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This teaching box is designed to teach students about the biotic and abiotic factors that drive the process of upwelling in the oceans. Students will deepen their understanding of the dynamics that create a seasonal abundance of marine life in coastal upwelling zones by exploring marine food webs, primary food production in the ocean, density and wind-driven currents, and seasonal changes in resources. By working backwards, students will discover that wind-driven upwelling supplies phytoplankton in the upper ocean with nutrients from the bottom. This nutrient supply, coupled with long daylight hours, fuels increased reproduction of plankton. Plankton blooms form the basis of the seasonal feeding frenzy and rise in reproduction of marine mammals, seabirds, and fishes that occur in upwelling zones around the world. In the early activities, the intention is that the teacher not directly tell students that the observed differences are seasonal. As students progress through the lessons they will discover for themselves that this abundance is related to the process of seasonal upwelling.
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