The goal of this teaching box is to teach students about the biotic and abiotic factors that drive the process of upwelling. Students will deepen their understanding of the dynamics that create a seasonal abundance of marine life in coastal upwelling zones. Students will discover this process through exploring the following:
By working backwards, students will discover that wind-driven upwelling supplies phytoplankton in the upper ocean (photic zone) with major nutrients (such as nitrates and silicates) from the bottom (benthic zone). This nutrient supply, coupled with long daylight hours, fuels increased reproduction of phytoplankton. Phytoplankton 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.
In the first activity students will set up a photosynthesis experiment that they will return to in the second week of activities.
From the menu at left you can access details about the supported concepts and standards, lessons with activities organized into teachable units, and a section describing the online resources used in the box for ready reference.
Lesson 1. Marine Food Webs and
Lesson 2. Primary Production and
Upwelling in the Ocean
Lesson 3. Seasonal Upwelling
Lesson 4. An
Assessment: Read All About It!
Authors of this teaching box
This box was created during the summer of 2005 as part of a pilot project by the following professionals from the San Francisco Bay area of California: