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Exploring Oceanography Using Data from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
This guide introduces educators to the classroom use of oceanographic data from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). MBARI provides near real-time, quality controlled data on surface and subsurface temperature and salinity; CO2 and O2 concentrations; and relative fluorescence, used by scientists to better understand the Monterey Bay ecosystem and draw parallels to the ocean as a whole. Teaching topics include: topography and plate tectonics of the ocean floor; meteorology; ecology of the Monterey Bay region; geochemical cycles; phytoplankton primary productivity; and marine biodiversity. Students will learn to: understand the relationship between wind and ocean upwelling; interpret maps of oceanographic data; understand the methods used to obtain bathymetric data; and understand the instrumentation used to obtain physical and biological oceanographic data. There are instructions and links for accessing and manipulating the data, links to scientific and educational resource that use this dataset, and links to online resources with related information.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Computer activity
    • Guide for instructor
  • Atmospheric science
  • Ecology
  • Educational theory and practice
  • Geological Sciences:
    • Geology
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Biological oceanography
    • Physical oceanography
Technical requirements:
Raw data requires Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet application
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
We encourage the reuse and dissemination of the material on this site for educational, noncommercial purposes as long as attribution is retained. To this end the material on this site is offered under a Creative Commons license. Authors of original works submitted to SERC retain their copyright. But in volunteering the works they agree to offer it under this license allowing for reuse and redistribuition with attribuition. Authors are responsible for obtaining copywrite permission for all materials that they distribute within their work.
DLESE Catalog ID: DATA-CLASS-000-000-000-014
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Carleton College
Science Education Resource Center (SERC)