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Stressed Out!

http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/okeanos/edu/lessonplans/media/09stressedout.pdf

Mel Goodwin, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)- Ocean Explorer

In this activity, students research various topics about ocean health, e.g. overfishing, habitat destruction, invasive species, climate change, pollution, and ocean acidification. An optional extension activity has them creating an aquatic biosphere in a bottle experiment in which they can manipulate variables.

Activity takes about 4-6 class periods. Computer access is required.

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Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

The components and processes of Earth’s climate system are subject to the same physical laws as the rest of the Universe. Therefore, the behavior of the climate system can be understood and predicted through careful, systematic study.
About Teaching Principle 5
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Environmental observations are the foundation for understanding the climate system. From the bottom of the ocean to the surface of the Sun, instruments on weather stations, buoys, satellites, and other platforms collect climate data. To learn about past climates, scientists use natural records, such as tree rings, ice cores, and sedimentary layers. Historical observations, such as native knowledge and personal journals, also document past climate change.
About Teaching Principle 5
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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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The chemistry of ocean water is changed by absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Increasing carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is causing ocean water to become more acidic, threatening the survival of shell-building marine species and the entire food web of which they are a part.
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mate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives
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Energy Literacy

Human demand for energy is increasing.
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6.3 Demand for energy is increasing.
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Human use of energy.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:B) Designing investigations
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B) Designing investigations.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
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C) Collecting information.
1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:E) Organizing information
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E) Organizing information.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.1 The Earth as a Physical System:A) Processes that shape the Earth
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A) Processes that shape the Earth.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.2 The Living Environment:C) Systems and connections
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C) Systems and connections.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:A) Human/environment interactions
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A) Human/environment interactions.

Benchmarks for Science Literacy
Learn more about the Benchmarks

Science is based on the assumption that the universe is a vast single system in which the basic rules are everywhere the same and that the things and events in the universe occur in consistent patterns that are comprehensible through careful, systematic study.
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Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.
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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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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 teachers decide to use the aquatic biosphere experiment, they should begin that first and make sure that students design a perturbation experiment that will stress the ecosystem in some way. Students can then make the leap to the stressors on ocean health.

About the Science

  • This activity relies on experimentation and manipulation of real data.
  • Are human activities setting the stage for a mass extinction as has occurred in the past according to the fossil record?
  • Comments from expert scientist: It is really well presented and this activity covers really important ocean health topic. Good combination of practical and more theoretical activities.

About the Pedagogy

  • The core of this lesson is to have students research a ocean health topic and then present their research to the class.
  • The two optional activities included presenting in the specific format of a scientific poster. Instructions are included for the poster presentation.
  • The other optional component is to make aquatic biospheres and then perturb the biosphere in some way to collect data.
  • The teacher will need to carefully review the materials to make sure connections are made between the experiment and the activities.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The lesson is lengthy and complex, requiring instructors to carefully review the steps and decide which options best meet their needs and the needs of their students.

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