Welcome to Ocean Tracks!

Connecting Students with Scientific Data

Ocean Tracks College Edition Learning Modules


The draft modules below were developed to engage undergraduate students with authentic scientific data through investigations that mirror those currently being conducted by scientists studying the broad-scale effects of climate and human activities on top predators in ocean ecosystems. Using the Ocean Tracks interactive map and data analysis tools, students will explore and quantify patterns in the migratory tracks of marine animals in the northern Pacific Ocean and relate these behaviors to fluctuations and trends in physical oceanographic variables.

These modules have been refined for Fall 2016 classroom testing. More will be added as they are finalized. If you need to access a previous version of the learning modules, or have any other questions, please This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Click on the images below to download a PDF file of each module.

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Interpreting Patterns in Ocean Tracks Data
In this module, you will dive deep into the data of Ocean Tracks. Learn how electronic tagging technology lets us track marine animals’ movements and gather information about the environmental conditions they experience as they traverse the oceans.

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Connecting Productivity and Tuna Migration

Follow a bluefin tuna on a spectacular migratory journey up and down the west coast of North America and back and forth across the Pacific Ocean. Analyze the track patterns of this animal and use Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and Chlorophyll concentration (CHL) data to identify evidence of upwelling in an attempt to determine what might be driving these incredibly long migrations as you explore the question

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Exploring Physiology of Highly Migratory Ocean Predators
Electronic tagging data provide unprecedented insights into marine animal movements and the (sometimes extreme) conditions they encounter. In this module, you will use Ocean Tracks data to inspire your own questions and design an experiment to explore how physiology influences how different species use and survive the ocean environment.

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The Making of Biological Hotspots
Use Ocean Tracks to discover where top predators congregate in the North Pacific Ocean. Research behaviors of these animals in their hotspots, examine overlap between species hotspots, and draw conclusions about the oceanographic conditions that define these hotspots over space and time.

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Using Foraging Data to Determine the Sex of Elephant Seal 302
In this module, you will use Ocean Tracks data along with results from scientific literature to make and support a claim about the sex of Elephant Seal 302 as you explore how tracking data can be used to identify and investigate sexual segregation in elephant seal foraging.

Mod6 titleslide 250x188 Proposing a New Marine Protected Area
In this module, you will use Ocean Tracks to explore the characteristics of marine protected areas (MPAs) in the North Pacific Ocean and discover how they are being used to help conserve ocean species and improve the overall health of the ocean. Using this information, along with human impact data, you will propose a new MPA aimed at conserving white sharks.