Estimating Primary Production in the Oceans from Satellite Data
Satellite data is obtained from the NASA Earth Observation website. Students use the analysis tool to determine chlorophyll concentration and sea surface temperature. They also receive a day-length calculator and are asked to model light transmission through the water column. Using step-by-step instructions and proviede equations relating phytoplankton physiology to irradiance and temperature students calculate carbon uptake at discreet locations in the water column. The second half of the exercise involves scaling up to the entire water column, region, and season. Students present their work to the class and evaluate their result using scientific literature. Differences between regions are then discussed by the class.
- Utilize web-based datasets to access and download ocean data;
- Manipulate data within Excel
- Build a comprehensive picture of primary productivity in the world's oceans
Context for Use
This word document contains detailed instructions for students to follow to download and plot their data.
Spreadsheet for calculating daylength (Excel 20kB Sep29 08)
This is an Excel spreadsheet that students use to calculate daylength as described in the directions.
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
NEO (NASA Earth Observations) Search page for downloading ocean data