Module 12: Continental Shelf Communities – Part 2

March 3, 2015 PowerPoint  Honors Marine Biology Module 12 Continential Shelf Part 2

In most of the cold temperate areas of the world, hard-bottom shelf substrates are inhabited by large, brown seaweeds known as kelp. Kelp can grow quite tall (up to 30 meters) compared to other seaweeds. Kelp Beds create a third dimension to the hard-bottom communities, in the same way that trees create canopy structures in forests.

In Kelp Forests a canopy is formed when the kelp is tall enough to stretch from the bottom of the subtidal community all the way up to the surface. As a result, most of the kelp is underneath the water, but some of it is on top of the water as well. When kelps are not tall enough to reach the surface and form a canopy, the community they form is called a kelp forest.

If you have NetFlix watch Mike Rowe in Dirty Jobs as Mike gets dirty harvesting kelp to feed abalone. NetFlix:  Dirty Jobs Season 3 Episode 11


  1. What 2 items found in your kitchen contain Algae?
  2. Finish Reading Module 12 to page 303
  3. Answer OYO to 12.13
  4. Answer Study Guide
  5. Class Quiz:  Kelp Diagram
  6. Class Challenge: Famous Autograph

Have a good Spring Break! -Mrs. S

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Module 12: Continental Shelf Communities – Part One

February 24, 2015 PowerPoint Honors Marine Biology Module 12 Continental Shelf Communities Feb 21 2013

Congratulations to Cameryn for winning the class challenge!  Thanks to all who participated.

Camyern Bowers The continental shelf is a gently sloping area, beginning at a point near land, just below the low-tide mark.  It continues out to the shelf break, which is the outer edge of the continental shelf.  This area contains abundant quantities of life. Vast fishing areas are found here.  Coral Reef communities are located on the continental shelf. Let’s look at life on the bottom of the continental shelf. Using scuba diving equipment and underwater submersibles, scientists are beginning to learn more about the vast resources in this area. Oil and mineral deposits are found here, and nations depend upon many of the resources in this underwater zone. Review the following videos.


  1. Take Module 11 test
  2. Read Module 12 to page 297
  3. OYO: 12.1 – 12.9
  4. Study guide: define a-c  questions 2-18
  5. Finish Up lab 12.A:  Predator-Prey Relationships
  6. Quiz: Continental Shelf Communities definitions (see PowerPoint)
  7. Notebook check through Module 11
  8. Class challenge: Imitate your favorite comedian

Have a good week. -Mrs. S

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Module 11: Coral Reefs

February 17, 2015 PowerPoint  Honors Marine Biology Module 11 Coral Reefs part 1

Coral Reefs are home to an amazing assortment of organisms and are truly the underwater equivalent of a diverse rain forest.  Coral reef communities are found in the tropical climates of the world because reef-building corals need warm temperature in order to survive.  They are found between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn latitudes. This “band” around the earth receives a much larger portion of sunlight throughout the year than the rest of the world and has overall warmer climates.


Coral polyp diagram

See Figure 11.6 (page 265) Diagram of a Coral Polyp for the quiz.


1.  Module 11:  Read pages 269 to 280.

2.  OYO questions :  11. 7 – 11. 15

3.  Study Guide:  define:  d-e;  14 – 26

4.  Quiz on Coral polyp (Fig 11.6)

5.  Class challenge: Share the most unique thing about yourself.

6.  SeaPerch Team Leaders:  Remember to bring your project.

Have a good week! -Mrs. S

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Module 10: Estuary Communities – Part 2

February 10, 2015  PowerPoint Honors Marine Biology Modular 10 Estuary Communities Part 2

Congratulations goes to Ethan for demonstration the best magic trick.  Thank you to all who participated!

Sarasota Bay is a beautiful 56-mile long coastal lagoon comprised of one large bay segment (Big Sarasota Bay) and several smaller embayments including Palma Sola Bay in the north and a series of three embayments (Roberts Bay, Little Sarasota Bay, and Blackburn Bay) to the south. The Bay has four inlets or passes (Venice Inlet, Big Sarasota Pass, New Pass and Longboat Pass).

