Curriculum Filter Results

Seeing Purple: A Population Explosion

Through a simulation, sampling, and estimation activity, students learn about the impact of purple loosestrife on a wet land due to its exponential growth. They learn about purple loosestrife’s life cycle and appreciate how scientists determine population size in an ecosystem.

Objectives:

  • Recognize purple loosestrife and tell how the seeds are dispersed.
  • Describe that purple loosestrife produces over 2 million seeds and have a concept of how much that really is.
  • Determine the population of purple loosestrife seeds for their wetland ecosystem through sampling.

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Being Productive in the Arctic Ocean

Objectives:

  • Students will be able to identify the three realms of the Arctic Ocean, and describe the relationships between these realms.
  • Students will be able to identify major factors that limit primary productivity in the Arctic Ocean, and will be able to describe how these factors exert limiting effects.
  • Given data on potentially limiting factors and primary productivity, students will be able to infer which factors are actually having a limiting effect.

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Bats and Hot Nuts!

This activity allows students, working individually or in small groups, to retrieve information from pre-assigned web sites, retrieve real-time data to compare nitrate and phosphate concentrations at two open ocean monitoring sites, and construct an EXCEL graph using data from two different sites.

Each student or group will retrieve data for a specific time frame from public data generated at an ocean observatory and generate a graph for each variable. After graphing the data, students will analyze their graphs, discuss and compare their findings with the class. In conclusion, the students will predict how future Global Climate Changes might affect these nutrients in the open ocean.

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What factors influence ice coverage on the Great Lakes?

What impacts do you think ice on the Great Lakes might have on the surrounding area? Ice actually has a considerable impact. Shipping is shut down for a part of the year. Fish spawning can be impacted. Shoreline structures can be damaged. Even the climate itself is impacted by the ice coverage.

Objectives:

  • Develop a hypothesis identifying the major factors involved in ice coverage of the Great Lakes.
  • Design an investigation of relationships in the Earth System.
  • Evaluate your hypothesis and suggest other investigations related to it.

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Snowmaking—Great Lakes Style

Students living near the Great Lakes often feel the chill of lake-effect snowstorms. Students who have been introduced to weather basics can become familiar with the lakes’ effect on winter storms through this mapping exercise. This activity compliments a weather and climate unit.

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Is the Globe Warming? Is there Evidence in the Great Lakes Region?

After completing this activity, students will be able to:
  • Critically interpret graphic data.
  • Evaluate and discuss the difficulties inherent in interpreting and forecasting long- and short-term trends.
  • Analyze data, draw conclusions about whether there is evidence of global warming, and defend their conclusions.

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What Happens to Heat Energy Reaching the Great Lakes?

Even as far back as the “log cabin days,” people knew that water absorbs a great deal of heat energy and can in turn release this heat. Pioneers would prevent foods from freezing on cold nights by placing a large container of water in the room. Can you think of why this might work? In this investigation we will explore how bodies of water can affect the surrounding areas.

Objectives:

  • Describe how soil and water differ in their ability to absorb and release heat energy.
  • Describe how this difference in heat absorbed or released affects the atmosphere immediately above the land and immediately above the water.

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Implications of Warming in the Arctic

Besides being a “canary in the coal mine,” why should we learn about global warming in the Arctic?

Objectives:

  • Explain feedback loops including surface reflectivity (albedo), ocean circulation, melting permafrost releasing heat-trapping gasses and melting ice contributing to rising sea levels.
  • Explain how warming in the Arctic affects the rest of the world.

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