Virginia Institute of Marine Science
VA Sea 2020 Lesson Plans
Grades: 9-12 Subjects: Chemistry | Environmental Science | Oceanography
In this interactive estuary-focused activity, students will examine stable and radioactive isotope data which provide information about the source and age of environmental samples such as plant and soil matter. Students will calculate average isotope ratios from five reference land types (forest, wetland, agriculture, industry, aquatic) and an unknown site within an estuary. Students will graph their calculated ratios and determine the land type that most impacts their estuary based on reference-to-unknown comparisons.
Secondary Education, Lesson Plans, chemistry, isotopes, estuarine characteristics
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The 2019/2020 VA SEA project was made possible through funding from the National Estuarine Research Reserve System Margaret Davidson Fellowship Program which supports graduate students in partnership with research reserves where fieldwork, research, and community engagement come together. VA SEA is currently supported by the Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, Virginia Sea Grant, and the Virginia Institute of Marine Science Marine Advisory Program.
Detweiler, D. (2020) Isotopes in the Estuary: Conception and Application of Stable and Radioactive Carbon. VA Sea 2020 Lesson Plans. Virginia Institute of Marine Science, William & Mary. doi: 10.25773/f8rb-6z53