PI: Patricia Harcourt (University of Southern California)
Amount: $446.87
Award Dates: June 24, 2012 — June 28, 2012


Pat Harcourt and Mark Friedman presented a session on the C-DEBI project and subseafloor microbes for teachers in grades 7 – 12 at the National Marine Educators Association annual conference held in Anchorage, Alaska in June 2012. The C-DEBI research and technology served as an engaging and exciting focal area for teachers who want to incorporate marine science into their curricula. Pat worked with C-DEBI education specialist Cindy Joseph to develop lessons and activities that integrated marine biology, geology, technology, and the process of science. This session highlighted three classroom lessons. In an activity on the discovery of microbes below the sea floor, participants were required to construct a timeline of events based on reading excerpts from “Is Life Thriving Deep Beneath the Seafloor?” (Carl Wirsen, Oceanus, 2004) and track the evidence for microbial life in extreme marine environments. A size and scale activity required participants to place images of familiar objects along a greatly magnified size scale, then add images of newly discovered marine microbes to the scale to provide a sense of their sizes. A demonstration activity was presented to illustrate the work of microbiologist Richard Lenski on bacterial evolution and use of resources, and participants discussed how microbes could evolve to exploit new and extreme environments. Participants shared teaching ideas and strategies for using these lessons as well as resources from the C-DEBI web site.