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Phytoplankton in the Gulf of Maine DLESE Reviewed Collection
Phytoplankton, microscopic floating plant-like marine organisms (plankton means wanderer) are at the bottom of the marine food chain. They perform photosynthesis using water, carbon dioxide, and sunlight to produce glucose for their own use, as well as oxygen. Humans and all land animals and sea creatures are dependent on phytoplankton. The chlorophyll in phytoplankton can be observed by remote sensing instruments and is used by scientists as a measure of phytoplankton. In this lesson, students will use satellite data to explore and determine the correlation between sea surface temperature, sunlight, and the amount of chlorophyll (phytoplankton) in the Gulf of Maine at various times of year.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Computer activity
    • Lesson plan
  • Ecology
  • Geographical Sciences:
    • Physical geography
  • Mathematics
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Biological oceanography
Technical requirements:
Excel spreadsheet
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
This product is free and clear for general use.
DLESE Catalog ID: MYND-000-000-000-080
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 5-8:
      • C - Life science:
        • Diversity and adaptations of organisms
        • Population and ecosystems
      • D - Earth and space science:
        • Structure of the earth system
  • National Geography Standards:
    • Places and regions:
      • The physical and human characteristics of places
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Contact: Dr Lin Chambers