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Earth Exploration Toolbook Chapter: When is Dinner Served? Predicting the Spring Phytoplankton Bloom in the Gulf of Maine
In this activity, users learn about the variables that influence the abundance of phytoplankton, the microscopic plants that form the base of the marine food chain. Users apply this knowledge to make predictions about the timing of the spring phytoplankton bloom in the Gulf of Maine. They obtain and graph data from buoy monitoring stations and interpret them to make their predictions. They check their predictions by examining chlorophyll concentration data at each buoy. Users also compare their predictions with reality by obtaining and examining MODIS satellite images to view the full extent of the bloom over time.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
Type of resource:
  • For the classroom:
    • Classroom activity
    • Computer activity
    • Case study
    • Lesson plan
  • Dataset:
    • In-situ
    • Remotely sensed
  • Ocean Sciences:
    • Biological oceanography
    • Chemical oceanography
    • Physical oceanography
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
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DLESE Catalog ID: SERC-EET-000-000-000-025
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Author: Denise Blaha
UNH Coastal Observing Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
University of New Hampshire

Author: Amy Holt Cline
UNH Coastal Observing Center, Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space
University of New Hampshire