Pratical exercise in Marine Pollution

Marcia Bícego, Oceanographic Institute of University of São Paulo
Initial Publication Date: June 13, 2013


Students collect and analyze sediment samples from a polluted estuary and report on their findings.

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This activity is used in a pollution marine discipline that is an upper-division required oceanography course.

Skills and concepts that students must have mastered

Students should have knowledge about oceanographic processes in estuaries and should be familiar with the basics of statistics. In addition, some background in the behavior of organic compound and trace metal in marine sediments.

How the activity is situated in the course

The field trip is done in the beginning of the semester and the exercise could be done within 6 weeks of the end of the semester after some theory and lab practices.


Content/concepts goals for this activity

The goal of the activity is to enable the students to evaluate pollutants in a marine environment

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity

The students will analyse data using some statistical tool,

Other skills goals for this activity

The students will operate analytical instruments toa analyse the contaminats

Description and Teaching Materials

The students collect sediment samples in a polluted estuary to be analyzed in the laboratory of the institute. It is not possible that the students do all the analysis, but they can visit the labs and some demonstration is done to show them the principal analytical steps.

Then they receive the results and in the classroom in done some activities to interpret the results. In this activity they make graphics and realize some statistics. The final activity is to make a report about the field work, laboratory analysis and discussion of results.


References and Resources