Initial Publication Date: December 20, 2007
March 2-5,2008
Scripps Institute of Oceanography, San Diego, CA

By Invitation. If you are interested in participating in the workshop please contact Hubert Staudigel (hstaudigel at or Cathy Manduca at (cmanduca at

Workshop Goals

The goals of this workshop are

  • to create activities or lesson plans that use ERESE materials to teach critical concepts in geoscience at the middle school, high school and undergraduate level.
  • to place these activities in activity sheets within the Pedagogic Service that facilitate their use.
  • to link each activity to a pedagogic method featured in the Pedagogy in Action portal that it illustrates.
  • to make these activities available through the ERESE site, the Teach the Earth site and the Pedagogy in Action portal.

Participants are encouraged to submit an activity that uses ERESE resources for discussion and further development at the workshop. Please submit this activity using our submission form.

Hot Spots in the Sea

Our development work will focus on Hot Spots. For a geologist, a hot spot is responsible for the formation of volcanoes in the deep sea that may ultimately reach above sea level to produce volcanic islands such as Hawaii. All through their history and development, these volcanoes also are biological hot spots with a wealth of biological life and diversity. The SERC-ERESE-SBN workshop "Hot Spots in the Sea" focuses on bringing the biogeoscience of these hot spots into the K-12 classroom.

Participants will work in groups of 2-3 addressing one of the following topics. Themes to be addressed will include:

  1. Plate Tectonics, Magnetic Reversals and the Origin of the Oceans
    • When do we have the next reversal?
    • Where are the tectonic plate boundaries located?
    • Why do ocean get deeper when they age?
  2. Plate Tectonics and the Origin of the Oceans: How did the oceans form?
  3. Volcanoes in the Sea: Why are there volcanoes in the middle of the ocean? How do they grow, break apart and erode?
    • How many seamounts exist?
    • Why are some seamounts pointed and others flat?
  4. The ages of seamount chains and absolute plate motion. How do we know the age of seamounts? How can we use these ages to determine the motion of plates? How did the Hawaiian-Emperor Bend form?
  5. Coral Reefs. How do they form and why are so many of them dying?
  6. Microbes: The smallest critters on seamounts. What is the role of microbial activity on seamounts? How does anything live at depths without any energy from the sun? Rust-eating bacteria and the carbon cycle
  7. Life at Deep Sea Hot spots: Fish and Benthic Life. Why do seamounts offer fertile fishing grounds? What grows and lives around Seamounts?
  8. The Oceans around seamounts: What is the role of seamounts in the deep oceans? What is their contribution to the stirring of the oceans and how do they distribute nutrients or larvae around and between seamounts?

These themes offer an umbrella for the conference and each one of them may contain several lesson plans, many of which are more or less done.


  • Hubert Staudigel, Director, ERESE (hstaudigel at
  • Anthony Koppers (akoppers at, College of Oceanic & Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University
  • Cathryn Manduca, Director, Science education Resource Center, Carleton College (cmanduca at

This workshop is co-sponsored by ERESE and the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College with funding from the National Science Foundation - Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE-0532768).

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