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Student Activity

Help Nemo Find his Home!

In their ocean habitat, clownfish use an exceptional sense of smell as a
mechanism to help determine which direction to swim, called “olfactory homing”. When given a choice between two water currents, one with the scent of an anemone and the other with the scent of the open ocean, clownfish will choose the anemone scent nearly every time! They can also tell the difference between the scent of a predator
and the scent of a friendly non-predator…like Dory…choosing the nonpredator nearly every time! However, recent research in Australia has shown that the olfactory homing ability of clownfish is severely disrupted by ocean acidification (through interference with neuron

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Mountains in the Sea

In this 6-7 day investigation, students begin with an introduction to seamounts that are present in the Gulf of Alaska. They learn how seamounts were formed and look at a bathymetric map of a seamount. In Activity 3A, students explore sea floor mapping techniques as they participate in an activity to create a map of a sea feature they have molded out of clay. In Activity 3B, students watch a short animated presentation, “Who cares about Sea Floor Mapping?” then create a model of a seamount found in Alaska. They use pre-sonar techniques to collect data and create a graph of their seamount using Excel.

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