Quarter Blog Project

There is a plethora of amazing, intriguing and outrageous news out there related to Marine Biology. Most of it is even more exciting that what Mrs. Heitz will wow you with in class (hard to believe I know!). Our project will entail unearthing, interpreting and enlightening each other with this science news via posts on our blog. A word of caution however, before you know it you will be posting and commenting your way into some exciting discourse!

Here is how it works in detail

  • 30 points per Quarter.
  • Points can be obtained by any combination of posts & comments as long as there is a minimum of 1 post!
  • 5 pts per well-written comment.
  • 10 pts per well-written post.
  • No more than 1 post per week and 2 comments per day will be counted (this protects me from your procrastination)!
  • You can check the progress of your blog grade during the quarter with me.
  • You can receive 2 extra credit pts on each post if you send me the URL link to a COPYRIGHT free image to post with it, go to Wikimedia to find one!

10 steps to a 10-point post

  1. Find and read an article about a topic of interest in biology news (use the super sites provided to you by Mrs. Heitz to assure they are credible sources!).
  2. Create a catchy, original title that will grab your reader’s attention.
  3. Talk to us (the world) about your topic: why did you choose to read & write about it, how does it make you feel, what does it mean, why should we care about it? Just talk to us about it and be passionate!
  4. Include a hyperlink to the original article you read so others can read it!
  5. Include other hyperlinks to websites with more information regarding the topic you are discussing. Your readers must read about your topic to write well-written comments, so make it easier by providing links.
  6. No one likes dead ends…so ask your readers at least 2 science-based questions to encourage comments to your post.
  7. Long posts should be broken into multiple paragraphs. Don’t make a post too long or the reader will lose interest.
  8. Have someone review your post before sending it – you peers are great for this!
  9. Always check your spelling & grammar!
  10. Be sure to follow the rules in our Blog & Wiki Warranty – most importantly, don’t plagiarize!

Adapted from Miss Baker’s “Top Ten Ways to Write a Good Blog Post." http://missbakersbiologyclass.com/blog/?p=119

5 steps to a 5-point comment

  1. Read the article that the post is describing.
  2. Give your opinion on the post/topic AND explain why.
  3. Elaborate on & add new information that is related to the post. Be sure you link your sources when you add new info.
  4. Make your comment educated and well thought out. Your comment should continue the conversation that was started on the post!
  5. Check to make sure your comment does not contain the same information as someone else's comment?


Science News Sites


Check out cool science news articles that Mrs. Heitz has found here: http://groups.diigo.com/group/cordova


Making A Beach Profile Graph

After collecting data on the profile of the beach at Hartney Bay, your group's task is to create a graph and share this graph on your team wiki page. Follow the steps below CAREFULLY to obtain the 25 pts for each member of your team!
  1. Go to the Create-a-graph website.
  2. Follow the steps for making a Create-a-graph carefully!
  3. Go to your team page on the wiki and create a heading that says Fall Beach Profile - be sure to use Heading 1 and add a table of contents!
  4. Type in the following information: Beach Location including GPS location, Beach Description, Date, Time & Tide Level for the profile measurement.
  5. Upload the picture of your RENAMED graph below this information.
  6. Upload the Photograph you took of your beach profile site (it can be found on the server!) below the graph image and SAVE.


Understanding Tides Assignment

Now that you have learned about tide basics, your task is to practice reading tide charts from around the country & world. Complete the following steps carefully to receive 30 pts:

1. On your individual wiki page, below the About Me, enter the title "Understanding Tides" and make it Heading 1 (so it shows in the table of contents).
2. Go to this site
3. Click on Maine & select 1 of the monitoring stations.
A.Take a photo (shift, command, 4) of the tide chart only (not the wind).
B. Rename the picture with your first name & state, for example: caramaine
C. Upload the photo underneath the title - be sure to resize it to a smaller size.
D. Under the photo answer the following in sentences that reflect the question (OR copy & paste these questions & then answer them!)
  • How many high & low tides did this station experience in the last lunar day?
  • Which type of tidal pattern is present AND explain why (Diurnal, Semidiurnal, or Mixed Semidiurnal)
  • What is the approximate tidal range at this station for the last lunar day?
4. Click on Alabama & select 1 of the monitoring stations. REPEAT all the same steps as you did for Maine.
5. Click on Alaska, then Cordova. REPEAT all the same steps as you did for Maine & Alabama.
6. Click on Alaska, then Prudhoe Bay. Complete steps A-C, but answer this questions below instead:
  • DESCRIBE how Prudhoe Bay’s tidal pattern & range compares to Cordova’s. ALSO, explain why you think there is a difference.
7. Go back to the main map and select a tide station from somewhere outside the US. Complete steps A-C, but answer this question below:
  • DESCRIBE what similarities and differences you see compared to the sites you have already explored. Why do you think you are seeing these similarities/differences?

Tracking A Rat With A Sat

Lesson adapted from Whale Net Curriculum

Background:
Most whales mover throughout their lifetimes. Longer movements, called macro-movements, are usually called migrations and end at feeding or breeding grounds. The feeding areas are usually in more productive polar waters and the breeding grounds are usually in warm, less productive tropical waters. Shorter movements, called micro-movements, are how whales use the local habitat. These localized movements are usually for foraging in the feeding grounds, but in warmer, breeding areas there are still many questions as to what these movements represent.

