Modeling the oceanic thermohaline circulation with STELLA

In this activity for undergraduate students, learners build a highly simplified computer model of thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean and conduct a set of simulation experiments to understand the complex dynamics inherent in this simple model.

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Dave Bice
Penn State University
On the Cutting Edge collection, Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

Educators will need to review this activity carefully to ensure that students are adequately prepared to use this resource.

Instructors will have to develop their own activity assessment, since one is not provided.

Instructors may wish to have students look at the CLEAN resource that shows a NASA simulation of thermohaline circulation: