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Ocean Observing Systems

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Bridge Data Analysis Teaching Activities (DATAs) that use ocean observing data:

Satellites and Storms - Which does more damage to the coast, a fast moving, super-powerful hurricane, or a slow-moving, powerful northeaster (more commonly referred to as a nor’easter)? How does ocean temperature affect hurricane strength? Where does the name nor’easter come from? This activity serves as an introduction to these weather phenomena which critically impact our coasts each year. Students will use weather maps and ocean observing system data to explore hurricanes and nor’easters and their effects on vital habitats, our beaches, and our communities.

Sea State - Being able to accurately forecast the conditions at sea, or sea state, has been the goal of explorers, sailors, and fishermen for thousands of years. Now, through the use of ocean observing systems, we can not only predict, but pinpoint, exactly what the sea state will be like before leaving the dock.

Conductivity - Water, regardless of whether it is fresh or saline, serves as one of the best electrical conductors on the planet. Learn about conductivity and its relation to salinity, and use real-time ocean observing system (OOS) data to investigate what factors affect conductivity.

Wave Energy as an Alternative Energy Source - Our lives have become so dependant on non-renewable energy sources that it is hard to imagine life without them. But what about renewable or sustainable energy sources? Explore the possibility of waves as an alternative energy source and use data from US ocean observing system (OOS) buoys to determine the feasibility.

Hot One Day, Cold Another - Ever wondered why water temperatures at the beach can be so different from day to day? Learn how upwelling influences beach water temperatures in this Data Tip, a collaboration with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility.

Coral Bleaching - Some of the planet's most diverse ecosystems are at risk. With temperatures on the rise, coral reefs are at greater risk for bleaching. Examine NOAA water temperature data to find out how reefs have been affected and predict what's on the horizon.

Data Activity Survey
The Bridge recently surveyed educators who accessed one of the above activities to find out more about how data are being used in the classroom.
Summary of the survey results

Bridge Ocean Observing System Primer - An introduction to the components and uses of ocean observing systems (OOS) from the Bridge website. The primer includes brief descriptions of the technologies and links to additional resources. Ocean observing systems and their data can be used in all disciplines of science education.

Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS)
The U.S. IOOS is a coordinated national and international network of observations with associated data transmission, data management and communications (DMAC), and data analyses and modeling that acquires information on past, present and future states of the oceans and U.S. coastal waters to the head of tide. The IOOS site includes detailed information on the formation and organization of the group, as well as a calendar of workshops and events, development information, a newsletter, and all the latest news. The site also links to similar programs and industry representatives.
Grade Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate or professional

SouthEast U.S. Atlantic Coastal Ocean Observing System (SEACOOS)
SEACOOS is a collaborative university partnership that collects, manages, and disseminates integrated regional ocean observations and information products for the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The site offers a multitude of classroom activities, including Seamaven, an interactive introduction to ocean observing systems, and COOS 101, an ocean observing system primer. SEACOOS offers classroom resources, such as posters and brochures. The data is easily accessible and completely understandable.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate or professional, General public

Southern California Coastal Ocean Observing System (SCCOOS)
SCCOOS brings together coastal observations along the Southern California Bight to provide information necessary to address issues in coastal water quality, marine life resources, and coastal hazards. Data is available by region and by technology from Morro Bay south to the San Diego-Mexico border. Data products include meteorological, wind, and wave observations, bathymetry measurements, water quality data including Fecal Colliforms and Enterococci, surface currents, and satellite imagery. Classroom materials are available.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate or professional, General public

Central Gulf Ocean Observing System (CenGOOS)
CenGOOS operates a clearinghouse of buoys in the central Gulf of Mexico. Mousing over the buoys on the map reveals ownership and location information. Clicking on the buoy opens a new window complete with data profile. CenGOOS operates one buoy in the Gulf. Measured parameters of the CenGOOS buoy include air and water temperature, wind speed and direction, humidity, barometric pressure, salinity, and nitrate concentration. Archived data is also available.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school, Graduate or professional

Global Ocean Observation System (GOOS)
GOOS is a permanent global system for observations, modeling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support operational ocean services worldwide. The GOOS site is strictly an informational page concerning GOOS, its goals, the progress it has made so far, the groups involved, and its potential impacts. Links are available to pilot projects and affiliated programs that are already underway, as well as documents presented at various organizational meetings and workshops.
Grade Level: Undergraduate upper division, Graduate or professional

Gulf of Maine Ocean Observing System (GoMOOS)
Links to real-time and historical oceanographic and weather data collected throughout the Gulf of Maine. Data includes: surface current speed and direction; wave direction height and period; ocean temperature; chlorophyll levels; winds; contaminants monitoring; and more. On-line teaching unit applies data to predict a phytoplankton bloom. Data presented using creative graphics and tables, background information about the data is provided.
Grade Level: Intermediate elementary, Middle school, High school, Graduate or professional

Bridge DATA - Waves: An Alternative Energy Source
Evaluate the feasibility of wave energy as a practical alternative energy source using ocean observing system (OOS) buoys.
Grade Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division

UNH Coastal Ocean Observing Center
The Coastal Ocean Observing Center at UNH collaborates with GoMOOS and WHOI, and collects data via satellite, buoys, and boats throughout the Gulf of Maine. The COOA site features introductory information on ocean observing, real time data, and an education and outreach section which features tutorials, activities, professional development information, a glossary, and much more.
Grade Level: High school,Graduate or professional

The Cool Room
Here, scientists from Rutgers University pull together data from satellites, coastal radars and underwater weather stations, process it, and post it on the Cool Room for you to use to make the most of NJ's coastal resources. Site gives oceanographic data for use by fishermen, boaters, swimmers, surfers, and divers, and includes activities for kids. The Cool Room classroom allows teachers to seamlessly integrate the Cool Room into their lessons.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate or professional, General public

Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Predicting System (COMPS)
COMPS consists of an array of instrumentation both offshore and along Florida's west coast, combined with numerical circulation models, and builds upon existing in-situ measurements and modeling programs. In addition, COMPS links to the USF Remote Sensing Laboratory, which collects real-time satellite imagery. Data and model products are disseminated here in real-time. Site also includes links to other ocean observing resources and some educational resources.
Grade Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division, Graduate or professional

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