Curriculum Filter Results

Estuary Values and Changes

Activity A:  What is the ecological role of an estuary?

In this investigation, students use various sets of data to examine some of the characteristics of the estuary at Old Woman Creek,near Huron, Ohio. Students learn about the methods used by ecologists to sample populations of plant and animal life in aquatic ecosystems, the living communities that are found in different depths of water in an estuary, and how plant communities are important to animal life in an estuary.

Activity B: How do estuaries impact nutrients entering a lake?

Students analyze a map and data to learn how estuaries affect nutrient levels as water enters a lake.
They make predictions about how the effects of climate change might affect an estuary’s ability to improve water quality and function properly.

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Water Levels on the Great Lakes

In this activity students analyze, interpret and make inferences from web-based data on Great Lakes water levels. Students interpret graphic information about water level fluctuations in the Great Lakes in order to examine the relationship between temperature and precipitation and corresponding changes in lake levels, and learn how changing water levels within the Great Lakes region impact ecosystem health and the people who live there.

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How is Coastal Temperature Influenced by the Great Lakes and the Ocean?

The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate. Use a combination of laboratory investigation, map study, and graphing to learn how large bodies of water can serve as a heat source or sink at different times and how proximity to water moderates climate along the coast.

Objectives:

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

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How Long Does it take Water to Flow Through the Great Lakes Basin?

Water that is in a lake does not stay in that lake. Where does the water go? The length of time that it takes for the amount of water in a lake to be completely replaced (enter the lake) is called retention time. Each of the Great Lakes has a different retention time. Construct an appropriate model of the water flow of the Great Lakes learn about retention time and replacement time, and how how Lake Superior affects the dynamics of water flow, retention time and flushing rates for the Great Lakes system.

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How Does Water Move in the Great Lakes Basin?

You are familiar with the water cycle. The sun heats the surface of the earth, water evaporates, water vapor rises in the atmosphere cools and condenses, precipitation falls and then water flows in the streams, rivers, lakes and oceans. In this activity you will find out how water moves in the Great Lakes  system.

Objectives:

When you complete this activity you will be able to:

  • Locate and identify the Great Lakes on a map.
  • Identify the connecting waters.
  • Define water basin.
  • Begin an analysis of the flow of water.

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How Does Stratification Affect Water Quality?

Some lakes have water quality problems related to the layering of the lake’s waters, which occurs in the summer months. During the summer, the warm surface layer of water does not mix with the colder bottom layer of water. If a lot of algae has grown in the lake, decay of the dead algae on the lake bottom may use up all of the oxygen in the cold bottom water layer. In the fall, the surface water cools and mixes with the bottom water, resupplying the bottom water with oxygen needed for life. Learn how stratification of lake waters influences water quality and phosphorus affects oxygen levels in lakes.

Objectives

When you complete the activity you will be able to:

  • Describe how stratification of lake waters influences water quality.
  • Explain how phosphorus affects oxygen levels in lakes.

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