In this lesson, a correlation between chlorophyll, sea surface temperature, and sunlight will be derived from NASA satellite data. Students will download a year’s worth of data on each of these variables for the Gulf of Maine. Data will be imported and displayed as both a line plot and an Excel graph. Chlorophyll density, which corresponds to the density of photosynthetic phytoplankton, will be analyzed and compared/related to sunlight and sea surface temperature data. This lesson uses student- and citizen science-friendly microsets of authentic NASA Earth system science data from the MY NASA DATA project. It also includes related links, extensions, an online glossary and a list of related AP Environmental Science topics.


    Education Levels:

    • Grade 1
    • Grade 2
    • Grade 3
    • Grade 4
    • Grade 5
    • Grade 6
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    • Grade 12


    Oceanography,NSDL,NSDL_SetSpec_ncs-NSDL-COLLECTION-000-003-112-115,Grade 8,Biological science,Grade 7,Earth Science,Engineering and technology:Aircraft, probes, satellites and/or spacecraft,Life sciences:Ecology and ecosystems,Life Science,Earth and space science:Earth structure:Ocean and water,Informal Education,Thermocline,Middle School,oai:nsdl.org:2200/20140407124254892T,Photosynthesis,Engineering and technology:Remote sensing,Earth system science,Engineering,Vocational/Professional Development Education,Technology,Geoscience



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