Archive for the 'Educational Materials' Category

Ocean Protector – understanding ocean and coastal acidification through game-based learning

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Ocean Protector is a free online educational game that teaches students about the impacts of ocean acidification and how they can take action to prevent it.

Through a series of interactive decisions and evaluations, students will learn about the causes and effects of ocean acidification and evaluate solutions that can help reduce its impact on marine ecosystems and people.

This decision-driven experience helps students construct explanations, reason effectively, and become self-directed learners involving marine science and ocean literacy.

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Inside National Oceanography Centre with Earth Minutes EP2: Ocean Acidification (video)

Did you know that the ocean is becoming more acidic?

Join us to explore inside NOC to learn more with Dr Sara Fowell, from monitoring the changing pH to dissolving shells.

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Pacific scientific: ocean acidification (audio & text)

There’s a rising threat in our seas — ocean acidification.

But in the Pacific, patchy monitoring is making it hard for scientists to know where the worst effects will be felt, and which ecosystems need our support.

Tag along for a trip out to sea to meet a woman from the Solomon Islands who is tracking this looming danger in the Pacific Ocean.

Dr Katy Soapi – Coordinator for the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science

Pacific Scientific is a co-production of ABC Science and ABC Radio Australia.

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SOARCE webinar series: “Laboratory to classroom translation: two case studies from the lab and field”

Date and time: Wed, May 10, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM CEST

Join the NOAA Ocean Acidification Program and NOAA Sanctuaries for our first SOARCE Webinar of the season! The Sharing Ocean Acidification Resources for Communicators and Educators webinar series provides ocean acidification communication tools to formal & informal educators, and stakeholders across the country.

On Wednesday, May 10th at 1pm EST, Dr. Emily Rivest and PhD candidate Abigail Sisti, from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, will be presenting two case studies on collaborative science education partnerships titled “Laboratory to Classroom Translation: Two Case Studies from the Lab and Field”.

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How ocean acidification threatens coral reefs (text & audio)

Coral reefs are complex ecosystems made up of tiny coral polyps that provide shelter, food, and breeding grounds for a wide variety of marine life. They are incredibly diverse ecosystems, home to an estimated 25% of all marine species, and are essential for human well-being. However, coral reefs are under threat from human activities such as overfishing, pollution, and climate change. In this explainer, host Rakesh Kamal talks about coral reefs, the impact of climate change on them, and the need to protect them.

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Ocean acidification with Dr. Jonathan Sharp (video)

What is ocean acidification? Why is it happening? What is it so bad? How can we stop it?

My questions get answered with Dr. Jonathan Sharp, a marine biogeochemist and research scientist at the University of Washington Cooperative Institute for Climate, Ocean, and Ecosystem Studies and part of the Global Observations of Biogeochemistry and Ocean Physics group at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory in Seattle. […]

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Pier2Peer scholarship announcement!

Scholarship alert! Did you know that GOA-ON’s Pier2Peer program offers scholarships to eligible mentor/mentee pairs? These awards from The Ocean Foundation — up to $5,000 USD — help support international collaborations between mentors and mentees that result in tangible gains in technical capacity, cooperation, and knowledge. For more information, including eligibility and application information, visit the Pier2Peer webpage on GOA-ON. Make sure to apply by the April 15th deadline!

Apply to Pier2Peer Scholarship

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GOA-ON Webinar: carbon cycle monitoring in the extreme latitudes, the Southern Ocean and Arctic Ocean (audio & video)

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Ocean acidification lessons: making a rainbow of pH (video)

Ocean Acidification Lessons: Making a Rainbow of pH

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Ocean acidification lessons: shell shifts (video)

Ocean Acidification Lessons: Shell Shifts

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Ocean acidification lessons: understanding oceans and coastal acidification (video)

Ocean Acidification Lessons: Understanding Oceans and Coastal Acidification
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OA-ICC booth at the Virtual Ocean Pavilion on the Road to COP27

The OA-ICC booth at the Virtual Ocean Pavilion for COP27 opened this week for Africa Climate Week (ACW), being held from 29 August-2 September 2022 in Gabon. Come visit to learn more about OA-ICC news, activities, and resources.

To visit the booth, explore materials from other Virtual Ocean Pavilion exhibitors, and view the schedule of live events, register for an account at the link. The booth and the Virtual Ocean Pavilion will be viewable through the end of COP27.

The Virtual Ocean Pavilion will host two live events this week in the Pavilion Virtual Auditorium. Please review the details below.

