From Isotopes to Temperature: Working With A Temperature Equation part of Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum:General Collection:Examples
In this Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum PowerPoint module, students will use oxygen isotope values of two species of modern coral to reconstruct ambient water temperature over a four-year period. Students are provided a dataset including the oxygen isotope values of the two coral species, as well as temperature and oxygen isotope values of the surrounding water. Students use Microsoft Excel to create a spreadsheet of temperature values calculated from the isotope values of the corals by means of an algebraic equation. Students then use correlation and regression techniques to determine which coral's isotopes serve as a better proxy for water temperature. A post-assessment of module skills, concepts, and applications, is included at the end of the presentation conclusion of the module.