Microbiology Lessons

Finding Microbe Needles in a Haystack of Oceans

Finding Microbe Needles in a Haystack of Oceans – This investigation guides students through the scientific method as they explore satellite imagery and sea surface temperature data SST to identify areas of high productivity in Earth’s oceans. Students search for marine environments that support three types of ocean microbes: Synecococcus, Prochlorococcus, and Diatoms. Students explore remote sensing, microbial oceanography, ocean upwelling, and biogeochemical cycles as they locate the primary production “factories” of our oceans.

Ocean Microbes

Diatom Adventures – This activity can be used with introductory or review material for microbiology, ecosystems, or nutrition standards. Students complete the board game in teams of four as they discover the nutritional requirements needed by microbes (e.g. diatoms) for survival and reproduction. Trophic levels are also explored, in addition to predator/prey relationships occurring within the aquatic food web. (Credits: Miriam Sutton, Science by the Sea, developed this activity based on a Teacher at Sea experience aboard the R/V Melville while participating in “Collaborative Research: Investigating the Ecological Importance of Iron Storage in Diatoms” (Award Abstract #1334935) Research Project.)

Additional Resources for Diatom Adventures:

Microfossils in Blake’s Nose – This activity allows students to access online data and generate graphs that illustrate distribution changes in marine microfossils preserved in ocean sediment cores. Students will retrieve data for several microfossils and generate a graph that illustrates the geologic period of time in which the organisms existed. After graphing the data, students will observe and compare their findings with the class. (Credits: Miriam Sutton, Science by the Sea, developed this activity during the Consortium for Ocean Leadersthip’s Deep Earth Academy/School of Rock, Texas A&M University, 2007.)

Virtual Research Cruise

Virtual Research Cruise – This activity takes you on a 14-day expedition into the northeastern Pacific Ocean with scientists as they explore the responses of phytoplankton to coastal upwelling dynamics along the California Current. [PUPCYCLE is an acronym used throughout the 2-week cruise and stands for Phytoplankton response to the UPwelling conveyor belt CYCLE.]

Additional Resources for Virtual Research Cruise:

More lessons and activities coming soon….