National Science Education Standard: C Life Science Grades 9 to 12

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A river runs through it all

The Columbia River of northwest Oregon is just caked with stories along its twists and bends. Stories of a natural system and a human system in coexistence, though sometimes uncomfortably so.

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Liquid light

Pour light into liquid, keep a detector at the ready, and what do you get? Opportunities to keep constant track of the chemical and biological brew frothing in the ocean.

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A 60-ton wake up call

Playing female right whale calls into the water, researcher Susan Parks suddenly finds herself at the center of attention of a group of males.

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A green ocean

What color would you paint the oceans on our planet? Blue? Try green. At least that’s what a NASA satellite 450 miles above our heads is telling us to do.

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Keeping watch on a changing ocean

When the tiniest of particles settle onto the deepest of ocean bottoms, they can have the biggest of influences. Fisheries collapse. Tsunamis. Ecosystem shifts. But how do you look at the ocean’s entire vertical swath at once?

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Clearing a carbon catastrophe

We’re letting loose tons — literally — of carbon dioxide into our skies each day. And a good amount of that CO2 is finding its way into the ocean. Scientists from all over the world are rolling up their sleeves to try to avoid a global disaster.

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Antarctica melting

Climate change is impacting even one of the most remote places on Earth: Antarctica. Krill numbers are down, salp numbers are way up, and the entire food web down there is in the balance.

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Dungeons and Darwins

Sometimes understanding the vastness of the ocean means understanding the wee strands of DNA packed into the tiniest of cells, and how that DNA gives those cells some very special abilities.

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Penguins in the hot seat

The temperature in Antarctica is rising, and Hugh Ducklow is watching an entire ecosystem change before his eyes. What happens if the ice just keeps on melting?

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Of bonds and blooms

Sometimes the ocean can be a threat to human health. Barb and Gary Kirkpatrick, a wife and husband scientist team, describe what they’re doing to notify the Florida public about red tides and harmful algal blooms.

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