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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.
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