Activity: WhaleNet Marine Animal Tracking
March 18, 2009 in Education Materials
Students will be able to:
- locate a satellite tagged animal currently traveling in the ocean
- determine the distance the animal has traveled
- calculate the average speed at which the animal is traveling
Computer with Internet access
Some animals in the ocean are capable of traveling extreme distances, others stay in one area their entire life.
- Access the WhaleNet active satellite tags to follow the movement of a variety of animals. http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/stop_cover.html
- Select which animal you would like to track and enter the name and tag number on the worksheet.
- Determine what type of animal you have selected, a mammal, reptile? Use the following links to investigate the animal. Gather general information about the animal and enter the information on the worksheet. Be sure to include the average size, weight, and habitat, and include where/how stranded or tagged and released?
- On your worksheet, record the date, latitude and longitude of the last three recorded locations of the animal.
- Use the Distance Calculator (http://www.indo.com/distance/) to determine the distance the animal has moved “as a crow flies”.
- Calculate how fast the animal is swimming, Speed=Distance/Time and enter on the worksheet.
- Where do you think the animal might be swimming to and why?
- Check the web site and animal record over the next week to determine if your prediction was correct.
- Use photo database of Gulf of Maine Humpback Whales http://whale.wheelock.edu/whalenet-stuff/humpcat.html
- Tracking whale migration
This activity was originally developed by COSEE-MA by Liesl Hotaling and Janice McDonnell.