Ocean acidification: the other carbon problem

Contributed by: Erik Christensen, South Florida State College, and Tim Heaton, University of South Dakota

Topic: Ocean Acidification
Course Type: College Lower (13-14)

Summary:
This activity is designed to be used as a jigsaw. Although each component could be individually used as desired. The activity is meant to be conducted in a three-phase approach.

Phase 1 involves small groups of “experts” focusing on one of our narrow topics related to ocean acidification. Students work together, using the Internet as necessary, to complete a short 10-15 minute activity while the instructor roams the room to clarify issues that arise.

Phase 2 involves small groups made up of one “expert” from each of the expert groups. This interdisciplinary group will work through a short 10-15 minute activity that encompasses the knowledge from each of the “experts” while the instructor roams the room to clarify issues that arise.

Phase 3 involves the entire class as a whole and to discuss and reflect upon the findings from each interdisciplinary group. The instructor leads this discussion.

Goals
Students should be able to do the following:

  • EXPLAIN reasons behind trends in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels
  • DISTINGUISH between the various factors affecting ocean acidification
  • EXPLAIN the effects of lower pH on calcite-secreting organisms

Assessment

  • Completion of the interdisciplinary group activity which will require knowledge from the expert group activities.

Jigsaw Group Worksheets

Expert Group 1 – Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 303kB May15 12)

Expert Group 2 – CO2 and Carbonate Saturation Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 268kB May15 12)

Expert Group 3 – Ocean Acidification Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 40kB May15 12)

Expert Group 4 – Effects of Ocean Acidification Activity (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 161kB May15 12)

Interdisciplinary Groups – TBA

Activity Description

Phase 1 (Experts) – Students will be assigned to small “expert” groups where they will focus on one of four critical components of ocean acidification. As a group, they will complete a short 10-15 minute activity. During which the instructor will roam the room and assist with clarification as necessary.

Phase 2 (Interdisciplinary) – Each “expert” group will be broken apart and each member assigned to an interdisciplinary small group where they will be the “expert” for the area they studied in phase 1. As a group, they will now complete another short 10-15 minute activity which ties in each of the expert’s new found knowledge. During this time, the instructor will roam the room and assist with clarification as necessary.

Phase 3 (Class Debrief) – The activity will conclude with a overall class discussion and debrief where each interdisciplinary group will report on their findings and reflection on the activity. The instructor will lead this debrief, making sure each group gets the opportunity to share.

References

CO2 and the Atmosphere from Earth, the Operators’ Manual

Ocean Acidification Video – http://coralreef.noaa.gov/flash/video/722_oceanacidification_withvo.f4v

Carbonate Simulation – http://www.dataintheclassroom.org/content/oa/simulation.html

Mauna Loa Observatory Data – http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/#mlo_full

The Keeling Curve – http://icp.giss.nasa.gov/education/modules/carbon/topic2/topic2rwp.pdf

Carbon Dioxide Exercise from the CLEAN collection

Data in the Classroom – http://www.dataintheclassroom.org/content/oa/index.html

Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network. Web site.


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