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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.
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