Ocean Observing: Teacher Study Questions

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Discussion and Research Questions for Ocean Observing

These discussion and research questions can be used with either the Ocean Observing video segment on North Carolina Now and/or “FerryMon Connects Students to Water Quality” and “Coastal Ocean Observing:  Real-time Data Available to Students” articles in the Spring 2008 issue of Coastwatch magazine.

  1. What is a harmful algal bloom (HAB) and how does it affect various marine and estuarine species?
  2. Research the political impact of data collected by ferries in the Baltic Sea on decisions affecting fisheries and water consumption.
  3. Research restrictions placed on fisheries following Hurricane Floyd based on the water quality data collected from the floodwaters.
  4. Why would it be a poor decision to have water quality data collected from a dredging operation?
  5. Develop a cooperative learning activity in which eighth grade classes could integrate historical data, math, and science as they compare Hurricane Floyd with Hurricane Isabel.
  6. Compare water quality data obtained in the Albemarle Sound to that of the Pamlico Sound.  What factors, including population, agriculture, and manufacturing, account for the differences?
  7. Write a story, song, or poem that chronicles the path of a loggerhead turtle as it follows the ocean currents from hatchling to adulthood.
  8. What oceanographic data would be most useful when planning an archeological project searching for a sunken pirate ship?
  9. Analyze the impact modern technology has made on:  accurate weather forecasting, the protection of lives and property during storms; or the protection of endangered species as they migrate.
  10. Research careers associated with ocean observing.  List at least 10 and write an in-depth summary (at least 250 words) about one.
  11. How might the use of online data influence students to follow a career in science?
  12. As the earth’s icecaps melt, more solar energy is absorbed.  Which technology could be best used to predict the global impact of these changes?
  13. What technologies for remote sensing of ocean data are used most by charter boat captains?
  14. Who developed the plan for FerryMon and when?
  15. Explain the low salinity water of the Albemarle Sound.
  16. Explain oddities such as flounder and harbor seals found in the Meherrin River.
  17. Research the agencies that regulate water quality in the Pamlico Sound and list them.
  18. Have the data from FerryMon led to a change in laws for hog farms, pulp mills, or the forestry industry?
  19. Who uses the data from FerryMon and how do they use them?
  20. Compare water quality data collected by FerryMon to data collected at stormwater collection sites.
  21. How does water quality impact decisions relevant to public health (e.g. swimming, seafood quality, etc.)?