  • COP27 Virtual Ocean Pavilion Opening Event: Raising Action: An Ocean of Prospects and Opportunities in 2022 and Beyond
    • 30 August 2022 at 7:00 – 8:30 UTC
    • Speakers: Dr. Manuel Barange, Mr. Richard Delaney, Ms. Landisang Kotaro, Ms. Nozi Mbongwa, Ms. Elisabeth Mrema, Ian Mzee Ngunga, Ambassador Olivier Poivre d’Arvor, Dr. Joanna Post, Dr. Vladimir Ryabinin, Ambassador Peter Thomson, Prof. Carol Turley
  • Ocean and Climate Action: Adaptation and Resilience Practices and Tools Clinic
    • 30 August 2022 at 13:00 – 14:30 UTC
    • Speakers: Dr. Indumathie Hewawasam, Dr. Nayrah Shaltout, Dr. Roshan T. Ramessur, Dr. Bernadette Snow, Dr. Flower Msuya
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How to measure pHT in biological experiments

Research on ocean acidification requires following best practices. The OA-ICC contributes to the development of teaching material for the implementation of simplified methodologies for laboratories with limited finances or infrastructure.

Authors: Sanja Grđan, University of Dubrovnik & Sam Dupont, University of Gothenburg

Translation: Celeste Sánchez Noguera (Spanish) and Sam Dupont (French)

Description: Measuring pH in seawater using a glass electrode is not trivial and requires TRIS buffer. TRIS buffers are commercially available from Dr. Andrew Dickson’s laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, California. However, access to this buffer can be difficult due to a continuously increasing demand as well as costs including shipping, customs fees, and taxes, making them less available for countries and laboratory with limited funds.

A simplified buffer preparation method is described in Paulsen & Dickson (2020) making the use of TRIS buffers available to a wider range of researchers.

The aim of this document and associated material (xls sheets and videos) is to help experimentalists entering the field of ocean acidification to make their own TRIS buffer, calibrate their glass electrodes for pH measurement on the total scale, take water samples and calculate pH on the total scale (pHT).

English Language Materials

French Language Materials

Spanish Language Materials

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What’s the big deal about ocean acidification?

Fifth-grade students from an inland community discover a local connection to our ocean

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We have only one ocean and it is inextricably linked to human health, yet research shows most elementary students do not understand the one-ocean concept (Mogias 2019). Additionally, the ocean—and its problems—may seem unrelated to students’ lives even though it provides half of the oxygen we breathe (via plankton); manufactures our weather; supplies food and drinking water; and makes a global economy possible. “Enhancing interactions with the ocean through experiential learning could be the most effective way of improving ocean literacy as well as marine citizen- and stewardship” (Guest et al. 2015). So, we—a literacy consultant and a children’s author—came together to show educators how STEM and language arts could be combined in ocean experiential learning.

In a series of 12 project-based learning lessons, a group of seven fifth-grade students who live 200 miles from the coast explored their personal connections to our ocean. After completing a unit on the role of water in Earth’s surface processes, the students investigated ocean acidification and how this pervasive ocean problem impacts their local community.
We had three basic goals for our students:

  • Learn the process of ocean acidification and its impact on the environment.
  • Understand the link between their inland community and the ocean.
  • Form meaningful emotional relationships with the ocean and take action on ocean sustainability.

The following lessons may be scaled up for an entire class. For example, the teacher could work with a rotation of small groups while other students work collaboratively on related tasks. Alternatively, the teacher could provide whole-group focus lessons (or, in some cases, directions) and then confer with small groups as they engage in the conversations and other activities described here

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The pH scale and the chemistry of ocean acidification

Ocean acidification provides a useful and engaging context to explore your learners’ understanding of the pH scale

This resource explores the concept of changing pH linked to ocean acidification and can be used as a worksheet to aid understanding during the lesson or as homework. Extension questions provide more challenge and delve into other aspects of chemistry linked to ocean acidification. They lead to a research task where learners can present what they have learnt to explain some of the consequences of ocean acidification on marine organisms.

Sustainability in chemistry

The Sustainable Development Goals logo

This resource accompanies the Education in Chemistry article Tie ocean acidification into your chemistry topics where you will find more support and suggestions for how to connect your current chemistry teaching with UN sustainable development goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources. Use the goal to add further context to this resource.

Teacher notes

The download includes answers to all of the questions in the worksheet. 

Question 4 gives learners an opportunity to apply their knowledge and practise a longer-answer question. A structure strip to support this question is provided. Structure strips give scaffolded prompts and help overcome ‘fear of the blank page’. Learners stick the strip into the margin of their exercise book, or a sheet of A4 paper, and write alongside it. Read more in Improve students’ understanding through writing.

A student sheet and teacher notes available as PDFs or MS Word docs. Download All

The extension questions provide further challenge for learners within the topic. Question 7c asks learners to consider equilibrium and they may need a prompt to think about Le Chatelier’s principle if attempting this question.

Question 9 asks learners to undertake further research and present their findings as a poster or infographic, you could suggest alternative formats for this. You could also give learners more of a scaffold with prompts, eg:

  • Choose a sea creature that will be affected by ocean acidification.
  • State why that creature is affected.
  • Identify what might happen to other creatures, either who eat this organism or who are eaten by it.
  • Use the information on carbonic acid in this worksheet to help you include the chemistry behind your points.

