This sequence of activities using real-world data to explain the importance of coral reefs and the relationship of coral reef health to the surrounding environment. Unit includes five activities.

This 3-part interactive and virtual lab activity examines the life cycle of the sea urchin, and how the increasing acidity of the ocean affects their larval development.

In this learning activity, students analyze an actual dataset of the influence of temperature on tree growth. They use mathematical and statistical concepts like slope equations and lines of best fit to determine the relationship. They are then asked to make predictions about future tree growth under different greenhouse gas emissions, interpreting data from climate models to make these predictions.

This lesson guides a student inquiry into properties of the ocean's carbonate buffer system, and how changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels may affect ocean pH and biological organisms that depend on calcification.

In this activity students use NASA satellite data to study changes in temperature and snow-ice coverage in the South Beaufort Sea, Alaska. They will then correlate the data with USGS ground tracking of polar bears and relate their findings to global change, sea ice changes, and polar bear migration and survival.

This collection of learning activities allows students to explore phenology, phenological changes over time, and how these changes fit into the larger context of climate change. Students explore patterns of solar radiation and seasons as well as phenological cycles and ecological affects of these patterns.

In this activity from NOAA's Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, learners investigate how methane hydrates might have been involved with the Cambrian explosion.

This teaching activity addresses environmental stresses on corals. Students assess coral bleaching using water temperature data from the NOAA National Data Buoy Center. Students learn about the habitat of corals, the stresses on coral populations, and the impact of increased sea surface temperatures on coral reefs. In a discussion section, the connection between coral bleaching and global warming is drawn.

This unit allows students to investigate past changes in Earth's climate. Students first explore relationships in climate data such as temperature, solar radiation, carbon dioxide, and biodiversity. They then investigate solar radiation in more depth to learn about changes over time such as seasonal shifts. Students then learn about mechanisms for exploring past changes in Earth's climate such as ice cores, tree rings, fossil records, etc. Finally, students tie all these together by considering the feedbacks throughout the Earth system and reviewing an article on a past mass extinction event.

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.

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