Summary • The overlap of hurricanes and nesting seasons in the southeastern US is a threat to the survival of sea turtle nests. • Students will explore real time data to understand the relationship between storms and nesting success. • They will be analyzing datasets within the SECOORA website and drawing conclusions that will enable them to predict future hurricane damage.
Key Concepts • Natural events such as hurricanes impact sea turtle nesting. • Available real-time data is useful in predicting an analyzing threats to sea turtle nesting. • Archival data from past hurricanes can be useful in modeling potential impacts on turtle nesting and in mitigating the severity of future impacts.
Objectives • Students will gather real time data from the SECOORA website that focuses on physical and chemical parameters. • Students will record real time data and retrieve archival data. • Students will demonstrate the relationship of real time data to natural weather occurrences.
Students will predict damage from future storms. • Students will present and communicate the results of their research by comparing and analyzing data from five different southeastern regions of the US.
Materials • Computer • Access to internet • Paper/pencil • Lab journal • Ruler
Procedure • Students will read the background papers and answer questions on Baby Turtles and on Hurricanes. • Students will break up into five groups each of which is assigned a different southeast region of the US. • Their assignments will be accessed online as files. • The regions considered are North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, northern Florida and southern Florida.
Each group will receive an article specific to their region which they will summarize. • They will acquire real time and archived data for their area on wind speed, wind direction, air pressure, humidity and water level. • They will compare real time data with archived data and answer related questions.
Data Analysis • Go to www.SECOORA.org • Click on Data and Maps • Magnify the map and click on the platform close to New Smyrna Beach. • Complete Data table 1 with your real time data for wind direction, wind speed, air pressure, humidity, and water level. Include current time and date. • Click on http://www.fldep-stevens.com/readings-8721147.php • This will allow you to find archive data. Insert August 25, 2011 to August 29, 2011.
Compare your real time data to your archive data. • Choose a date where you have the most significant changes in either of the 5 variables you were provided with. Complete Data table 2 with your archive data. Include date and time of your archive data. • Be sure to include the date and time for your archive data. • (Have students convert water level from feet to meters)
Coordinates for New Smyrna Beach, Florida: 28-58-43.9520N / 080-55-30.1950W • Current Data for New Smyrna Beach, Florida • Station Location:________________________
Assessment • Students will collect and analyze data, comparing real time data with archived data. • Students will communicate their findings by presenting their data to the class and sharing their analyses of this data and their conclusions. • Students will satisfy the requirements of the assessment rubric.
Students can create a board game on hatchling survival. • Students can create informational posters on hurricane survival.
Students can create educational brochures on various species of turtles. • Students will develop strategies to mitigate damage in future storms.
Using available data during a virtual field trip and archival data relating to Hurricane Irene as a benchmark, student research should focus on: (1) climate change effects on key habitats upon which turtles depend; (2) factors that influence nest site selection; (3) the consequences of skewed primary sex ratios; and(4) the effect of climate change on turtles at sea, for example range shifts and dietary breadth.
KEY WORDS: Global warming · Sea turtle · Temperature · Sex ratio · Phenology · Range · Conservation, hurricanes, currents, Sea level rise, Hurricane Irene
Questions to consider: Which species are involved?Where are nesting beaches?What are the food sources?What are the migration patterns?What are the long-term threats? (Climate, Sea Level Changes, Food webs) What are the short-term threats? (Storms, human activities/beach use, development, weather, pollution events)
Resources: • Buoys • Websites • Literature • Archival information • “Field” Observations
Recent human activities may serve as a model of long-term effects. Ultimately, if turtles cannot adapt to the effects of climate change through combination of physiological and behavioral mechanisms, they could face local to widespread extirpation without zealous management. Turtles migrate and forage over huge spatial scales, which may also confer greater resilience and adaptive capacity to the negative effects of climate change. Nesting, migration and foraging behavior should be integrated across populations with increasingly reliable empirical and modelled climate information to work towards assessments of adaptive capacity and resilience of marine turtles to climate change. (Williams et al. 2008) This could be facilitated by studying short-term impacts from human activities.
Resources: • Sea level rise, disappearing beacheshttp://wwf.panda.org/who_we_are/wwf_offices/senegal/?uNewsID=19554 • http://www.climatewatch.noaa.gov/image/2010/rising-sea-levels-threaten-hawaiian-sea-turtles-nesting-sites • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Threats_to_sea_turtles
Ocean and meteorological data • http://secoora.org/data/ • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfLwcE7cJI8&feature=player_embedded
Archival information on Hurricane Irene and turtles • http://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_n_palm_beach_county/juno_beach/sea-turtle-nests-vulnerable-to-hurricane-irene/http://www.wpbf.com/About-700-Sea-Turtle-Nests-Washed-Out-By-Hurricane-Irene/-/8789538/5059602/-/l0nuf5/-/index.htmlhttp://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_n_palm_beach_county/juno_beach/hurricane-irene's-wake-stirring-up-trouble-for-hatchling-sea-turtleshttp://www.wptv.com/dpp/news/region_n_palm_beach_county/juno_beach/hurricane-irene's-wake-stirring-up-trouble-for-hatchling-sea-turtleshttp://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/florida_beaches/2011/08/sea-turtle-affected-by-hurricane-irene.html • http://goosecreek.patch.com/articles/hurricane-irene-delivers-blow-to-turtle-nests
Turtle ecology http://secoora.org/classroom/flowing_oceanhttp://www.int-res.com/articles/esr2009/7/n007p137.pdf • Red tides, human activityhttp://www.pnas.org/content/102/40/14181.full.pdf • http://secoora.org/classroom/observing_overview/educators_interview_scientists/marine_pollution