Map of Sarasota Bay EstuaryEstuaries are semi-enclosed areas, such as bays and lagoons, where freshwater mixes with salt water from the sea. Teeming with life, our nation’s estuaries provide vital habitats for 80 percent of the world’s fish and shellfish species. Estuaries are an essential resource creating more food per acre than the richest farmland.

Estuary habitats are divided into three major habitats:

  1. Wetlands  (Salt Marshes and Mangrove Forests)
  2. Mudflats: Wide expanses of an estuary that are exposed during low tide.
  3. Channels: Water is present both during high and low tides.

The three types of organisms that can endure estuary conditions are classified as:

  1. Euryhaline:  Species that can tolerate a wide range of salinities.  There are many species which have life cycle requiring tolerance to both fresh water and seawater environments such as salmon and herring.
  2. Stenohaline:  Species that can tolerate a narrow range of salinities and describes an organism, usually fish, that cannot handle a wide fluctuation in the salt content of water.
  3. Brackish:  Water that is less salty than seawater but saltier than fresh water. Brackish water is the natural habitat for a diverse group of aquatic animals that have adapted to the environment.Many animals that thrive in brackish waters can cause health problems to humans who eat them.

Class members gave excellent oral presentations of estuaries from around the world.

1.   Drowned River Valleys (sometimes called coastal plain estuaries)

2.   Bar Build Estuary (barrier island)  (Sarasota Bay is an example)

3.   Fjords

4.   River Delta Estuary

5.   Tectonic Estuary (Basin that was filled with water)

Those students who did not give their presentations, be prepared to do so at our next class on February 17.


  • Take Module 10 Test
  • Begin reading Module 11 on Coral Reefs to page 269.
  • OYO:  11.1 to 11.6
  • Study guide:  define a-c  2-13
  • Class Challenge:  Best Joke
  • No Class Quiz

Have a good week! – Mrs. S

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Birding Field Trip to the Celery Fields

Rosette Spoonbill

Rosette Spoonbill

The habitats with the Celery fields Regional Stormwater Facility provided an excellent opportunity for our class to observe numerous wildlife and plant species.

Thank you to Audubon Naturalists Linda, Claire and Barry for helping us identify birds and plants for our wet lab.

Thank you to Audubon Naturalists Linda, Claire and Barry for helping us identify birds and plants for our wet lab.

Commonly observed bird species include great egret, limpkin, red-shouldered hawk, bald eagle, little blue heron, tri-colored egret, snowy egret, black-necked stilt, white ibis, wood stork, pink spoon bills, white pelicans, kingfisher and a variety of duck species, including the blue winged teal, mottled duck, and black-bellied whistling duck.

birding 2015 1

Potential mammal sights include otter, red fox, raccoon, cotton rat, and bobcat. Amphibians and reptiles expected to be observed (or heard) include green tree frog, leopard frog, alligator, Florida cooter turtle, Florida snapping turtle, banded water snake, and black racer.



The primary wetland plant species you may see include spikerush, sawgrass, alligator flag, bulrush, arrowhead, and pickerelweed.  Also note the cordgrass and occasional tree and shrub species along the bank or transitional zone.  The transitional zone or “ecotone” includes native slash pine, Walter’s viburnum, sugarberry, wax myrtle, sweet bay, American elm, and live oak.  In the Celery Fields setting, the transitional zone also provides a buffer between developed features such as roadways, sidewalks, urban grasses, and other native habitats before you.

Purple Gallinule in Alligator Flag

Purple Gallinule in Alligator Flag


  1. Complete lab write up from Birding field trip on Feb 3
  2. Estuary Presentation on February 10
  3. Finish reading Module 10
  4. Answer OYO and Study Guide for Module 10
  5. Class Challenge:  February 10 Best magic Trick.
  6. There will be no class quiz to give time for your estuary presentation.

Have a good week! -Mrs. S

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Module 10: Estuary Communities – Part 1

January 27, 2015 PowerPoint Honors Marine Biology Modular 10 Estuary Communities Part 1


We will meet at Sarasota Alliance Church and leave the parking lot promptly at 10:30 AM. We are fortunate to have a Naturalist from the Audubon Society who will be with us at the Raymond Road Gazebo at the Celery Fields off I-75 and Fruitville Road.  We will see plenty of birds.  Directions to our birding location: east of the Celery Fields parking lot on Palmer Blvd turn right (S) on to Raymond Road Follow the road around a big curve and you will see a sign that says Celery Fields Naturalist on Duty.  Park on the side of the road in the grass. We will return to Sarasota Alliance before 1:00 PM.  You must bring your lab book and pen. This is a full working lab day!  If you have binoculars, bring them along.

