Gulf of Mexico 2012




Lesson Plans and Supplemental Datasets

Tools for Classroom Explorers – The Okeanos Explorer Atlas (PDF, 1.1 Mb)
[Focus: Information about NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer missions (Grades 5–12; Physical Science/Life Science/Earth Science)]
Students use the Okeanos Explorer Atlas to obtain information about position and movement of NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, meteorological and oceanographic observations, and activities undertaken during specific cruises.

Okeanos Explorer METOC Supplemental Datasheet #1 for Cruise 12.02 (PDF, 900 Kb)
[Focus: Meteorological and oceanographic (METOC) data, navigation data and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition (Grades 5–12; Physical Science/Earth Science)]
Students use the Okeanos Explorer Atlas to obtain information about position and movement of the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, calculate average velocity using information about geographic location at two different times, interpret discrepancies between calculated average velocity and measured velocity, interpret graphs to describe how salinity and temperature vary with depth based on measurements made during the Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition, and compare patterns of variability with historic data from the same geographic area.

Tools for Classroom Explorers – How to Use Multibeam Sonar Data (PDF, 689 Kb)
[Focus: Multibeam sonar data and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition missions (Grades 5–12; Earth Science)]
Students describe multibeam sonar, explain why the velocity of sound in water must be measured before maps can be created with the Okeanos Explorer’s multibeam sonar system, discuss the advantages of multibeam sonar bathymetry compared to two-dimensional topographic bathymetry, and interpret three-dimensional multibeam data of underwater features mapped by the Okeanos Explorer.

Okeanos Explorer Multibeam Sonar Supplemental Datasheet #1 for Cruise 12.02 (PDF, 924 Kb)
[Focus: Multibeam sonar data and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition missions (Grades 5–12; Earth Science)]
Students interpret three-dimensional multibeam data of underwater features mapped by the Okeanos Explorer during the Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition.

Tools for Classroom Explorers – How to Use CTD Data (PDF, 870 Kb)
(Grades 5–12; Physical Science/Earth Science)
Students define "CTD" and explain how this instrument is used aboard the Okeanos Explorer; explain how relationships between temperature, salinity, pressure, and density in seawater are useful to ocean explorers; and use data from the Okeanos Explorer to create and interpret graphs of temperature, salinity, and depth.

Okeanos Explorer CTD Supplemental Datasheet #1 for Cruise 12.02 (PDF, 956 Kb)
[Focus: CTD data and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition (Grades 5–12; Earth Science)]
Students interpret CTD data collected by the Okeanos Explorer during the Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition.

Tools for Classroom Explorers – How to Use ROV Imagery (PDF, 1 Mb)
[Focus: ROV imagery and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition (Grades 5–12; Earth Science)]
Students will describe typical applications and limitations of imagery obtained with ROVs, demonstrate how lasers may be used to calibrate images for size and distance measurements, and analyze ROV imagery from the Okeanos Explorer to make inferences about deep-ocean habitats and organisms.

Okeanos Explorer ROV Imagery Supplemental Datasheet #1 for Cruise 12.02 (PDF, 1 Mb)
[Focus: ROV imagery and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition (Grades 5–12; Earth Science)]
Students interpret ROV imagery collected by the Okeanos Explorer during the Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition.


Other Relevant Lesson Plans from NOAA Ocean Exploration Education Materials Collections

The following lessons are included in the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection Volume 2: How Do We Explore?

Grades 5-6

A Day in the Life of an Ocean Explorer
[Focus: Telepresence and communications for ocean exploration]
Students identify the basic requirements for human communication; describe at least three ways in which humans communicate; discuss the importance of scientific communication; and explain the concept of telepresence, how it is implemented aboard NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer, and how it is used to increase the pace, efficiency, and scope of ocean exploration.

Wet Maps
[Focus: Bathymetric mapping]
Students describe three types of bathymetric map, and discuss how each type may be used by ocean explorers; compare and contrast bathymetric mapping technologies; explain why multibeam mapping is used aboard the Okeanos Explorer; and simulate a multibeam sonar system to create a three-dimensional map of a model seafloor.

