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WELCOME, TEACHERS!

The Alaska SeaLife Center and Gulf Watch Alaska are excited to present this virtual field trip (VFT). Join the Gulf Watch Alaska team of scientists as they discover the mechanisms behind a mystery unfolding in the Gulf of Alaska. Learn about the work of a collaborative team of scientists from many different ocean science disciplines, and follow along as they go through the process of initially observing a strange phenomenon in the Gulf of Alaska, to discovering the drivers that caused this event to occur.

You can use this VFT in conjunction with the “Gulf Watch Alaska: Long-term monitoring” VFT, or as a stand-alone piece.

GRADE LEVEL: 6-8th

TIME NEEDED: Between one and four 1-hour class periods (teachers may choose to use all or only some of the supplementary lessons).

NUTSHELL: Students will learn about the mystery of the seabird die-off that occurred in the Gulf of Alaska, starting in 2014 and continuing through 2016. They will explore various aspects of the investigation and how, collectively, the scientists were able to uncover the mechanisms behind the extreme die-off event.

 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

After completing this virtual field trip, students will be able to:

• Understand the process of scientific thinking and the use of the Scientific Method as a tool to develop questions and search for answers.

• Understand the collaborative nature of science and how researchers from various disciplines working together can provide a ‘big picture’ view of a massive project.

• Explain that an ecosystem is composed of many different parts, all working together to create an environment that allows life to thrive.

BACKGROUND:

In this virtual field trip, students will meet various scientists and researchers working for the Gulf Watch Alaska long-term ecosystem monitoring program, a project of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council, encompassing the marine ecosystems affects by the 1989 oil spill. This program focusses on a recent mystery that has unfolded in the Gulf of Alaska, beginning with the observation of an extreme seabird die-off event. Organized into three main pages, this VFT follows researchers along on an investigation to uncover what caused this mortality event.

This VFT can be used in a number of ways. Individuals may navigate through the pages on their own and meet the scientists through the links provided on the right-hand bar. Self-guided exploration can be completed in a couple of hours. Alternatively, teachers may facilitate a structured experience, working through each page of the VFT together in class. Lesson plans (links included on the right-hand column of this page) are available to supplement online content.

TO USE THIS VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP YOU WILL NEED:

• Internet access, video-streaming capabilities

• Projection system (with audio) to display content or a computer lab (with headphones)

• Corresponding lesson plans (linked as PDFs in the right hand column of this page)

UNABLE TO RUN THE STREAMING VERSION? REQUEST A FREE COPY OF ALL MATERIALS ON CD BY EMAILING education@alaskasealife.org.

CONTACT US:

If you have any questions about this virtual field trip, please contact the Alaska SeaLife Center Education Department at education@alaskasealife.org or 907-224-6306. For more information on classes we offer, including our inquiry-based 50-minute Distance Learning programs, visit our website at www.alaskasealife.org.

 

 

 

 

CURRICULUM SUPPLEMENTS

Use the .pdf links below to access classroom activities for each section of the Gulf Watch Alaska virtual field trip experience.

 

Study area map