Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico 2014


Background Resources

Education Resources

Related Expeditions & Data

Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico 2014: Expedition Education Module

Dr. Charles Fisher is a professor of biology in the Eberly College of Science at The Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Fisher’s research group uses a wide variety of techniques and approaches to discover new species, investigate the metabolic and life history adaptations of vent and seep animals, and study the ecology of the often strange communities found in these deep sea habitats. Watch this short video to learn more about the unique geology and biology of the Gulf of Mexico.

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Stephanie Farrington, biological scientist at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, introduces the leg of the Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2014 Expedition that begins on April 10 and concludes on May 1.

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OE Education

As "America’s Ship for Ocean Exploration," NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer’s sole assignment is to systematically explore Earth’s largely unknown ocean. A major task for this mission is to reach out to teachers, students, and the general public so that they may become engaged with expeditions dedicated to purposes of discovery and the advancement of knowledge. Okeanos Explorer Expedition Education Modules (EEMs) are designed to help accomplish this task. The Okeanos Explorer Exploration of the Gulf of Mexico 2014 offers a unique opportunity for explorers of all ages to investigate the unknown and poorly known areas of the Gulf of Mexico.


This EEM contains the following components:


Lesson Plans
Educators and scientists working with NOAA developed standards-based lesson plans for students in Grades 5-12 that are tied to the science and technology associated with this expedition. Newer lessons support the Next Generation Science Standards performance expectations exit icon (and their associated Common Core State Standards Connections), as well as the Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts exit icon. You will also find links to other NOAA expeditions on the Ocean Explorer website that have content and lessons that relate to the Gulf of Mexico.


Lessons from the Deep: Exploring the Gulf of Mexico's Deep-Sea Ecosystems Education Materials Collection
This collection includes 16 lesson plans about deep-sea organisms and ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico. Lessons include selections from education materials developed for 11 expeditions sponsored by NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER), as well as new lessons and additional background information about the Deepwater Horizon event.

This education package was also provided in an online professional development format. The archived course, complete with keynote videos and discussion rooms, can be viewed here: http://www.coexploration.org/oe-dse exit icon.


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).


Multimedia Discovery Missions
Click on the links to Lessons 3, 5, 6, 11 and 12 for interactive multimedia presentations and Learning Activities on Deep-Sea Corals, Chemosynthesis and Hydrothermal Vent Life, Deep-Sea Benthos, Energy from the Ocean, and Food, Water, and Medicine from the Sea.


Recent Related Expeditions
Each of these expeditions covers topics similar to those of this expedition. Each expedition web page has an education component with associated lesson plans on topics including shipwrecks, corals, cold seeps, and the technologies used to explore these areas.

Monterrey Wreck (Site 15577): Catalyzing Research on an Early 19th Century Wooden Shipwreck Discovered in the Gulf of Mexico 2013
The Gulf of Mexico 2014 expedition will include continued exploration of this wreck site.

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer Gulf of Mexico 2012 Expedition

Lophelia II 2012: Deepwater Platform Corals

Lophelia II 2010: Oil Seeps and Deep Reefs

Lophelia II 2009: Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks

Lophelia II 2008: Deepwater Coral Expedition: Reefs, Rigs, and Wrecks


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.


Digital Atlas and Okeanos Atlas
The OER Digital Atlas map provides an overview of OER-sponsored expeditions. The Digital Atlas is the central point of access to expedition science background, lesson plans, scientific data, and more. You can also visit the Okeanos Atlas and follow along with the ship in near real-time.


For More Information
Paula Keener
Director, Education Programs
NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research

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

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