What's a CTD?
[Focus: Measuring physical properties of seawater for ocean exploration]
Students define “CTD” and explain how this instrument is used aboard the Okeanos Explorer; define salinity and density; explain how relationships between temperature, salinity, and density in seawater are useful to ocean explorers; and use data from the Okeanos Explorer to create and interpret graphs of temperature, salinity, and depth.

Grades 7-8

Mapping the Deep Ocean Floor
[Focus: Bathymetric mapping]
Students explain the advantages of multibeam sonar, and its role in the exploration strategy used aboard the Okeanos Explorer; and use data from the Okeanos Explorer to create a bathymetric map.

What Little Herc Saw
[Focus: Use of Robotics for Ocean Exploration]
Students discuss the importance of robotic vehicle technology to the ocean exploration strategy used aboard the Okeanos Explorer; discuss how information from underwater robots about biological and geological features is relevant to the concept of biodiversity; and demonstrate a process for analyzing video data from the Okeanos Explorer’s underwater robot.


Grades 9-12

Watching in 3-D
[Focus: Multibeam sonar]
Students describe multibeam sonar and explain why the velocity of sound in water must be measured before maps can be created with the Okeanos Explorer’s multibeam sonar system; and interpret three-dimensional multibeam data of underwater features mapped by the Okeanos Explorer.

A Quest for Anomalies
[Focus: Use of CTD data in ocean exploration]
Students describe and explain redox potential and optical backscatter, and how these parameters are related to deep-sea ecosystems and geologic features; and analyze data from CTD casts aboard the Okeanos Explorer for the presence of anomalies.

Through Robot Eyes
[Focus: Image analysis]
Students describe typical applications and limitations of imagery obtained with remotely operated vehicles (ROVs); demonstrate how lasers may be used to calibrate images for size and distance measurements; and analyze ROV imagery from the Okeanos Explorer to make inferences about deep ocean habitats.


The following lessons are included in Lessons from the Deep: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico's Deep-Sea Ecosystems Education Materials Collection

Deep-Sea Ecosystems

Entering the Twilight Zone (Grades 5-6)
[Focus: Deep-sea habitats (Life Science)]

Life is Weird (Grades 7-8)
[Focus: Biological organisms in cold seep communities (Life Science)]

Cool Corals (Grades 7-8)
[Focus: Biology and ecology of Lophelia corals (Life Science)]

Chemosynthesis for Classroom (Grades 9-12)
[Focus: Chemosynthetic bacteria and succession in chemosynthetic communities (Chemistry/Biology)]

A Tale of Deep Corals (Grades 9-12)
[Focus: Deep-sea corals and hydrocarbon seeps (Life Science/Earth Science)]


Importance of Deep-Sea Ecosystems
Chemists w/o Backbones (Grades 5-6)
[Focus: Benthic invertebrates that produce pharmacologically-active substances (Life Science)]

What Killed the Seeds? (Grades 7-8)
[Focus: Bioassays (Life Science)]

How Diverse is That? (Grades 9-12)
[Focus: Quantifying biological diversity (Life Science)]

The Benthic Drugstore (Grades 9-12)
[Focus: Pharmacologically-active chemicals derived from marine invertebrates (Life Science)]


Additional Relevant Lesson Plans

Earth’s Ocean is 95% Unexplored: So What? (Grades 5-6; from the INDEX-SATAL 2010 Expedition)
[Focus: Importance of deep ocean exploration (Life Science/Earth Science)]
Students describe at least three different deep ocean ecosystems; explain at least three reasons for exploring Earth’s deep ocean; and explain at least three ways that deep ocean ecosystems may benefit humans.

Tools of Exploration – CTD (Grades 9-12; from the INDEX-SATAL 2010 Expedition)
[Focus: Technology for deep ocean exploration: CTD (Chemistry/Earth Science)]
Students describe typical effects of hydrothermal vents, volcanoes, and cold seeps on chemical and physical parameters of seawater; explain how oceanographers can use CTD data to locate these geologic features; and analyze data from CTD casts for the presence of anomalies.

Tools of Exploration – Remotely Operated Vehicles (Grades 9-12; from the INDEX-SATAL 2010 Expedition)
[Focus: Technology for deep ocean exploration: Remotely Operated Vehicles (Earth Science/Physical Science)]
Students describe systems and capabilities of science-class remotely operated vehicles, typical applications and limitations of imagery obtained with ROVs, and use ROV imagery to make inferences about deep ocean habitats.

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