The references below contain a wealth of information, in an accessible form for learners and you may wish to give these, either as a starting point or for sole use in this piece of work.

Link carbon-neutral alternatives to your lessons on ocean acidification and enhance your teaching in this topic area with the articles in this series on Goals 7 (sustainable energy) and 8 (biofuels).

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What is ocean acidification? Find out how research at Plymouth is tackling this global carbon dioxide problem (text & video)

Explore the science behind falling ocean pH and the impact this has on marine ecosystem balance

Ocean acidification occurs when carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed rapidly into the ocean.

It reacts with water molecules (H2O) to form carbonic acid (H2CO3). This compound then breaks down into a hydrogen ion (H+) and bicarbonate (HCO3). These hydrogen ions decrease seawater pH.

In chemical terms, ocean acidfication is described like this:

CO2 + H2O → (H+) + (HCO3)

The rising CO2 problem

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, the rise of fossil fuel-powered machinery has been the catalyst for the emission of billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into our atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide levels have now risen by 30 per cent since the Industrial Revolution.

Scientists now know that about a quarter of carbon dioxide emissions have been absorbed by the oceans.

Monitoring shows that burning fossil fuels has caused unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry due to ocean uptake of millions of tonnes of CO2 each year.

Falling pH

Surface ocean waters are alkaline; on average pH 8.1. But because a quarter of human CO2 emissions are taken up by surface seawater this could drop to pH 7.8 by the end of the century, lower than at any time in human history.

The change in ocean acidity will not make it more dangerous for us to swim or surf in.

Seas are not actually going to be acidic – they will still be more alkaline than tap water.

Ocean acidification is happening rapidly worldwide. We have shown that this has knock-on effects that degrade marine ecosystems and impact fishing industries and food supplies. Plans are in place to ensure that University of Plymouth research is strategically aligned to inform the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030) and embed solutions that slow ocean degradation and build recovery of our coastal resources.

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Tie ocean acidification into your chemistry topics

Link UN sustainable development goal 14 to your teaching of dissolved ions, acids and the pH scale

A digital illustration of a swimming turtle with a 14 on its shell
Help your students see the impact that excess carbon dioxide has on the world’s oceans. Source: © hitandrun/Debut Art

Students at 14–16 will be familiar with the composition of the atmosphere and that carbon dioxide is one of the most significant greenhouse gases. The chemistry of the atmosphere and the impact of human activity on climate change is a key area of the 14–16 curriculum.

This article is part of the Sustainability in chemistry series, developed to help you integrate the UN’s sustainable development goals into your teaching of chemistry. It supports Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

The oceans play a vital role in atmospheric chemistry by ‘mopping up’ some of the excess carbon dioxide we produce. They cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and have absorbed about a third of the carbon dioxide emitted since the industrial revolution. This links with Goal 14: conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

Put it in context

Goal 14 is a good chance to introduce an important context when teaching about the atmosphere and climate change, because people tend to focus on the air around us. They’ll consider emissions from cars and factories and understand the importance of trees in the rainforest, but often ignore interactions between the atmosphere and oceans.

Student worksheet, for age range 14–16

Use this worksheet to explore and develop understanding of the pH scale and apply it in the context of ocean acidification. Extension questions provide more challenge and delve into other aspects of chemistry linked to ocean acidification, leading to a research task on the consequences for marine organisms.

Download the student worksheet as MS Word or pdf and the teacher notes (including answers) as MS Word or pdf.

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Visualizing ocean acidification: new online resource (UNESCO)

New online features were launched to bring together the latest ocean acidification infographics, publications, background information, presentations and news for researchers, policymakers and the public.

This website was created to raise awareness, present the phenomenon introduce the challenged related to Ocean Acidification by several pioneering institutions that are working together to increase the knowledge-base and facilitate international cooperation in this field. The website was developed by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO), the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP), the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR) and the Ocean Acidification International Coordination Center (OA-ICC) operated by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s Environmental Laboratories in Monaco.

UNESCO, 23 July 2021. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

What you need to know about ocean acidification

Carbon pollution isn’t just warming the climate it’s also making our oceans more acidic. NRDC scientist Lisa Suatoni explains why we must pay attention.

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 13 August 2015. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

Ocean acidification: Smithsonian Institution

Ocean acidification is sometimes called climate change’s equally evil twin, and for good reason: it’s a significant and harmful consequence of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that we don’t see or feel because its effects are happening underwater. At least one-quarter of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released by burning coal, oil and gas doesn’t stay in the air, but instead dissolves into the ocean. Since the beginning of the industrial era, the ocean has absorbed some 525 billion tons of CO2 from the atmosphere, presently around 22 million tons per day.

Smithsonian Institution, 01 April 2018. Resource.

Resource type: website

Resource format: webpage

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