Short Term - Small Scale Upwelling Events

Katherine Farnsworth, Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus
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Initial Publication Date: July 12, 2015


This activity is adapted from an Bridge Data Series Activity ( using water temperature and wind data from the USACE FRF in Duck, NC. The purpose of this activity is to introduce students to a new type of data graphic and also the idea of localized upwelling due to winds forcing. The data covers July of 2002 and 2003 that had very different wind patterns and therefore differing water temperatures.

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I use this assignment in a basic format for an introductory oceanography course for non-science majors. It is a large lecture course, with 130 - 200 students, and the students work in pairs or in sets of three on this and then the class as a whole discusses the outcomes.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

They must understand the idea of upwelling and downwelling, and be comfortable reading data off of graphs.

How the activity is situated in the course

This is a stand alone exercise that is used within a lecture.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

Upwelling Forces

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

Analysis of patterns in data combined with synthesis of multiple data types in understanding upwelling for two months at Duck, NC.

Other skills goals for this activity

The students also get practice working in groups and writing up their conclusions.

Description and Teaching Materials

Teaching Notes and Tips


References and Resources