Subject: WhaleNet Article

Michael Wiliamson (williams@whale.wheelock.edu)
Fri, 22 Aug 1997 09:39:06 -0500

> WhaleNet Article
>
> mike williamson (williams@www1.wheelock.edu)
> Tue, 11 Feb 1997 14:38:39 -0500 (EST)
>
>  Using Research Data to Enhance Your Curriculum--
> WhaleNet, Whale Research, and Education
> http://whale.wheelock.edu
>
> by
> J. Michael Williamson
> Associate Professor of Science
> Principal Investigator-WhaleNet
>
> WhaleNet offers trans-disciplinary educational resources, access to
> the Satellite Tagging
> Observation Program, the A.S.K. a Scientist Program, the WhaleNetPal
> Program, The "Link of the
> Week", educational resources, and diverse professional development
> programs for educators.
>
> Students and teachers can access research data and information on
> actual whale research,
> information from field researchers, related research, environmental
> links, and educational and
> professional development activities (Ed 654: Field Studies in Marine
> Science) through WhaleNet
> (http://whale.wheelock.edu) on the internet.
>
> WhaleNet became an international educational resource accessed by as
> many as 120,000
> transfers a day from participants in over 70 countries. It began an
> EnviroNet's
> (http://earth.simmons.edu/)regional monitoring project.
> WhaleNet's initial purpose was to
> use data collected by students on whale watches in New England to
> monitor
> the populations and
> movements of whales in the Gulf of Maine.
>
> WhaleNet Trans-disciplinary Activities and Use of Data
>
> Educational Resources section includes transdisciplinary start-up
> activities which can be down
> loaded and used in K-12 classrooms. In addition to marine studies,
> these
> activities address important
> skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, and data analysis.
> WhaleNet activities are used in
> geography, science, math, reading, writing and other subject areas.
>
> In Earth Science for example, bathymetric profiles can be
> constructed using whale watch
> observation data downloaded from a WhaleNet listserv
> (http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/). In this
> activity, students learn how to construct bathymetric (topographic)
> profiles and how whale
> observations might be related to specific geologic features.
>
> Some questions posed in this activity can initiate a wide range of
> learning activities. Examples of
> study questions include:
>
> Why do specific prey species inhabit a particular location?
> In what depth of water are most whale observations made? Why?
> What is the primary sediment composition (bottom material) in this
> area? Why?
> How might the water depth influence the whale's feeding?
>
> Mathematically, students and teachers may use whale observation data
> downloaded from
> http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/(Figure 1) collected on whale watch
>
> trips to generate questions and
> study topics, such as:
>
> On a perticular trip, how many sightings are observed per hour? per
> mile?
> How does this data compare to other areas? to other days? to last
> year?
> Is the data similar? different? Why?
> Are the sightings related to water temperature? sea state? cloud
> cover?
>
> The following entry, submitted to the WhaleNet data base, gives you
> an idea of the scope of
> information students and teachers can query.
>
> ====================================================
>
> To: whalenet@whale.simmons.edu
> cc:
> Subject: Data/JL/Jul 31 95/MICS/Capt. Red/ED 654
> -------------------------------------------
> Vessel-Capt.. Red
> Location - Newburyport, MA. USA
> Date-Jul 31 95
> Sea State -1
> Wave ht. - <1 ft.
> Wind- <10 knots , Dir- S
> Air temp.- 85' F
> Water temp- 66' F
> Cloud cover-0 %
> Visibility-~20+ nm
> Research-ED 654/MICS/NEWW
> School-Wheelock College/Newburyport Middle School
> Recorder-J. Halloran
>
> Time,NLat,Wlong,Depth,Sp,No.,Grouping,Behavior,Name,Wtemp('F)
>
> 922,42 51,70 37,350,s,n,g,b,n,68.5
> 954,42 51,70 21,d,Bp,1,1,b,n,66.
> 1000,42 51,70 20,d,Ba,1,1,b,n,67.9
> 1004,42 51,70 18,381,Ba,1,1,b,n,,67.7
> 1005,42.50,70.18,383,Mn,1,1,Dive,Marvel,68
> 1008,42.50,70.18,514,Mn,1,1,b,Marvel,67.5
> 1018,42.50,70.18,372,Bp,1,1,b,n.66.9
> 1020,42.50,70.18,384,Mn1,1,Feed,Marvel,64.9
> 1036,42.49,70.15,297,La,12+,2,Feed,66
> 1106,42.52,70.19,551,Bp,2,1,b,n,66.5
> 1133,42.51,70.16,189,Ba,1,1,b,n,66.5
> 1156,42.51,70.28,d,Bp1,1,b,n,66.6
>
> Day Totals: Hrs-2.5 hr, La-12 , Bp-4, Mn-3, Ba-3, Cm-0
> ===================================================
> Figure 1: Sample WhaleNet Data Entry
>
> Creative writing, song writing, and environmental games are among
> the many and varied
> activities that have been developed with WhaleNet data and
> information.
