entire species.
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Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • If students do not have access to the Internet, educator can download copies of materials cited under “Learning Procedure” and provide copies of these materials to students.
  • Students read about human impacts on coral in the tutorial. Educators will need to reinforce this concept in the discussion after the data collection activity.
  • There is a complementary and overlapping activity at: http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/corals/lessons/coral_bleach.html. It uses the same material and asks students to demonstrate their understanding of coral bleaching through writing and public presentation.
  • Activity is linked to Ocean Literacy Essential Principles.

About the Science

  • Gives thorough coverage of the science in the background section.
  • Includes a section on mitigation strategies.
  • Comment from scientist: This is as extremely comprehensive set set of tools to enhance a variety of lessons on both coral reef ecology and about the technology used to do remote sensing.
  • Comment from scientist: The activity doesn't introduce the scientific process of how to pose a hypothesis or how to design an experiment. This is very much an advanced tool for those that already know the scientific method.

About the Pedagogy

  • Opportunities for students to work in teams to gather evidence and draw conclusions.
  • Because the material is extensive, it is well suited for adaptation for a variety of students' learning needs.
  • Clear student instructions and educator background section.
  • The tutorials are interactive and engaging.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Ready to go. All necessary materials are available.

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