Big Idea • Resource availability and abiotic factors affect algae growth
Microbes and algae blooms Variables that affect conditions for algae growth and development Steve Seal Theresa Waters
Objective • To conceptualize and understanding of the different variables that affect microbial algae. • Investigate the counterintuitive nature of ocean temperature and algae growth.
Summary • Students will analyze near real time data that reflects algae concentrations and conditions that might foster that development • Students will be able to predict algae development given a set of environmental conditions
Procedures 1 • Following an introduction of types and characteristics of microbial algae (from earlier lesson), students will brainstorm ideas about ocean environments and conditions necessary for organic growth. Use a graphic organizer to list information (Circle Map…) • (possibly need to discuss land plant needs) KWL Chart
Procedures 2 • Students explore the satellite analysis of sea surface temp (SST) and Chlorophyll and interpret the color index making inferences about information (use Ocean color site) • Lead a discussion on results
Discussion Questions • What do notice about the two regions on the west coast and gulf coast in terms of SST and Chlorophyll • Compare and contrast the conditions present (using a Venn Diagram) • Make a prediction about the causes of high chlorophyll and differing SSTs
Lead into discussion of nutrients and the important part they play in the growth and development of algae blooms. (Using Phytopia-phyto factors video #1, the Bigelow webpage on phytoplankton, or direct teacher instruction) Procedures 3
Procedures 3 (cont) • Introduce the topic of upwelling and compare to nutrient run-off as a factor in algae blooms (go back to the satellite maps investigated) • DEFINITION: Bring in cold nutrient rich water pushed by wind into warmer coastal areas, as opposed to nutrient run-off. (film on upwelling-WHOI) • upwelling video
Procedures 3 (cont) • Compare to Nitrogen run-off report included in lesson plan—pictures follow from article
Procedure 4 • Introduce algae blooms and through web quest activities students will discover the sources and effects of these blooms • phytoplankton information • Harmful Algae : Red Tide • OceanLink | Biodviersity - Ask a Marine Scientist • C-MORE | Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education
Procedures 5 • Compare and contrast the types of blooms and effects in different areas, and review information found in webquest.
Assessment • Predict if an algae bloom is likely given a series of conditions. • Using satellite pictures of different months (SST/Chlorophyll) as a group activity, students will decide if conditions are right for an algae bloom (stand up if yes, remain seated if no). • Give students individual satellite pictures to analyze in terms of conditions for blooms or situation possibilities.
Standards • The Number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on resources available and abiotic factors (National) • Most life in the ocean exists as microbes (ocean lit) • Ocean habitats are defined by environmental factors (ocean lit)
Resources • OceanColor Home Page • C-MORE | Center for Microbial Oceanography • algae blooms and phytoplankton • Ask a Marine Scientist • Harmful Algae : Red Tide • WaterPollution (article on Gulf of Mexico
Fun Links • Microbe Personality Quiz • planetquest.jpl.nasa.gov/AlienSafari