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Curriculum Connection – Summer 2008
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Explore Curriculum Connection guides, which are written to accompany each issue of Coastal Heritage, a quarterly publication of the S.C. Sea Grant Consortium.

Coastal Heritage, Summer 2008 issue: Climate Change and Ocean Health

Focus Question:
  • What are some of the effects of rising temperatures as they pertain to the ocean? What are some of the major initiatives being explored to combat rising temperatures?
  • How does the amount of carbon dioxide affect ocean animals, specifically crustaceans, mollusks and corals?
  • Compare the amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide during the Industrial Revolution to present day. What are the major changes and why?

Use the Curriculum Connection to address these South Carolina Standards!

5th Grade: Landforms and Oceans

5-3.6    Explain how human activity (including conservation efforts and pollution) has affected the land and the oceans of Earth.

6th Grade: Structures, Processes and Responses of Animals

6-3.1    Compare the characteristic structures of invertebrate animals (including sponges, segmented worms, echinoderms, mollusks, and arthropods) and vertebrate animals (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals).

7th Grade: Physical Science
7-5.3    Distinguish between acids and bases and use indicators (including litmus paper, pH paper, and phenolphthalein) to determine their relative pH.

9th – 12th: Biology

B-6.1    Explain how the interrelationships among organisms (including predation, competition, parasitism, mutualism, and commensalism) generate stability within ecosystems.

B-6.6    Explain how human activities (including population growth, technology, and consumption of resources) affect the physical and chemical cycles and processes of Earth.

9th – 12th: Earth’s Atmosphere

ES-4.7    Summarize the evidence for the likely impact of human activities on the atmosphere (including ozone holes, greenhouse gases, acid rain, and photochemical smog).

Lesson Links…

NOAA’s Volunteer Phytoplankton Monitoring Network

  • Phytoplankton, the basis of the marine food chain, is increasingly becoming affected by the ocean’s warming and acidification. Learning the different types of phytoplankton is paramount to understanding the possible effects of climate change. The NOAA Volunteer Phytoplankton Monitoring Network provides excellent information on phytoplankton identification as well as an opportunity for teacher and students to get involved in data collection. Check out their website at  (6th – 12th)

2008 International Year of the Reef

  • Both tropical and deep water corals are becoming increasingly threatened because of increased acidification of the oceans. 2008 is designated the International Year of the Reef (IYOR) to bring about awareness of these fragile ecosystems. Check the organization out at to learn about various institutions supporting educational and research efforts in coral conservation. The IYOR also promotes a coral reef deck of cards and activities to use in classrooms which can be located on their site. (K-12th )

  • Learn about the structure of corals by visiting for a downloadable diagram of coral polyps. Understand the symbiotic relationship formed between zooxantellae and the polyp by visiting

Corals in the Southeast? Learn about the South Atlantic Bight

  • The South Atlantic Bight located off the coasts of South Carolina and Georgia contains cold water/deep water corals. The NOAA Office of Exploration conducted a research cruise during 2002 “Islands in the Stream” which investigated the South Atlantic Bight – biology, ecology and geology. Check out the cruise and the associated lesson plans by visiting (5th - 12th)

  • COSEE-SE is a supporter of the IYOR and information can be found on the website A PowerPoint presentation on deep water corals of the South Atlantic Bight is featured, which contains general information, lesson plans on corals and teacher resource links and opportunities. (K-12th)

The Key to Understanding: Ocean Observing
  • In order to understand the changes in our world’s oceans, continuous monitoring assists scientists in identifying trends, changes, abnormalities, etc. and correlating these with other biotic and abiotic aspects. The Southeast Coastal Ocean Observing Regional Association provides hourly data on water temperature, air temperature, salinity, waves, currents and more! This site has information on educational posters and resources for classrooms. (6th-12th)

Last updated: 4/12/2009 11:12:33 AM
Curriculum Connection – Summer 2008


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