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Dynamics and Transport of the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in Drake Passage

Mark Goldner, ARMADA Master Teacher
Robert Miller, ARMADA Mentee

Web Resources
  • A World Worth Our Attention. Smithsonian.
    A site put together by the Smithsonian Institution all about ocean sciences. There are "exhibits" about topics ranging from hydrothermal vents to climate-ocean connections. I found the section on remote sensing to be useful when discussing how physical oceanographers do their research.
  • Earth Rotation and Revolution. Physical (University of British Columbia Okanagan).
    A wonderful overview of the relationship between the Earth and Sun "system", explaining the changes in Sun position as the Earth revolves through different season positions. I found this to be extremely helpful in explaining to the students why I observed the Sun differently in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • Geology and Geography for Kids.
    This site has a broad overview of geography topics, including quite a bit about the oceans. Particularly useful for younger kids (ages 8-12). This is another great resource for basic background.
  • Images of Crustal Ages of the Ocean Floor. National Geophysical Data Center.
    This site shows the age of the sea floor in several different views. This is a useful resource when teaching about plate tectonics or mapping of the sea floor. It also shows both flat projections as well as a spinning globe, which leads to some excellent discussions about distortions of map projections even as you are teaching about Plate Tectonics. Since there are very few maps out there showing a 3-D picture of plate boundaries, this is an excellent resource.
  • Learning Lesson: A Funny Taste. National Weather Service.
    A nice lesson on how wind creates water currents. It's a nice connection between energy, wind patterns, and the Coriolis Effect. It can get a bit messy, so you'll need to plan accordingly!
  • Learning Lesson: How it is Currently Done. National Weather Service.
    A fabulous lesson using simple taste as a test for salinity. It's interesting to see kids' reaction when they realize how sensitive their tongues are; a tiny change in salt concentration is easily determined through taste.
  • Nathaniel B. Palmer Shipboard ADCP Data. University of Hawaii Department of Oceanography.
    This site shows current data taken from the shipboard "ADCP" on the Nathaniel B. Palmer. Although the technology is difficult for middle-schoolers to understand, seeing the vectors of ocean currents is a nice way to help visualize how strong ocean currents are and how they can change locally.
  • Ocean Motion and Surface Currents. NASA.
    A very comprehensive site from NASA with lots of in-depth information about the oceans, including ocean-climate connections and thermohaline circulation. The site has several teacher resources, including background information, quizzes, and external links.
  • Ocean Water. Office of Naval Research.
    A very straightforward site from the ONR with information about different physical properties of water. Lots of great details about pressure, salinity, current, etc. This is an appropriate resource for basic background for teachers or students.
  • Victor the Vector. Bay Area Earth Science Institute (Department of Geology, San Jose State University).
    A wonderful site helping kids understand how oceanographers use vectors to study ocean currents. I like this especially given how difficult a concept a "vector" is. This was a good complement to showing ADCP data from the Palmer.