Unit 5: Oceans in Protection: Marine Protected Areas
These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards as detailed below. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more.
OverviewStudents begin by reviewing data sets related to effects of marine reserves on biomass, density, reproductive status, and health of selected oceanic species. Students continue with a jigsaw activity designed to assess the scientific data. Small groups use this assessment as a basis for proposing and sketching the location of a marine reserve on a map of the Channel Islands off the Pacific Coast.
Science and Engineering Practices
Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions: Design, evaluate, and/or refine a solution to a complex real-world problem, based on scientific knowledge, student-generated sources of evidence, prioritized criteria, and tradeoff considerations. HS-P6.5:
Cross Cutting Concepts
Stability and Change: Feedback (negative or positive) can stabilize or destabilize a system. HS-C7.3:
Cause and effect: Cause and effect relationships can be suggested and predicted for complex natural and human designed systems by examining what is known about smaller scale mechanisms within the system. HS-C2.2:
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Human Impacts on Earth Systems: The sustainability of human societies and the biodiversity that supports them requires responsible management of natural resources. HS-ESS3.C1:
Ecosystem Dynamics, Functioning, and Resilience: Moreover, anthropogenic changes (induced by human activity) in the environment—including habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, overexploitation, and climate change—can disrupt an ecosystem and threaten the survival of some species. HS-LS2.C2:
Biodiversity and Humans: Humans depend on the living world for the resources and other benefits provided by biodiversity. But human activity is also having adverse impacts on biodiversity through overpopulation, overexploitation, habitat destruction, pollution, introduction of invasive species, and climate change. Thus sustaining biodiversity so that ecosystem functioning and productivity are maintained is essential to supporting and enhancing life on Earth. Sustaining biodiversity also aids humanity by preserving landscapes of recreational or inspirational value. HS-LS4.D1:
Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics: Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity HS-LS2-7:
This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:
- team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
- multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
- real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
- multiple reviews to ensure the materials meet the InTeGrate materials rubric which codifies best practices in curricular development, student assessment and pedagogic techniques.
- review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.
This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection
This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are
- Scientific Accuracy
- Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
- Pedagogic Effectiveness
- Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
- Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page
For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.
This page first made public: Nov 22, 2016
Students will review current ocean pressures related to overfishing and human impacts on ocean ecosystems. By examining data collected in relation to the presence of marine reserves, students will explore long-term strategies for protecting ocean resources. Students will review scientific data to assess biomass, biodiversity, and reproductive success of fishery stocks in a marine protected area (MPA) and propose a location for the establishment of a marine reserve in the Channel Islands, California.
By the end of the unit, students will be able to:
- Define marine protected areas and marine reserves.
- Cite scientific evidence to make a case that marine reserves support multiple aspects of ocean sustainability.
- Map ideal locations for the creation of a marine reserve, considering oceanographic, biological, and sociological factors in their decision-making process.
This unit directly supports multiple InTeGrate guiding principles and addresses grand challenges by introducing students to data sets collected by scientists related to effects of marine reserves on biomass, density, reproductive status, and health of selected oceanic species. Students are required to summarize scientific findings and use this evidence to propose the location of an area for marine protection in the form of a marine reserve.
Context for Use
This unit is designed for inclusion in an introductory geoscience course that is 50 minutes long. This unit works best in medium-sized classes of 20 to 50 students. The unit includes a PowerPoint summarizing several scientific studies, and an activity for students to apply the findings of the scientific studies as they select the locations for proposed marine reserves. This activity is designed for small groups for discussion and collaboration. This unit is a part of a larger Ocean Sustainability Module created for the InTeGrate project.
Description and Teaching Materials
Have students complete the student worksheet before coming to class. In this activity, students will review charts and graphs related to the study of the effect of marine reserves and provide a brief, 1–2 sentence summary of the results of those scientific studies. Please note that the graphs and charts have been sorted into four groups. Students should review all groups and sections as they complete the homework.
Teacher Key Homework:
PowerPoint Introduction (10 min)
Instructors will introduce the concept of marine protected areas and marine reserves, as well as review several data sets and findings with an introductory PowerPoint: Unit 5 Powerpoint (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 2.7MB Oct30 16)
The PowerPoint has six lecture style slides for introduction, and the remainder are the figures of scientific evidence that also appear in the student homework handout. These larger, duplicate images are provided in case instructors want to print larger versions for the jigsaw group breakouts, and/or show them as overhead slides for discussion or clarification.
Unit 5 Activity with Jigsaw Component and Map Activity (40 min total)
- In-Class Activity, Student Version Word version Unit 5 In Class Activity pdf version (Acrobat (PDF) 780kB Sep9 16) PDF version, Unit 5 In Class Activity Word version (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 479kB Sep9 16) Word version
- In-Class Activity, Teacher Key Word version: PDF version,
Part 1) Scientific Summary Jigsaw Activity (20 min)
This activity is designed as a jigsaw activity. If you are unfamiliar with this pedagogy, you can get more information here: Jigsaws.
In this jigsaw, the class is divided into several teams, with each team preparing separate but related assignments. Students break into groups of four, with each student being assigned a number 1 through 4. Students join their numbered groups and complete an independent review of several scientific data sets in the form of charts and graphs, and summarize the findings of these studies in a table included with the student worksheet.
When the team members have completed the summary, the class rejoins their original mixed groups, with one member from each team in each group. Each person in the group teaches the rest of the group what he/she knows, and together the group then tackles the following map activity that pulls all of the pieces together to form the full picture—hence the name jigsaw.
Part 2) Map Activity (10 min)
The assessments of the scientific data will be used as the basis for proposing and sketching the location of a marine reserve on a map of the Channel Islands off the Pacific Coast.
Teachers should assess the amount of depth necessary for previewing the data sets. The PowerPoint contains the same graphs and charts as the activity, and some classes will be able to navigate the data sets with little or no introduction. Other groups will benefit from a bit more introduction and review of how graphs and charts display data, and prompts on how to read these types of scientific tools.
Part 3) Discussion and Wrap-Up (10 min)
Students take turns briefly reporting the location and basic justification of their proposed marine reserves.
Teaching Notes and Tips
Assign the student worksheet as homework, and have each student summarize all graphs and figures in the worksheet before coming to class. To reduce printing, consider having students print only the first two pages of the student worksheet, and reference all charts and figures digitally.
This unit requires extensive group work and three organizations into an original home group, then a break-out group and back into the home group. By doing so, students confer with other 'experts' on the same material in the break out groups, and return to the main group to share their part of the puzzle (the jigsaw). Once students self select into a home group, they can decide which student will be #1, #2, etc. (Instructors may consider assigning these group numbers before class, before students complete the homework, and have students prepared to work on one section of the data and materials, #1–4.) If the class is not accustomed to working in groups, clear and complete instructions should be provided at the onset of the activity.
Each break-out group will interpret, analyze and summarize scientific figures. These images are provided in the student homework worksheet, and also in the PowerPoint. These larger images are provided for the instructors to print and distribute. It is suggested that these larger images be made available in each group in color format.
For classes larger than 50 students, instructors can create one group, and have the students assign themselves a subgroup of 1–4, and complete the review of scientific data sets as an individual, then work as a group on the map activity.
Online Resources to Consider Using in Class
For extensions or homework assigned prior to the activity, instructors should consider online, interactive mapping tools to explore marine reserves. These websites can be suggested, or assigned to students as a pre- or post-activity to complement the in-class assignment.
The assessment for this unit has been embedded into the homework and class activity worksheet.
- Answer key and rubric, PDF version,