Education: Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions The goal of science is the construction of theories that provide explanatory accounts of the world. A theory becomes accepted when it has multiple lines of empirical evidence and greater explanatory power of phenomena than previous theories. Click on the icons (below right) to view other standards.
   Asking Questions and Defining Problems Developing and Using Models Planning and Carrying Out Investigations Analyzing and Interpreting Data Using Mathematics and Computational Thinking Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Engaging in Argument from Evidence Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information

In this clip, Dr. Gary Lagerloef discusses how scientists were able to use Aquarius data to observe major freshwater events in the Amazon River outflow and the Bay of Bengal.
Distribution of sunlight on earth

Ted Taylor, a high school earth sciences teacher at Bangor High School, discusses how to get more ocean science topics into the classroom.
Lab setup for quantifying density and specific gravity

Ted Taylor, a high school earth sciences teacher at Bangor High School, presents a host of educational resources and activities that educators can make use of to enhance their own curriculum.
pH solutions

Ted Taylor, an earth science teacher at Bangor High School, has his students work through a series of laboratory activities centered around ocean acidification.
Mooring deployment

Dr. Tom Farrar dicusses how scientists design surface moorings to stay in one place in the middle of the ocean while simultaneously collecting data for up to one year at a time.
North Atlantic subtropical gyre

In this clip, Julius Busecke discusses how the interactions between atmospheric circulation and the rotation of the earth interact to produce large scale gyres in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Map of thermohaline circulation

Dr. Susan Lozier explains how changes in ocean circulation are the result of not only changes in seawater density, but also the amount of wind blowing on the surface of the ocean to push the water around.
Carbon flux

Dr. Gary Lagerloef explains how understanding ocean salinity can help us to better understand human-induced global climate change.

Dr. Tom Farrar explains what scientists mean when they talk about ocean salinity and defines the associated values.
R/V Sarmiento de Gamboa

In this clip, Julius Busecke, a Ph.D student at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, explains how these rainfall patterns create tropical and desert regions.
SPURS glider survey

Dr. Fred Bingham introduces viewers to an at-sea glider system, including their importance and function in modern oceanographic research.
Argo float locations (October 2012)

Introduction to Argo (00:03:46)  
An introduction to the Argo float program, a worldwide network of profiling floats taking measurements in the world's oceans.
Ablation of paint on a mixed-layer Lagrangian float

Dr. Fred Bingham describes how a new type of float - called a Lagrangian float - is used for at-sea salinty research.
Schematic of ARGO profile operation

Dr. Stephen Riser explains what an Argo float is and how it has increased scientists' knowledge of global ocean salinity since its implementation.
Prawler mooring

Dr. Fred Bingham introduces a specific type of instrument that "crawls" up and down a mooring line. The importance of this new technology, as well as what can happen if things go wrong, are discussed in this clip.
Deployment of a surface flux mooring

During SPURS, three research moorings were deployed. In combination, these three stationary platforms collected data in the SPURS region, an area in the northern mid-Atlantic, playing a key role in understanding the high salinity area.
Fresh pool evolution

In this clip, data from a Lagrangian Float - as well as its interpretation - are shared.
El Niño diagram

Using the El Niño event that occurs off the west coast of South America, Dr. Gary Lagerloef explains what natural salinity variability in the ocean looks like.
Graph of a freshening event in the SPURS region

Dr. Stephen Riser explains the importance of advancing oceanographic research equipment and why a rain event over the ocean can tell us a lot about how the ocean works to move water from place to place.
Surface drifter

As part of the SPURS study, 40 surface drifters were deployed to measure salinity and other variables. Dr. Fred Bingham explains their ability to move through the ocean autonomously, and what information that they can provide researchers.
Annual average salinity in the North Atlantic

In this clip, Ph.D student Julius Busecke explains shallow overturning circulation and uses the North Atlantic Ocean, home of SPURS, as a case study. He also gives viewers a glimpse at some preliminary results gleaned from a recent cruise to the SPURS.
Global ocean currents

Ted Taylor, a high school earth sciences teacher at Bangor High School, walks through a concept map aimed at presenting ways he has incorporated ocean science topics into his classroom.
Annual mean sea surface temperature

The Water Cycle (00:03:18)  
In this clip, Dr. Raymond Schmitt talks about how varying ocean temperatures play a role in the global water cycle.
Wave glider deployed from the R/V Knorr

What Are Wave Gliders? (00:03:43)  
In this clip, Dr. Fred Bingham gives an overview of the various components aboard a wave glider.
Photorealistic view of the water cycle

One way Aquarius data is being used is to better understand how the ocean and atmosphere interact: how they "couple" to create processes we experience on a daily basis like evaporation and precipitation.
The global water cycle

In this clip, Dr. Stephen Riser explains that ocean salinity is a way to better understand the global water cycle. Salinity plays a role in determining seawater density, which can determine where water travels throughout the oceans.