Scientist-Educator Collaborative Workshop
How Does Climate Change Influence the Ocean and Vice Versa
Through Absorbing, Storing, and Circulating Heat?
Held at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, ME
Friday, November 22, 2008 through Saturday, November 23, 2008
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Original concept map created by Helga do Rosario Gomes
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, 14 educators from the New England area were matched with ocean and climate scientists from the University of Maine to improve their collective understanding of how the ocean can impact climate change. [more]

About this Scientist:
Helga do Rosario Gomes uses remote sensing satellite data in conjunction with modeling and in situ data to understand how climate change impacts the biology and biogeochemistry and optical properties of the Arabian Sea and the Bering Sea. She also investigates the consequences of ultraviolet light on phytoplankton photosynthesis. [more]
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Who Worked on this Concept Map
Susan Klemmer
Laura Woods
Helga do Rosario Gomes
Scientist Helga do Rosario Gomes explains the concept map and its development:

I started off my concept map looking at a specific question about how carbon dioxide can affect the ocean's ability to change, store and absorb heat. As I went through the concept mapping process, I realized that it was better to start broad, and then work more thoroughly on certain areas of the map.

My question changed from the specific topic of how climate change would affect the ability of the ocean to absorb and store heat to a broader one about carbon dioxide's effects on both land and in the oceans. In the 1980's and 1990's, it was widely believed that the ocean's role in the carbon cycle was to absorb carbon dioxide, which was viewed as a positive thing. So in my map, I started with two sections, one being "good" ocean/carbon interactions, the other being "bad". But as you explore the topic further, you realize that there are positive and negative sides to each part of the cycle. For example, oceans absorb carbon but we now know that it is contributing to ocean acidification. Also, ice melt may have consequences on salinity, affecting global ocean circulation.

I can see where my map would connect with Colin's, especially in the areas of the effects on plant life on land from some of these changes as well. I hope to take more time to fully explore many parts of these ocean and climate interactions, especially concerning carbon inputs.

My education team helped me simplify my concept map by focusing on ocean-related topics (leaving land-related topics for another map) - this made it easier to follow as they organized it starting at the top of the page and flowing to the bottom. The focus question was simplified to, "How does climate change affect the ocean?" and was designed with freshmen or sophomores in high school as the target audience. The educators chose to start with three main concepts at the top: ocean carbon dioxide, ocean temperature, and ocean salinity, and kept my patterns of positive and negative feedbacks of these concepts on the next level of physical concepts - ranging from ocean acidification, nutrients, ice & snow to thermohaline circulation.

Students are always interested in the effects on biological systems, so the bottom level of concepts is dedicated mainly to effects of climate change on processes such as photosynthesis, and organismal growth (biomass) and the biodiversity of organisms in ocean ecosystems. I really like how this map has evolved from when I started on the first day of the workshop - it is much more accessible and engaging to high school students as a result of the interaction with our education team (Laura Woods and Sue Klemmer).
View All Concept Maps Created at this Workshop
Concept map