Scientist-Educator Collaborative Workshop
How Do Phytoplankton Impact Humans?
Held at the New England Center on the University of New Hampshire Campus
Friday, March 13, 2009 through Saturday, March 14, 2009
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Original concept map created by Timothy Moore
Digital concept map created in the COSEE Concept Map Builder
Consensus concept map created using the COSEE-OS Concept Map Builder
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Presentation Videos & Maps

About this Workshop:
For this workshop, 12 educators from the New England area were matched with ocean and climate scientists from the University of New Hampshire to improve their collective understanding of Earth's major ocean - climate systems. [more]

About this Scientist:
Timothy Moore, a biological oceanographer, is interested in how and when phytoplankton blooms form in the ocean, and how these events could impact human health. [more]
Click Images to Learn More About the Educators
Who Worked on this Concept Map
Phyllis Appler
Beth Marass
Timothy Moore
Scientist Timothy Moore explains the concept map and its development:

My research interest is understanding how computer models can be used in concert with satellite-derived measurements of ocean color to understand marine phytoplankton patterns. My original map addressed the question "Why are phytoplankton relevant to humans?" This map was designed to show the high degree of connectivity between humans, atmosphere, oceans with -- of course -- phytoplankton being important players. Phytoplankton are closely tied to many environmental resources (e.g., oxygen, nutrients, fisheries, coral reefs) but also some environmental problems (e.g., "red tides," anoxia). Ocean-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide determines the pH or acidity of the ocean. Global warming increases ocean temperature and melts ice sheets, both of which can contribute to sea level rise.

Working with educators, we altered the focus question to: "Why do phytoplankton impact humans?" The map we created has many of the same concepts as my original map but is rearranged to emphasize the "Human" element. For example, this map clearly shows that the oxygen produced by phytoplankton is vital to humans but some algae can be harmful. The map also includes an abbreviated "marine food web" that shows relationships among fisheries, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and coral reefs. To increase clarity, we placed the environmental factors -- including atmospheric and ocean temperature, weather, ocean mixing, nutrients, carbon dioxide, and pH -- on the right half of the map. We also "saw the light" and remembered to add this key "ingredient" for phytoplankton growth!
View All Concept Maps Created at this Workshop
Concept map