SISL > 2012 Sustainability in Math Workshop > Activities > Trawl Data Exploration in Multivariable Calculus

Trawl Data Exploration in Multivariable Calculus

This page authored by Kris Green, based at St. John Fisher College as part of the 2014 Summer MAA PREP session "USE Math at the Beach"
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This activity is based on exploring the data collected from all trawls around the Chincoteague Bay from 2005 - 2014. Students can construct their own contour diagrams as they cross section the data based on their own choices. This database could also be used to support similar activities in statistics or graph theory.

Learning Goals

  • By looking at trawl data versus location or time or conditions, students can explore issues of biodiversity in the Chincoteague Bay area.
  • Engages students in civil discourse/ communications that lead to more effective decisions
  • It advances student literacy around sustainability issues.
  • Data analysis

Context for Use

Third semester calculus - multivariable

Description and Teaching Materials

The database consists of an Excel file that students can explore visually or through pivot tables to ask (and answer!) questions about biodiversity and species relationships in the bay. Trawl Database (Excel 2007 (.xlsx) 1.5MB Dec23 14)

Teaching Notes and Tips

Notes to come.


Assessment to come.

References and Resources

Data collected at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station, Wallops Island, Virginia.