Exploration, East Coast Mapping


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NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer 2014: Exploration, East Coast Mapping: Expedition Education Module

Derek Sowers, physical scientist and expedition coordinator, discusses the plan for the Exploration and East Coast Mapping expedition.
Video courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program.

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OE Education

Ocean Explorer Expedition Education Modules (EEM) are designed to reach out in new ways to teachers, students, and the general public, and share the excitement of daily at-sea discoveries and the science behind NOAA’s major ocean exploration initiatives with the people around the world.

This EEM contains the following components:

Diamond Icon Lessons
Diamond Icon NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection
Diamond Icon Multimedia Discovery Missions
Diamond Icon OceanAGE Ocean Career Connections
Diamond Icon Recent Related Expeditions
Diamond Icon Digital Atlas
Diamond Icon Okeanos Atlas


Lessons

Educators and scientists working with NOAA developed a series of standards-based lessons for students in Grades 5 - 12 that are specifically tied to the exploration technology being used on this expedition.

Wet Maps (Grades 5-6)

From the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, V2: How Do We Explore? (PDF, 904 KB)

Focus: Bathymetric mapping (Physical Science)

Students analyze and interpret data to explain how multibeam sonar is used to identify patterns of ocean floor structures; construct three-dimensional maps; and understand how multibeam sonar technology extends the measurement and exploration capacity of modern ocean exploration.

Addendum: Blank Wet Maps Graph

To support this lesson, please see the following introductory content:

The Oceanographic Yo-yo (Grades 7-8)

From the Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection, V2: How Do We Explore? (PDF, 183 KB)

Focus: Ocean chemistry and hydrothermal vents (Physical Science)

Students analyze and interpret data from the Okeanos Explorer to make inferences about the possible presence of hydrothermal vents; and explain how interaction with hydrothermal vents affects chemical and physical properties of seawater.

To support this lesson, please see the following introductory content:

Strange Life (Grades 7-8)

From the Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition 2013 (PDF 398 KB)

Focus: Biological organisms in cold seep communities (Life Science/Physical Science)

Students will obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about flows and cycles of energy in cold-seep ecosystems; develop a model that describes some of the interdependent relationships in cold-seep ecosystems; and develop and use a model to explain states and changes between states of methane hydrates.

Everyone Wins! (Grades 9-12)

From The Coral Ecosystem Connectivity 2013: From Pulley Ridge to the Florida Keys Expedition (PDF, 508 KB)

Focus: Marine protected areas (Life Science)

Students analyze threats to coral ecosystems, and specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for marine protected areas that account for perceived tradeoffs between conservation and fishery goals. Students discuss evidence that demonstrates how marine protected areas can enhance use as well as protection of marine resources.

Tools for Classroom Explorers – How to Use Multibeam Sonar Data (Grades 5–12)

Earth Science (PDF, 689 Kb)

Focus: Multibeam sonar data and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition missions

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. This activity is followed up with Okeanos Explorer Multibeam Sonar Supplemental Datasheet #1 for Cruise 12.02 (PDF, 924 Kb) in which 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 (Grades 5–12)

Physical Science/Earth Science (PDF, 870 Kb)

Focus: CTD data and exploration activities during the NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition

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. This activity is followed up with Okeanos Explorer CTD Supplemental Datasheet #1 for Cruise 12.02 (PDF, 956 Kb) in which students interpret CTD data collected by the Okeanos Explorer during the Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition.

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection

The NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Education Materials Collection was developed to encourage educators and students to become personally involved with the voyages and discoveries of America’s first Federal ship dedicated to ocean exploration. The collection is presented in two volumes: Volume 1: Why Do We Explore? (modern reasons for ocean exploration) and Volume 2: How Do We Explore? (exploration methods and associated technologies).

NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP)

A portion of this expedition includes water column exploration using a Conductivity, Temperature and Depth profiler (CTD) to fulfill the research objectives of the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program (OAP). The water samples and data collected during these CTD casts will provide information on carbon, physical, and biogeochemical parameters as they relate to ocean acidification.

On the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program website you will find links to educational materials and information on ocean acidification, including webinars, workshops and resources.

Multimedia Discovery Missions

Click on the links to Lessons 3, 6 and 11 for interactive multimedia presentations and Learning Activities on Deep-Sea Corals and Deep-Sea Benthos, and Energy from the Ocean.

OceanAGE Ocean Career Connections

To see archived video highlighting some of the careers that will be represented onboard the ship during this expedition, click on the OceanAGE Careers page.

You can also read the article "Ocean Floor Mapping from the Perspective of an Intern and an Interview with a Marine Ecologist."

Recent Related Expeditions

Digital Atlas

The Digital Atlas is an interactive map that displays past expeditions, searchable by year, expedition theme, or text entry. Each color-coded dot on the map enables discovery of the unique, expedition-specific collection of data and related information, including downloadable oceanographic and geophysical data; downloadable video, images, and documents; geospatial data visualization tools; Expedition Education Modules including Lesson Plans and other educational materials; and peer-reviewed scientific publications.

Okeanos Atlas

While NOAA Okeanos Explorer is underway, data collected and processed aboard ship is displayed on the Okeanos Atlas map alongside other, non-mission specific data. This provides a picture of the ship's activities in near real-time. Additionally, the entire collection of all Okeanos Explorer missions are available post-cruise.

For More Information

Contact:
Paula Keener, Marine Biologist
Director, Education Programs
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

Other lesson plans developed for this website are available in the Education Section.