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Coral Reefs

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Bridge DATA - Coral Bleaching: A White Hot Problem
Assess coral bleaching using water temperature data from the NOAA National Data Buoy Center.
Grade Level: High school,Undergraduate lower division,Undergraduate upper division

U.S. Coral Reef Taskforce
Government task force created in 1998 to research, monitor and conserve coral reefs. Site includes: background on coral reef habitats; reef ecology and environmental requirements; environmental requirements of reefs; reef functions and significance; natural and human threats to reefs. Also covered are: Task Force actions; policies and partnerships; and the National Action Plan for Coral Reef Conservation.
Grade Level: General public, High school

Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve
Describes the unique Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) Ecosystem Reserve. Provides resources focused on NWHI coral reef ecosystems, and introductions to reef research, management and protection activities. Educational outreach includes: teacher workshops; student activities, and a Discovery Center in Hilo, Hawaii that features exhibits and activities for schools and the public.
Grade Level: Intermediate elementary, Middle school, High school

NOAA's Coral Health and Monitoring Program (CHAMP)
Provides services and information for coral reef researchers and the public. Site FAQs cover technical background on coral reef biology, ecology, biodiversity, and coral diseases. Other resources: coral literature listings; classroom modules; coral cam on a Caribbean reef. Coral list serve allows discussion between researchers and others interested in coral reefs. Links to Coral Reef Early Warning System's oceanographic monitoring stations in the Caribbean, and Coral Reef Watch.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school

Built on a research project at the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, CoralWatch has developed a cheap, simple, non-invasive method for the monitoring of coral bleaching, and assessment of coral health. In the field, users simply use the Coral Health Chart to compare colors of corals with colors on the chart and record matching codes. Students submit their data and can view data from reefs around the world. Virtual components are also available.
Grade Level: Intermediate elementary, Middle school, High school

NOS Corals Discovery Kit
Overview of coral reef conservation and research by National Ocean Service. Provides a coral reef definition and background on: coral biology and life cycle, zooxanthellae and symbiosis, ecology, reef formation and distribution, importance of reef habitats and ecosystems, current research and protection efforts, including the Coral Reef Early Warning System. Lesson plans include: tutorials on the biology of and threats to corals; activities on coral bleaching and reef management using sea surface temperature data; resource links and teacher guides. A NSTA SciLinks selected site.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school

NOAA's Coral Reef
Portal to NOAA programs on coral reef research, management, protection. Online booklet describes corals, importance of reefs as habitat, value to humans, natural and human impacts. Site offers outreach and online educational materials, including lesson plans and list of things you can do. Search coral reef data and publications, find funding opportunities, review state of U.S. reefs, local and national action plans. Provides links to related sites, including coral reef photo library, international initiatives.
Grade Level: Middle school, High school

NOAA Coral Reef Watch: Remote Sensing and Coral Reefs
Developed by a fifth grade teacher, the Remote Sensing and Coral Reefs curriculum includes lesson plans, which feature links to additional information, and PowerPoint presentations. Topics discussed include altimetry, phytoplankton and ocean color, symbiosis and coral anatomy, sea surface temperature and coral bleaching, and conservation. The lesson plans can be used in sequence or by themselves.
Grade Level: Middle school

Bridge DATA: Coral Snapshots
While it is possible to survey a coral reef using quadrats, scientists are now using cutting-edge technology to closely examine the entire reef; instead of extrapolating results from several study sites. Scientists at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are taking video of reefs and then analyzing it via a computer program back in the lab. This method cuts down on the inherent error associated with the quadrat system and actually requires less time and money spent in the field.
Grade Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division

Ocean Gazing Podcast: Coral Concerns
In this podcast, we journey underwater to discover the ocean. This episode features Chris Martens, a marine chemist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He does his science by living at the bottom of the ocean for up to 2 weeks at a time. Martens explained, "It's not at all like what I dreamed about when I was 7 or 8 years old in South Florida. I dreamed that someday I was certainly going to go out there and live in a little house under the ocean. Iím getting to do it but itís slightly different than I was expecting." After listening to the podcast, download the Bridge DATA lesson plan "Coral Bleaching: A White Hot Problem." Ocean Gazing is a podcast series produced by the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Networked Ocean World (COSEE NOW).
Grade Level: Middle school,High school,Undergraduate lower division,Undergraduate upper division

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