Curriculum Filter Results

Trees on the Move

This activity set helps students examine the climate niches of the sugar maple Acer saccharum and the Ohio buckeye Aesculus glabra, and see how some global climate models predict those niches are likely to change. We will observe examples of how plants migrate, and predict some possible impacts on the North American economy and culture as maple and buckeye ranges shift. Finally, examination of research on tree seed germination offers insight on one way temperature affects trees.

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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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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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Ooze Clues, Diatom Ooze

Plot the distribution of various oozes using information from sediment maps.
Objectives:
  • Describe the characterless of different types of seafloor sediments and oozes
  • Predict distribution of calcareous and siliceous oozes.
  • Compare and discuss locations of sediments and oozes.

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Visualizing Climate Changes in the Great Lakes

In this activity, students examine information about how climate change will likely impact the Great Lakes of North America and assume that they are in a part of the region experiencing a water level decline of over two meters! They listen to [or read] a story in which they imagine that they have spent a lifetime visiting the Great Lakes. With their “memories” and their science information, they describe the changes they have noticed in the Lakes during their lifetime.

Objectives:

After completing this activity, students will be able to:
  • List and explain many potential impacts of climate change
  • Discuss various interpretations of the possible impacts of climate change

Alignment

National Framework for K-12 Science Education:
CC2: Cause and effect: Mechanism and explanation
Core Idea ESS2: Earth’s systems
Core Idea ESS3: Earth and human activity

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Who Can Harvest a Walleye?

The Great Lakes are an example of a natural community. In this community the small organisms (living things) outnumber the large organisms. The smaller organisms may be eaten by the larger ones.In this activity, students will count all the organisms of one kind, then count all the things they eat and all the things that eat them, creating pyramid of numbers that will also show who eats what.

Objectives:

When you have completed this investigation you should be able to:

  • Apply the meaning of the following terms as they relate to a biomass pyramid: producer, herbivore, first-order carnivore, second-order carnivore.
  • Calculate the relative number of kilograms at each level of the biomass pyramid in a given environment.
  • Analyze how different conditions in the environment affect the pyramid

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