K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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Resources tagged with oceanography are also tagged with these keywords. Select one to narrow your search or to find interdisciplinary resources.

Changes in sea level, great and small
In Evidence of rising sea level: Coastal erosion and plant community changes, page 1
The level of the sea is always changing. These changes may be small and short-lived, as when water rushes up the beach after waves break, but others are large and long-lived — as has been the case with the post-glacial rise of the present era. Small-scale...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Coastal erosion and the ban on hard structures
In Recent North Carolina, page 4.3
North Carolina’s sandy coast is one of the state’s greatest tourist attractions, and also one of its frequent sources of controversy. The 301 miles of coastline in the east have been the site of an ongoing struggle between stable structures created by humans and the dynamic forces of nature, between property rights and thousands of years of geology. A 1985 rule designed to preserve the beaches in their natural state enjoys the support of coastal scientists but threatens the investments of home-owners and developers.
Format: article
By Emily Jack.
Diagram of hurricane formation
Diagram of hurricane formation
Diagram of hurricane formation showing movement of warm, humid air and cold, unstable air between the upper and lower atmosphere.
Format: image/photograph
Evidence of rising sea level: Coastal erosion and plant community changes
A Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” that examines the causes and effects of changes in sea level, both short-term (as a result of storms) and long-term (as a result of climate change).
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
How do hurricanes form?
In Hurricanes on sandy shorelines: Lessons for development, page 2
Hurricanes begin when areas of low atmospheric pressure move off Africa and into the Atlantic, where they grow and intensify in the moisture-laden air above the warm tropical ocean. Air moves toward these atmospheric lows from all directions and curves to...
By Dirk Frankenberg.
How is coastal sand formed into barrier islands?
In Small sand volume barrier islands: Environmental processes and development risks, page 2
Coastal sand is organized into barrier islands when three conditions are met: There is a supply of sand sufficient to form islands; sea level is rising; and there are winds and waves with sufficient energy to move the sand around....
By Dirk Frankenberg.
Hurricanes on sandy shorelines: Lessons for development
A Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” that examines the sand sharing system of sedimentary coastlines and the impact of hurricanes on those coastlines and on human development.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)
Recent North Carolina
Primary sources and readings explore recent North Carolina (1975–present). Topics include politics, the economy, the environment, natural disasters, and increasing diversity.
Format: book (multiple pages)
Small sand volume barrier islands: Environmental processes and development risks
This Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” explores the nature and structure of barrier islands with small sand volume, on which built structures are highly susceptible to damage from hurricanes.
Format: slideshow (multiple pages)

Resources on the web

Arctic Theme Page
Links to widely distributed data and information from research institutions throughout the world focused on the Arctic. Available information on the website includes relevant data, graphics, and forecasts, including historical perspectives and in-depth analyses. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
ASPIRE: Astrophysics Science Project Integrating Research and Education
Interactive science labs and lessons for teachers and students. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: University of Utah
Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML)
Information and data sets related to the Atlantic Ocean and its climate, including overviews about coastal and regional environments and hurricanes. Also find articles about a wide range of ocean topics from Harris B. Stewart's 1951 Northern Holiday Expedition... (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: NOAA
BBC: Science and Nature
This large interactive site has a tremendous amount of information in subjects that range from the human body to space travel. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: BBC
The Bioluminescence Web Page
Contains detailed information about bioluminescence and beautiful images of creatures that have this amazing characteristic. (Learn more)
Format: website/general
Provided by: University of California at Santa Barbara and Bioluminescence Lab
Black Smokers: American Museum of Natural History Expeditions
The American Museum of Natural History's Black Smoker Expedition chronicles the adventures of the Museum's scientists, engineers, and educators as they collected a black smoker sulfide chimney from the ocean floor.Find out what a black smoker is, where... (Learn more)
Format: website
Provided by: American Museum of Natural History
Bridge: Sea Grant Ocean Sciences Center
A portal to all of your marine sciences needs. Find a handpicked list of links to professional development opportunities, lesson plans, data sets, virtual expeditions, grant information, and more. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Virginia Institute of Marine Science
c.o.o.l. classroom
Students will predict a plankton bloom, determine the displacement of a boat adrift at sea, predict good fishing days, and more while improving basic skills training, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Find video, printable teaching guides, and... (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Rutgers University
Carolina Coastal Science
An innovative, inquiry-based science resource that utilizes the interactive technologies of the World Wide Web to explore science in coastal Carolina. Find interactive maps of coastal North Carolina, video clips, discussion questions, and more -- all centered... (Learn more)
Format: website/activity
Provided by: North Carolina State University
Catlin Seaview Survey
Coral reefs provide protection to ports and coastal communities from storms and the open sea. They are enormously important economically, socially, and environmentally. Recently coral reefs have been impacted by climate change and acidification of the ocean... (Learn more)
Format: website
The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education
A New Jersey-based organization whose mission is to provide "real world" resources for classroom education in engineering and science. Professional Development opportunities in New Jersey available. (Learn more)
Format: website/lesson plan
Provided by: Stevens Institute of Technology