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Teaching About the Ocean System Using New Research Techniques: Data, Models and Visualization
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Cutting Edge > Oceanography > Teaching Activities > Exploring oil spills

Exploring oil spills

Cheryl Greengrove, Elizabeth Malcolm, Kevin Theissen
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U of Washington-Tacoma, Virginia Wesleyan College, University of St. Thomas
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Summary

This activity combines a hands-on demonstration and a follow-up homework assignment designed for students to investigate oil spill clean-up.

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Context

Audience

Introductory oceanography for majors and non-majors

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand-alone exercise

Goals

Content/concepts goals for this activity

Content: oil spills, impact on marine animals, spill mitigation and environmental clean-up.
Concepts: environmental problem solving, model observation, analysis, and designs

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Other skills goals for this activity

Description of the activity/assignment

In this activity, students first take part in an in-class hands-on activity on the impact of an oil spill and the remediation process. Students must first figure out how to clean up a modeled spill. Students then are given a homework assignment where they use web resources on large global oil spills and they must come up with a statement of the potential impact in different ocean environments.(wetland/estuary, rocky, high-energy, open ocean).

Determining whether students have met the goals

Written paper is graded based on depth of investigation.

More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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Other Materials

Supporting references/URLs

Exxon Valdez spill and remediation: http://www.evostc.state.ak.us
EPA website on spills: http://www.epa.gov/oilspill
International Tanker Owners Pollution Federal Limited:
http://www.itopf.com

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