>
> EDUCATIONAL & RESEARCH RESOURCES
>
> Satellite Tagging Observation Program
>
> The Satellite Tagging Observation Program gives students and
> educators access to actual and
> unique research data. Satellite tags, in conjunction with established
> research groups and the New
> England Aquarium's Pelagic Research Lab, will be placed on various
> species of marine organisms to
> monitor their movements and to seek answers to questions never before
> solved.
>
> Where do he Atlantic blues whales go in the winter months? Do they
> calve there?
> What route do the humpbacks follow on their migrations?
> Where do the right whales go?
> What is the habitat range for these animals?
> Where do seals go when released from a stranding?
>
> The answers to these questions are important to gaining a better
> understanding of the natural
> historythese organisms.
>
> Participants can access the same data and fixes that the scientists
> receive from the satellite tags to
> plot and follow the movements of the organisms. The new data can be
> analyzed by the students, and
> questions on the organism's rate of travel, migration route, feeding
> and
> calving areas can be addressed.
>
> Map of "Metompkin's" Movements.
>
> Why would this organism inhabit a particular area?
> What is available there to benefit the animal?
> Why is the prey species abundant in that area?
> What is the water temperature and current structure in that particular
>
> area?
>
> The first satellite tag was placed on a Right Whale, "Metompkin",
> off of the Florida/Georgia
> border on January 6, 1996 and the tag remained operational until the
> batteries ran out on July 4, 1996.
> Students can correlate the right whale tag fixes with other
> information
> for research such as Gulf
> Stream data or sea surface temperatures also available on the
> internet.
> Metompkin was observed in the
> Bay of Funday in August healthy and clear of any fishing gear.
>
> Many NASA and oceanographic internet sites have information on
> oceanographic and current
> data. Many of these sites are available on the WhaleNet 's Educational
>
> Resources page.
>
> Over the next two years, WhaleNet plans to collaborate on and share
> data on different satellite
> tagging projects: blue whales, to monitor the use of their summer
> feeding
> areas and then to try to
> discover where they travel during the winter months. This is part of
> an
> effort to eventually assess their
> recruitment rate. Humpback whales and bowhead whales will be tagged in
>
> order to discover their route
> of migration and habitat use. Arctic seals will be monitored to access
>
> their movements and habitat use.
> And, the very rare right whales will be tracked to determine their
> range
> of movement in the western
> North Atlantic Ocean.
>
> A.S.K. (Acquiring Scientific Knowledge) a Scientist
>
> The A.S.K. programs gives the students the opportunity to personally
> contact researchers for
> information via email. WhaleNet has scheduled practicing scientists
> and
> naturalists from many
> geographic locations who are active in whale research, manatee
> research,
> and oceanographic research,
> etc. to be on-line to respond to student inquiries.
>
> WhaleNet also has researchers from the Western North Atlantic
> Humpback Whale Catalogue at
> Allied Whale, College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine scheduled
> to
> assist and respond to research
> queries on specific humpback whales.
>
> WhaleNet Educational Listservs
>
> WhaleNet Listservs have been established for educational purposes
> and include WhaleNet Pals
> (http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/netpal), WhaleNet Educational
> Resources and teaching units
> (http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/wncurriculum), and WhaleNet data
> and
> information
> (http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/whalenet).
>
> These listservs offer two methods of access. One may subscribe to
> the listservs and receive all of
> the contributed information automatically via email, or one can access
>
> the listservs on the WhaleNet
> server at the URL's listed above to read and download the files as is
> convenient at
> http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives.
>
> * WhaleNet Pals (http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/netpal)
>
> The WhaleNet Pals program establishes a directory of classes which
> wish to contact and
> collaborate with other classes on common points of interest. This
> directory on the WhaleNet site
> enables students to locate and collaborate with distant students via
> email on common research and
> educational projects.
>
> * WhaleNet Curriculum Units
> (http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/wncurriculum)
>
> The wncurriculum listserv lists a variety of teaching activities
> that can be downloaded,
> personalized and used. This listserv also affords educators an
> opportunity to upload and share
> successful teaching units with other educators.
>
> * WhaleNet Listserv (http://whale.wheelock.edu/archives/whalenet)
> The WhaleNet listserv distributes all of the data and information
> files that are contributed to the
> listserv by the students, scientists, and other participants.
>
> The primary goals of WhaleNet are to provide high-interest resources
> to facilitate learning;
> enhance interest in science; develop problem-solving and other
> critical
> thinking skills; and increase
> understanding using telecommunications.
>
> WhaleNet is administered through by J. Michael Williamson through
> Wheelock College in
> association with Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts, and the
> program is funded by a NIE grant
> from the National Science Foundation (NSF).
>
> For more information log-on to WhaleNet at
> http://whale.wheelock.edu; email:
> williams@whale.wheelock.edu; or write J. Michael Williamson,
> WhaleNet/Wheelock College, 200 The
> Riverway, Boston, MA 02215-4176 or call 617/734-5200, ext. 256.
>
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
> J. Michael Williamson
> Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <http://whale.wheelock.edu>
> Associate Professor-Science
> Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
> voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
> fax: 617.734.8666, or 508.468.0073
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^