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ERIC Number: EJ1175734
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9266
Resolving Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Coral Bleaching Risk Using Image Analysis: An Active Learning Experience to Improve Climate Change Literacy in College Students
Evans, Tyler G.; Elisan-Visperas, Andrew
Journal of Biological Education, v52 n2 p143-154 2018
Recent studies indicate poor understanding of the causes and consequences of climate change among college students. In an effort to improve climate change literacy, we have developed an authentic research experience for upper level undergraduate students focused on resolving spatial and temporal patterns of coral reef bleaching, an ecologically and economically important consequence of climate warming. In the research, students use a public archive of maps generated by the United States National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) that use coloration to depict ocean areas experiencing above-average surface temperatures and where corals are at an increased risk of bleaching. Students are required to quantify the total area of coloration on individual maps using open-source image analysis software called Image J. By quantifying coloration (ie bleaching risk) over a large number of maps in a chronological sequence, students can test hypotheses regarding the relationship between ongoing climate warming and coral bleaching risk. Students are required to summarise their findings in a scientific journal-style report that incorporates graphical representations and statistical tests of their coral bleaching risk data. The research activity is cost-effective, repeatable, requires little specialised knowledge and addresses common programmatic learning outcomes that target scientific communication, quantitative reasoning and sustainability.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 530 Walnut Street Suite 850, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Tel: 215-625-8900; Fax: 215-207-0050; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A