This activity is based on actual satellite research data taken in 1997 for a specific North Atlantic Right Whale named Rat (RWC #1509). Because this population of whales is critically endangered all research knowledge gained is very important. The goals of this activity are to observe and analyze the movements of Rat using her satellite readings and compare and contrast the different methods used to monitor and track threatened whale species.

Note: If you would like to see Rat's pictures and sketch click here for her catalog page.

Activity Directions:
Step 1: Where is Rat?
Go to the GPS Visualizer to generate a map of Rat's location using the latitude & longitude information from the satellite (give in the table below). The page should look like this:
Screen_shot_2011-04-29_at_10.38.26_PM.png

You will change the area where you paste your data to look like the example given below: NOTE: I have shown it with just 2 lat/long points, you will enter all 14 of Rat's route points. Be sure to change the headings to match those in the example below and change the waypoints to route points:
Screen_shot_2011-04-29_at_2.45.43_PM.png

The only other thing you need to change or can change if you want is the default icon which will plot your points on your map.
Screen_shot_2011-04-29_at_1.21.01_PM.png

Once you have entered in all the latitude and longitude given in this table as shown above, hit the Draw the Map button.
Screen_shot_2011-04-29_at_10.32.47_PM.png

Use the zooming and directional tools to determine where Rat is. You might want to change the opacity to 100% as shown below to get a better image.
Screen_shot_2011-04-29_at_10.51.26_PM.pngScreen_shot_2011-04-29_at_10.51.34_PM.png

Take a Screenshot (Command, Shift, 4) of your map at a level that shows a clear view of Rat's movements in addition to some of the labeled shoreline.

Switch the Google Hybrid in the Drop Down box (as shown above) to USGS Topo. Zoom in on any area that is along Rat's path. Determine the approximate depth of water in feet that Rat is swimming in. Note: the topo map shows fathom markings. 1 Fathom = 6 Feet. Record this information.

Zoom out again and use the scale at the bottom of the map to determine the approximate distance in miles from shore where Rat is swimming. Record this information

Step 2: How Far Are Rat's Micromovements?
There were several instances when the Satellite tracked Rat on consecutive days. Use the 3 days in February to calculate the AVERAGE distance traveled each day in Nautical Miles.

Go to the http://www.csgnetwork.com/lldistcalc.html. Enter the Latitude for the 1st & 2nd day, followed by the Longitude for the 1st & 2nd day and hit Calculate. Record this number.

Repeat this for the 2nd to the 3rd day and then add the numbers together & divide to get the average distance traveled.

Step 4:The Satellite & Rat:
Go to the WhaleNet Satellite information page to learn more about how this process works.
Scroll down to the section on How the Satellites are Attached and record how the sat tag is actually attached to a whale. Note: what tool is used and where it is placed, etc. Also record how much it costs per tag & a note of how successful they are at staying on.

Scroll back up to the section on How the Satellite Tag Works. Record how a fix or position is actually obtained - particularly, how many transmissions must be received to get an accurate fix. Relate this to the date gaps in Rat's locations in the table.

Step 5: Analyzing Rat:
Go to your Team or Individual Page (however you are working) and create a Heading 1 Title: Tracking A Rat With A Sat.
Below the title UPLOAD the picture of the map generated for Rat.
Below the map record the following:
  • The distance from shore in miles - be sure to clarify what the numbers are (don't just write numbers!).
  • The depth of water Rat is in.
  • The average distance traveled per day below the map.
  • The information on how the satellite is attached & how the tag works.

Copy the Remaining questions below onto your page and answer each:

1. Based on what you learned from Phoenix, what is Rat likely doing in this area of the Atlantic Ocean?
2. Is there much human activity in this area? If so, what impact or effect might this activity have on Rat & other Right whales.
3. Why do you think it likes this area?
4. Hypothesize what you think Rat's movements indicate - what is she doing and why this pattern?
5. What precautions must you take as a researcher to ensure accuracy in using the satellite tags.
6. You have learned about a variety of techniques for monitoring endangered marine mammals, from biopsy to fluke/body ID through photos, to satellite tracking/warning. Which method do you think is most helpful - explain in detail why you chose this method over others, be sure to address the pros and cons to the method you choose (such as what data might be missing from this technique vs. others).

Spring Making A Beach Profile Graph

After collecting data on the profile of the beach at Hartney Bay, your group's task is to create a graph and share this graph on your team wiki page. Follow the steps below CAREFULLY to obtain the 25 pts for each member of your team!
  1. Go to the Create-a-graph website.
  2. Follow the steps for making a Create-a-graph carefully!
  3. Go to your team page on the wiki and create a heading that says Beach Profile Spring Comparison - be sure to use Heading 1 and add a table of contents!
  4. Type in the following information: Beach Location including GPS location, Beach Description, Date, Time & Tide Level for the profile measurement.
  5. Upload the picture of your graph below this information and SAVE.
Under the graph write a summary paragraph in complete sentences that addresses the following:
  • Was there a difference in the fall & spring profiles? Explain what you think could have caused any changes or lack there of.
  • What is the value of doing profiles such as this for ocean scientists?
  • What were the difficulties in the techniques you used in taking a beach profile? What would be better ways to measure beach profiles to be more accurate?
  • Should Marine Biology classes do beach profiling in the future? Explain why or why not.