Seals are marine mammals that adapt to many different marine environments. These classroom activities will use a series of scientific stations to illustrate harbor seal adaptations. Seal skins will be examined, temperature tested through blubber. Different shapes will be analyzed to determine what is streamlined and what is not.
Properties of Water
Water molecules are complex. During this laboratory activity, participants will examine surface tension and buoyancy. The H2O aspect of water will be analyzed to determine how molecules stick together and the concept of attraction and repulsion will be introduced. Activities will use hypothesis and repeated testing.
Dissolved Oxygen Titrations
Marine animals, plants and bacteria require oxygen for respiration just as land organisms do. The amount of oxygen that can dissolve in water is limited by factors such as temperature and salinity. This activity emphasizes proper water sampling methods and a comparison of chemical titration methods in a laboratory to the field. The importance of follow-up analysis and using different methodologies will be stressed for accurate scientific data collection.
Davy Jones Locker and Layered Ocean
In many areas of the ocean, there are noticeable density layers from the less dense surface waters to the more dense bottom waters. These relatively stable density layers can be due to rapid changes in temperature or salinity. As a result of these layers, the waters tend to not mix from one layer to another. This activity incorporates the properties of water and floating objects in different densities.
Identification and Adaptations of Marine Animals
This activity uses a variety of marine organisms - plankton, algae, infauna and epifauna - to introduce taxonomic identification techniques. Small student teams will identify the scientific name and common name of different animals and organisms. They will be introduced to vocabulary such as dorsal, ventral, umbo, fins, etc. The importance of observation in science will be emphasized.
Originating in Japan and China in the 1800's, fish printing served a practical purpose as fishermen used it to preserve a record of their
catch. Since then, fish printing has been practiced as a form of art. This
activity focuses on the history of fish printing and its modern form.
The marine seaweeds, grasses and flowering plants are of great importance to coastal and nearshore environments. Marsh plants and dune grasses are sources of nutrients and prevent erosion. Preserving plants can be used for identification of species and study of the taxonomic relationships between plants. They can also be used to determine geographic variations and study of their tissues and structures.
The movements, growth rate, abundance and spawning success of fisheries all have an important effect on the success of the industry. Laws have been enacted to ensure the success of fishing industries and prevent overfishing, but enforcement is difficult. This activity examines the balance between the marketability of certain kinds of fish and crustaceans and the number of commercial and recreational fisherman as a measure of the intensity of fisheries. The management and future of aquaculture industries will be discussed.
Plankton are tiny plants and animals that are carried about by the waters of the ocean. They are fascinating organisms that are basic to marine food chains and life cycles. This activity examines the different types of plankton and its role in the food web. Photosynthesis and flotation characteristics of benthic organisms will be discussed as well as the adaptation of plankton to different seasons and ocean depths.
Temperature has a profound effect on living things. It can slow down or increase their growth, appetite, digestion and reproduction. This activity focuses on living marine organism's metabolism and the rhythmical activities marine and fresh water animals carry out related to the metabolic process.