Congratulations to Adam for the best cookies!  Delicious, Yummy, Scrumptious….! February 10 Challenge:  Best Magic Trick

In class, we continued to work on the engineering SeaPerch project.

seaPerch 5

SeaPerch 6








We have discussed estuaries throughout the year and you should be very familiar with them.  In this week’s class we identified the five types of estuaries and showed examples of them from around the world.   These estuaries are believed to have been formed as a result of actions that occurred during an ice age.  

I shared with you the resources found at the Institute of Creation Science. Their website  Go to search tools and type in any aspect of science that you may need scientific data and analysis to go along with anything you are learning.

We identified 5 types of estuaries

1.Drowned River Valleys (sometimes called coastal plain estuaries)

2.Bar Build Estuary (barrier island)


4.River Delta Estuary

5.Tectonic Estuary (Basin that was filled with water)

Each of you selected an estuary for your oral presentation in class on February 10. Each person will give a 3 minute presentation of:

  1. What you have learned about your type of estuary;
  2. Select an example from around the world;
  3. Then include photos of the estuary, birds, fish, commercial development or any other aspect of the area that you learned about.


  • Field Trip next week – Birding Feb 3
  • Estuary Presentation on February 10
  • Finish reading Module 10
  • Answer OYO and Study Guide
  • Class Challenge:  February 10 Best magic Trick.

Have a good week! – Mrs. S

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Module 9: Intertidal Zone – Part 2

January 20, 2015 PowerPoint:   Honors Marine Biology Module 9 Intertidal Zone Part 2 January 24, 2013

Congratulations to  Josh for the best recycle sub-woofer design. Honorable mention goes to  Bentton for participating in this week’s class challenge of best recycle design.

Josh recycled Subwoofer

recycled poncho








We continued to work on the engineering SeaPerch projects.  Remember Team Leaders are to set project goals to be accomplished for the next 3 classes.  (Note:  February 3 is our birding field trip.)

SeaPerch 3

SeaPerch 4








Last week we looked at rocky intertidal zones.  This week we will examine the sandy and Muddy intertidal zones.  They have no Rocks! These soft-bottom areas are in protected stretches of coastline or in areas where loose sediments have accumulated over time.

Sandy bottom Intertidal zone

Soft bottom ecosystems are  identified when the sediments are so loose that organisms can burrow into them. When the excess sediments accumulate, the wave action is usually not too severe; therefore different organisms inhabit these communities as compared to the organisms of the rocky intertidal. A community such as this is influenced by two major parameters:

  1.  Water movement
  2.  Sediment size and type

The substrate of a soft-bottom ecosystem is often unstable and is deposited based upon the amount of waves and currents that push it around.  Grains of quartz, volcanic sand and tiny bits of animal skeletons can all make up a soft-bottom community.

Experiment 9.1:  Examination of Intertidal Zone:  Mud Core Sample from  Siesta Key (North Bridge).  Complete lab and drawing.

Experiment 9.B:  Environmental Management Coastal Erosion Engineering Presentation 

Lido Beach beach re-nourishment: Sand was brought in from another area. As engineers it is your responsibility to offer design recommendations to the Sarasota County Commission for the retention of the sand.  Also consider the species  that live in the environment along the beach front.  (see PowerPoint) Write a good paragraph with well thought design suggestions. Include a diagram.


  • Finish Reading Module 9
  • Finish Module 9 OYO’s and Study Guide
  • Take Module 9 Test
  • Read Module 10 to page 247
  • OYO questions 10.1 to 10.4
  • Study Guide a-d and 2 – 15
  • Quiz on Sandy Bottom Intertidal Zone
  • Class Challenge: Best Cookies
  • Finish Labs 9.1 and 9.B Environmental Management
  • Notebook Check Through Module 9 January 27, 2015

Have a good week! – Mrs. S



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment