Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Tracking the Health of Coral Reefs: Live from Belize

A Smithsonian Science How Webcast, October 8, 2019 at 2PM and 3:30PM EDT

Archived Webcast

The webcasts from Carrie Bow Cay off the coast of Belize have ended. Watch a recording in the player above or by using the link below. After watching the webcast, take the webcast survey and tell us how we did!

Description

Want to inspire your students about a future career in science? Transport them to a marine-research station, where they can learn what it’s like to be a scientist working in the field. Smithsonian Science How broadcasting live from the Smithsonian’s Carrie Bow Cay Field Station, connecting your students in real-time to scientists working from a remote, tropical island located off the coast of Belize, Central America (Google Map).

Smithsonian marine scientists introduced students to coral and coral reefs, and the ways in which they monitor coral reef ecosystems, their health, and how they respond to changes in the environment. They showed students the tools that they use to conduct their underwater observations and research, including basic scuba gear. 

  • 2pm Show: How Coral Reefs Grow and Respond to a Changing Environment
    Scientists Maggie Johnson and Alex Lowe explain how stony corals grow and how their growth is impacted by the environment in which they live and create. Maggie and Alex show students the tools they use to study coral reef habitats and share what they’ve discovered.
  • 3:30pm Show: Tracking Coral Health & Disease
    Scientists Leah Harper and Scott Jones introduce students to coral, coral reefs, and the tools they use to monitor coral reef ecosystems and their health. They share how they identify and track coral disease. 

Meet the Scientists and Learn About Their Work

These shows were made possible by the Smithsonian’s Marine Global Earth Observatory (MarineGEO), which is a long-term, worldwide research program focused on understanding coastal marine life and its role in maintaining resilient ecosystems around the world. 

Key Crosscutting Concepts (NGSS)

Patterns: 

  • Patterns can be used as evidence to support an explanation (4-ESS1-1)
  • Scientists will share patterns they’ve discovered, which are used as evidence to support various explanations 
  • System and System Models: A system can be described in terms of its components and their interactions (3-LS4-4, 5-LS2-1, 5-ESS2-1)

Connections to Nature and Science:

  • Science assumes consistent patterns in natural systems (3-LS4-1)
  • Science affects everyday life (3-ESS3-1, 4-PS3-4)
  • Most scientists and engineers work in teams (4-PS3-4)
  • Science assumes consistent patterns in natural systems (4-ESS1-1)
  • Science findings are limited to questions that can be answered with empirical evidence (5-ESS3-1)

Teaching Resources

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)

3rd Grade

Earth Science

Earth and Human Activity & Human Impacts on Earth Systems

•    ESS3.C Societal activities have had major effects on the land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space. Students describe things society does to protect Earth’s resources and environments.

4th Grade

Life Science

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

  • 4-LS1-1 Construct an argument that plants and animals have internal and external structures that function to support survival, growth, behavior, and reproduction.

Earth Science

Earth and Human Activity & Human Impacts on Earth Systems

  • ESS3.C Societal activities have had major effects on the land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space. Students describe things society does to protect Earth’s resources and environments.
  • 4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment

5th Grade

Life Science

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

  • 5-LS2-1 Develop a model to describe movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment

Earth Science

Earth and Human Activity & Human Impacts on Earth Systems

  • ESS3.C Societal activities have had major effects on the land, ocean, atmosphere, and even outer space. Students describe things society does to protect Earth’s resources and environments.
  • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment

6-8th Grade

Life Science

Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics; Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

  • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems

Earth Science

Earth and Human Activity & Human Impacts on Earth Systems

  • ESS3.C Human activities have altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging it, although changes to environments can have different impacts for different living things. Activities and technologies can be engineered t’s impacts on Earth.

 

Resource Type
Videos and Webcasts
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8
Learning Standards
Next Generation Science Standards
Topics
Earth Science, Life Science