Oceanic Scales Lesson Plan #5: Understanding the Nutrient Cycle

Students will understand how upwelling affects the ocean nutrient cycle, which therefore allows phytoplankton to utilize the nutrients into energy.  Dense, cold water is normally found deep in the ocean.  The remains of dead, decomposing organisms sink to the ocean bottom making the deep ocean waters rich in nutrients.  However, phytoplankton, which are the basis[…]

Oceanic Scales Lesson Plan #4: The Power of Recycling Graph

Students will gain an understanding of how and why recycling helps our environment while recording and comparing conscious choices they are personally making while setting goals for the future. What is plastic made from?  Why is it so important to conserve fossil fuels?   How do our recycling choices affect phytoplankton? DOWNLOAD THE LESSON PLAN HERE[…]

Oceanic Scales Lesson Plan #2: Phytoplankton Cards

This is the second in our new series of lesson plans dedicated to exploring the world of plankton through art and science collaboration.  Students will gain new understanding, appreciation and emotional connections to phytoplankton by creating a series of phytoplankton game cards, personalized with their own designs and game models. DOWNLOAD THE LESSON PLAN HERE IN PRINTABLE PDF[…]

Oceanic Scales Lesson Plan #1: The Invisible World of Plankton

This is our first in our new series of lesson plans dedicated to exploring the world of plankton through art and science collaboration.  Students will gain new understanding, appreciation and emotional connections to phytoplankton by making the invisible visible through a series of lessons and interactive puzzle game experiences. DOWNLOAD PRINTABLE LESSON PLAN PDF HERE!

Oceanic Scales Puzzle Game / App Beta Testing at Weatherbee Elementary

We had the opportunity last month to beta test our new Oceanic Scales puzzle game and app system with the 4th grade class of the Weatherbee Elementary School in Hampden, Maine.  Chynna Avery Felice, the creator of the Oceanic Scales lesson plans invited her partner Gene A. Felice II, co-creator of the Oceanic Scales puzzle game[…]

Maine Sea Grant to fund final production of Oceanic Scales app system

Oceanic Scales has recently received a generous grant from the Maine Sea Grant to fund the final production of our App system.  With this grant we’ve hired on two new student developer / animators to assist with the final development of the initial app system.  New Media student Aidan Bauer and  Computer Engineering student Jack Britton have[…]

Epsilon Data Alliance Grant for Oceanic Scales App System

Alliance Data & EPSILON awarded a generous Community Outreach Grant to Oceanic Scales, funding the completion of an educational app version of the project that also serves as an augmented reality system to help reveal hidden layers of the Oceanic Scales interactive puzzle. They also donated an array of designers and app developers to design the app and gaming[…]

Bioluminescent Phytoplankton Garden / Lab

In an effort to understand and collaborate with Phytoplankton I’ve started a Bioluminescent phytoplankton garden / lab as a spur project of Oceanic Scales. I am currently growing three varieties of Phytoplankton which were purchased from a local culture lab Empco in an attempt to learn more about this amazing organism and to discover new ways[…]

UCSC’s Ocean Data Center

Here are a couple of great resources for research going on at UCSC in the realm of phytoplankton other microorganisms: http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/home/oceandatacenter.html http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/home/spotlight%20home.html http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/home/spotlight_microscopy.html http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/home/research.html And some weekly phytoplankton sampling in the Monterey Bay: http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/PhytoBlog/  

Dinoflagellates: Glowing Predators

Little did I know that the bio-luminescent phytoplankton known as Dinoflaggellates are actually predators and eat other phytoplankton.  While the rest are busy sequestering carbon and producing oxygen, these ones are hunting their own. http://www.mnh.si.edu/highlight/sem/dinoflagellates.html http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/PhytoGallery/Dinoflagellates/lingulodinium.html  

Red Tides & First Flush

Here are a few resources on red tides and the “first flush” phenomenon.  Both the result of an over-abundance of phytoplankton, often caused by man-made fertilizers and waste. http://www.lifesci.ucsb.edu/~biolum/organism/redtide.html http://deepseanews.com/2011/09/the-san-diego-red-tide-faq-from-scripps-professor-dr-peter-franks/ http://www.csgc.ucsd.edu/NEWSROOM/NEWSRELEASES/2010/PredictAlgalBlooms.html http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/home/firstflush.html http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/PhytoGallery/HABS_redtides.html http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/technology/2011/09/red-tide-off-california-coast-creates-blue-glow/

Phytoplankton’s key role in the Oceanic Food Chain

A great article on the key role that phytoplankton plays at the bottom of the oceanic food chain: http://discovermagazine.com/2004/aug/plankton-planet#.UWuhTIKTG3x Another great article on the adaptability of phytoplankton: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130308133057.htm A massive archive of phytoplankton videos not to be missed: http://www.planktonchronicles.org/en  

Ernst Haeckel – The definition of Inspiration

Ernst Haeckel is a true and constant source of inspiration, in everything and anything relating to the sea, microorganisms, 19th century naturalism or wonderfully blurred lines between science and art. Proteus:  a very unique looking documentary on Ernst Haeckel More images & Info: http://www.kuriositas.com/2012/01/art-forms-of-nature-ernst-haeckel.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernst_Haeckel http://abilliontastesandtunes.blogspot.com/2011/05/ernst-haeckel-part-1-of-2.html

Water Quality Data Resources in S.F. & Monterey Bay

Here are a couple of great resources for obtaining live water quality data in the San Francisco Bay area. http://sfbay.wr.usgs.gov/access/wqdata/ http://sfbay.wr.usgs.gov/access/wqdata/query/index.html https://data.sfgov.org/ http://www.sfbayjv.org/resources.php In Santa Cruz / Monterey: http://oceandatacenter.ucsc.edu/PhytoBlog/ And in the Monterey Bay / Elkhorn Slew: http://www.mbari.org/lobo/loboviz.htm http://www.mbari.org/lobo/getLOBOdata.htm http://cimt.ucsc.edu/rtd.htm And a an interesting data site monitoring ocean color around the world: http://oceancolor.gsfc.nasa.gov/