Bridge Logo fishesheader
An ocean of free teacher-approved marine education resources

NOAA SeaGrant

bullet Ocean Observing System DATA Archives

  Data Tips with this icon contain special step-by-step Microsoft Excel graphing instructions for advanced levels.

Sea Level Trends - This lesson is designed as an introductory activity exploring one facet of global climate change — sea level change. Students will access real scientific data to investigate and compare long-term changes in sea level from different coastal locations around the United States.

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.

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 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.

Heat Capacity - Why does coffee take so long to cool down? Why is ocean water sometimes the warmest when the average daily air temperature starts to drop? How can buoys help us explore these questions? In this hands-on introduction to heat capacity by the Bridge and COSEE NOW, students explore the concept and its effects on our daily lives. Students use ocean observing system data to investigate why water acts as a thermal buffer and the practical applications this has.

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.

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 coral bleaching. Examine water temperature data from NOAA to find out how 2005 affected coral reefs and predict what's on the horizon for 2006.

Cold One Day, Warm 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.

Waves: 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.

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.

 The Bridge is sponsored by NOAA Sea Grant and the National Marine Educators Association

© Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program
Virginia Institute of Marine Science
College of William and Mary