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Follow that Bloom: Plankton and Ocean Currents
In this activity, students will use newly acquired knowledge of reading vector images of real-time Coastal Ocean Dynamics Application Radar (CODAR) data to predict the movement of a phytoplankton bloom off the coast of New Jersey. They will discover that plankton, the microscopic plants and animals floating in the ocean, are the base of the complex food webs that support life in the ocean, and for this reason scientists are interested in how and where blooms of plankton occur and how they move over time. They also learn that the location of plankton in the ocean is often associated with ocean currents.
Intended for grade levels:
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Lesson plan
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Biological oceanography
    • Physical oceanography
  • Technology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Copyright Rutgers University 2003
DLESE Catalog ID: DLESE-000-000-006-180
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • C - Life science:
        • Interdependence of organisms
      • E - Science and technology:
        • Understandings about science and technology
      • F - Science in personal / social perspectives:
        • Sci. / tech. in local, national, and global challenges
Related resources:
This resource is referenced by 'Rutger's COOL Classroom'
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: Coastal Ocean Observatory Laboratory