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Mapping Coral Bleaching Modified with NOAA and Authentic Bleaching data

Author(s): Kristine Grayson

University of Richmond

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Description

This adaptation uses the graphing principles of the HHMI Coral Bleaching Activity, but has the students work specifically with four locations in the Caribbean where complimentary measures of coral bleaching are available. This exercise is written so students access the primary data themselves from NOAA Coral Reef watch and experience downloading and cleaning large public datasets. Alternatively, the Excel files for each location can be provided to students.

The attached files include 1) a modification of the HHMI activity sheet with instructions for accessing the sea surface temperature data, 2) a modification of the NOAA Education Background presentation, 3) bleaching data from Eakin et al. (2010) reduced to the four sites of interest, 4) NOAA sea surface temperature data for the four locations in the activity if time doesn’t permit students downloading it themselves, 5) another source of inspiration for this modification, Parker (2009) a student activity for interpreting sea surface temperature maps. I used the locations in Parker for building my adaption but instead of providing them the figures to interpret, I asked the students both to access the data themselves directly from NOAA and draw the SST figures themselves (in the same vein as the HHMI graphing activity). And instead of providing them with the drawn figure of the bleaching damage, I gave them the raw data from Eakin et al. (2010) and had them draw it themselves before making inferences.

 

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