f98u1le4 - Lesson IV: Studying the Ocean Biosphere In the...

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Lesson IV: Studying the Ocean Biosphere In the last three lessons, we have learned about the many ways in which the ocean is important to all the life on Earth. We have also learned about the many threats to the continued health of the oceans. One of the roles that scientists must play in society is to provide information to managers so they can make policy decisions to protect a particular resource or environment. The Year of the Ocean program is aimed at insuring that the oceans will continue to thrive. How do we take care of our ocean? In this unit, we will be introducing the Scientific Method as useful problem solving technique which scientists use to conduct their research. We will also provide examples of the methods and instruments used to collect oceanographic data. To prepare your class for this lesson, have them think about the ocean first as policy makers. What do they need to do to be good caretakers of the ocean? Next, have them pretend they are scientists who must provide the answers to managers’ questions. What data do they need to measure to answer the policy makers questions? How are they going to make these measurements? Some helpful questions might be: What factors influence plant life in the ocean? What about animal life? How can these parameters be measured? What special problems might be encountered in sampling because of the size and depth of the oceans? What’s happening at Year of the Ocean? The year of the ocean scientists are very busy tracking the drifters that are currently in the water, and continuing to update the web site so that everyone can follow their progression. Keep tuned to the YOTO web site (http://drifters.doe.gov) to follow the tracks and locations of the drifters. Throughout the course of Year of the Ocean, you will have more and more interaction with the scientists. You will be able to view ocean images, obtain other educational materials, e-mail a scientist with your questions, collect the most up to date data about your drifter, build your own drifter and log on to related sites. Enjoy the materials that are available to you, and good luck following your drifter!
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The Scientific Method Do scientists always find answers to their questions easily? No. Do they always know what the outcome of their experiments will be? No. Each problem or question that a scientist sets out to understand or answer is different. To reach a conclusion about the question or experiment, the scientist must work in an organized manner. In science, this organization takes the form of a series of procedures, sometimes call the Scientific Methods. The Scientific Method is simply a problem solving technique which can be adapted to many types of experimental research problems. The following description of the Scientific Method is intended to be complete, even though scientists may not actually perform every step each time they begin a new experiment. The Scientific Method
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f98u1le4 - Lesson IV: Studying the Ocean Biosphere In the...

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