Ship to Shore Education Program
Activity 1 THE ALBATROSS AS AN INDICATOR OF OCEAN HEALTH
Are Seabirds What They Eat? Plastics and Seabirds (made available to educators by COSEE West - a lesson from Waves, Wetlands and Watersheds, CCC Science Activity Guide)
Grades 6-12 (Designed for grade 8; easily modified for grades 6-12 and beyond)
"Seabirds mistake plastic for food and feed it to themselves and their chicks. Albatross chicks regurgitate boluses, a compact mass of undigestable material. By studying the contents of boluses, much information can be learned about seabird diets, however, we can also learn important information about human impacts on pelagic, open ocean marine systems far from land."
DESCRIPTION: This activity allows students to "dissect" an albatross bolus. It is possible but not necessary to get actual boluses for the dissection (availability is very limited). Instead, for simplicity, printed images of dissected boluses can be used for the activity. The only materials required for this activity are printouts of the data sheets and printouts of the bolus images.
Seabirds What They Eat? (PDF) Print pages 1-5 of the PDF. (This is an 11 page PDF of the full lesson. I recommend only printing pages 1-5. Pages 6-7 describe protocol for using real boluses and pages 8-11 are data sheets) http://www.usc.edu/org/cosee-west/October06Resources/Activities/Secondary/Are%20Seabirds%20What%20They%20Eat.pdf
- Data Sheet Print page 8 of the PDF (There are are also data sheets on pages 9-11 for a more complex analysis to find the Percent Similarity Index- I do not recommend these for younger students) http://www.usc.edu/org/cosee-west/October06Resources/Activities/Secondary/Are%20Seabirds%20What%20They%20Eat.pdf
- 3 Different Bolus Photos (PDF) Print pages 1-3 of the PDF. If possible print these in color. Students can work in teams and images can be re-used. http://www.usc.edu/org/cosee-west/October06Resources/Activities/Secondary/3%20Different%20Bolus%20Photos.pdf
Introductions for the Main Activity
" The Plastic Diet" LA Times VIDEO from "Altered Oceans"
2:17 minutes. An excellent introduction to the ecology of Laysan Albatrosses on Midway Atoll including their diet, their feeding range in the Pacific Gyre, and their ingestion of plastic. Shows a brief clip of an albatross dissection and discusses the Pacific Gyre and where the Albatrosses feed. Under Videos select “The Plastic Diet” (there is a control bar on top to enlarge the video). http://www.latimes.com/news/local/oceans/la-oceans-flash-day4,0,7741594.flash
"Albatross Necropsy" NOAA’s OCEANSLIVE video/narrated slideshow
Warning-VERY GRAPHIC! “This video portrays the necropsy of
an albatross that had died on Kure Atoll due to all of the plastic it had
ingested.” Gives background about albatross diet, and foraging behaviors and
very graphic images of the necropsy. Under ARCHIVED VIDEOS select Albatross Necropsy by clicking
on the picture
Albatross slide show (Web Version) This Slide Show provides background on albatross ecology for the lesson. It includes information about the life cycle of the albatross, the geography of their foraging flights, their diet and how they ingest plastic. Each slide is well labeled and comes with notes for the presenter. There are 20 slides in total though some are more directly applicable to the lesson than others.
- Albatross slide show The full slide show as an interactive web file (if you would like to request a CD version of the presentation, please contact Jenny Stock at CBNMS - firstname.lastname@example.org )
- Albatross slide show.ppt The full slide show as a PowerPoint presentation
- Slide Show files Index of individual GIF files of each slide
- Slide Show Script (PDF) Printable version of the script.
1)Tracking Albatross and Tracking Trash (made available to educators by COSEE West - a lesson from Waves, Wetlands and Watersheds, CCC Science Activity Guide)
Grades 6-12 (Designed for grade 8 but easily modified for grades 6-12)
"Black-footed Albatross fly long distances to search for food. During their journeys across the North Pacific they can encounter and eat plastic." Researchers use satellite telemetry to study their movement patterns and answer questions about the threats they face as an endangered species.
DESCRIPTION: "Students map locations of satellite transmissions from tagged Black-footed Albatross on a map of the North Pacific and determine overlap of their feeding range with the "eastern plastic garbage patch" documented by ORV Alguita."
Tracking Albatross and Trash (PDF) Print pages 1-8 (all) of the PDF. Students will need copies of pages 5-8.
2)You Are What You Eat :Plastics and Marine Life (made available to educators by COSEE West - a lesson from Waves, Wetlands and Watersheds, CCC Science Activity Guide)
Grades 6- 8 (Designed for grade 8)
"Do different forms of plastic affect animals feeding in different parts of the ocean? Find out the many ways marine life can be effected by plastics in their aquatic home."
DESCRIPTION: This activity explores how different types of plastics affect marine life living in different Marine Zones. Students learn about the characteristics of different types of plastic and the variations in feeding adaptations of organisms living in 3 marine zones. Students then cut out ocean animal cards and place them on a chart to predict the types of plastics each animal is most likely to encounter. Materials required for this activity include printouts and scissors
You Are What You Eat: Plastics and Marine Life(PDF) Print Pages 1-7(all) of PDF. Students will need copies of Pages 5-7.
3)What Plastic Items Are Albatross Likely To Eat? (made available to educators through COSEE West - a lesson from Waves, Wetlands and Watersheds, CCC Science Activity Guide)
Grades 6- 8 (Designed for grade 8)
DESCRIPTION: "Students create and use a dichotomous key to determine if an albatross would ingest a particular piece of plastic. Students will measure objects and compare the characteristics of the assorted piles of plastic."
What Plastic Items (PDF) Print Pages 1-5(Page 6 is a mistake) of PDF. Students will need copies of Page 4.
Recommendation for this Activity: Have students do a 5 minute "campus clean-up" to procure the necessary
plastic trash for the lesson.