Entries by Oregon Coast Education Program

Blue Carbon

Science Concepts—Blue Carbon Summary: This topic guide begins with a review of photosynthesis and progresses to the role marine wetlands play in carbon storage. Through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Animals, in contrast, breathe in oxygen, and breathe out carbon dioxide. Since the Industrial Revolution, humans have been adding more carbon into […]

Carbon on the Move

Science Concepts—Carbon on the Move Summary: Carbon is an important element that comprises part of all living organisms and is found in many nonliving parts of our planet and atmosphere. In this topic guide, students explore the carbon cycle to discover how carbon moves between atmosphere, biosphere and lithosphere. With a clear understanding of the […]

Inland Planning for Salmon

Planning—Inland Planning for Salmon Summary: Connections between inland and ocean ecosystems are embodied by the life cycle and geographic distribution of salmon. These anadromous species depend on inland freshwater streams and rivers for spawning, but they also depend on the ocean for their adult existence. Natural resource managers in the Pacific Northwest have spent a […]

Dealing with Drought

Planning—Dealing with Drought Summary: Global climate models predict that Oregon will experience a reduction of water availability, increased drought, and increased chances for wildfire in coming years. In this topic guide, students brainstorm steps they, their families and their schools can take to plan for these conditions. Concepts to teach: Crosscutting Concepts Cause and Effect […]


Impacts—Phenology Summary: Phenology is the study of periodic, seasonal biological phenomena that are often correlated with climatic conditions. Examples include the timing of plant flowering or bird migration. Changes in climate can result in phenophase shifts that can in turn affect the way ecosystems function. In this topic guide, students observe the timing of a […]

Inland Glaciers

Impacts—Inland Glaciers Summary: As we have seen in other topic guides, the ocean stores solar radiation and its currents distribute heat to shape climate zones throughout the globe. Ocean processes affect not just coastal climates, but also temperature and precipitation far inland. In this topic guide, students learn about how changes in temperature and precipitation […]

Coastal Hazards

Impacts—Coastal Hazards Summary: Extreme weather events have significant impacts on coastal environments, and scientists look for patterns to determine how climate change is affecting the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. Storm surges, high winds, and heavy precipitation can alter coastal physical environments, affect water quality, and result in coastal habitat loss. In this […]

Investigating El Niño

Science Concepts—Investigating El Niño Summary: During an El Niño event, shifting winds and ocean currents lead to greater than normal sea surface temperatures and changes in weather patterns around the globe. In Data in the Classroom lessons, students use real data to explore relationships between ocean and atmosphere, and the ocean characteristics that are associated […]

Deep Density Drivers

Science Concepts—Deep Density Drivers Summary: Ocean currents redistribute heat around the world and affect the world’s climate. In this topic guide, students use a model to find out how density drives deep ocean currents, and use the information to describe the potential impacts an influx of fresh water could have on ocean circulation. Concepts to […]

The Ocean and our Weather

Science Concepts—The Ocean and our Weather Summary: The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate. The ocean absorbs heat from solar radiation, and loses heat by evaporation. When water from the ocean enters the atmosphere as water vapor, it condenses and forms rain. In fact, most of the rain that falls on land […]