Considering Climate Change: Fire Island and Storms
- Grade Level:
- Ninth Grade-Twelfth Grade
- Biology: Plants, Climate Change, Earth Science
- National/State Standards:
- Next Generation Science Standards: HS-LS2 Ecosystems; HS-ESS2 Earth's Systems; HS-ESS3 Earth and Human Activity
Common Core Standards: RST Grades 9-10 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9; RST Grades 11-12 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9; WST 9-10 8,9; WST 11-12 8,9
- climate change, shoreline dynamics, Hurricane Sandy
OverviewThis lesson plan explores the impacts of Hurricane Sandy, the history-making 2012 storm, on the natural resources of Fire Island, and it challenges students to consider the effects of climate change that are likely to occur close to home. The lesson includes an inquiry-based lab, with pre-labs, activities, and homework designed to increase understanding of climate change.
- Students will conduct individual labs to test dissolved oxygen.
- Students will be able to list two changes to the Fire Island landscape that occurred during Hurricane Sandy.
- Students will utilize primary sources and inquiry-based laboratory findings to inform their opinion about managing a dynamic landscape.
There is growing evidence that we are already seeing some of the effects of climate change, such as the increased frequency and intensity of storms. And, because powerful storms are the drivers of barrier island evolution, we may be more likely to see an increase in dramatic landscape change like the breach at Old Inlet caused by Hurricane Sandy. This lesson plan explores the impacts that Hurricane Sandy had on the natural resources of Fire Island and the Great South Bay, and challenges students to consider the effects of climate change that are likely to occur close to home.
Day 1: Pre-Lab Homework: Understanding Barrier Island Dynamics
Day 1: Pre-Lab Lesson: Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change
Day 1: Follow-up Homework: Understanding the Health of an Aquatic Ecosystem: Measuring Dissolved Oxygen and Primary Productivity
Day 2-4:Inquiry-based Lab: Measuring the Health of the Bay: Measuring Dissolved Oxygen in an Aquatic System
Day 2-4:Follow-up Homework: Reading: "The Impact on the Great South Bay of the Breach at Old Inlet"
Day 5:Follow-up Homework: The Impact on the Great South Bay of the Breach at Old Inlet
Day 5: Follow-up Homework: Breach Evolution Pros and Cons
Day 6 (optional): Field Trip to the Breach at Old Inlet
Barrier islands are constantly changing. This Pre-Lab Homework encourages students to take a closer look at how the wind and waves shape Fire Island's shoreline. Download
Answer key for the Day 1 Pre-Lab Homework. Download
This PowerPoint presentation introduces students to the greenhouse effect, climate change, and the local effects of Hurricane Sandy. Download
This worksheet includes questions based on the PowerPoint presentation (Pre-Lab Lesson), "Hurricane Sandy and Climate Change." Download
Learn more about dissolved oxygen in aquatic systems to prepare for your laboratory experiment. Download
In this lab, students will learn how to set up individual labs based on variables that can affect dissolved oxygen and describe the impact of algal blooms on dissolved oxygen. Download
Aid for teachers to set up "Measuring the Health of the Bay" laboratory. Download
Day 2-4 The Impact on Great South Bay of the Breach at Old Inlet by Charles N. Flagg and Roger Flood
A scientific report on the Breach at Old Inlet by Stony Brook University's School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. Download
Take a closer look at the Stony Brook University report on the breach at Old Inlet. Download
Consider the effects of the breach at Old Inlet on the Great South Bay and public opinion on this controversial topic. Download
Enhance your field trip to the breach at Old Inlet with this worksheet. Download
Pre-Lab Lesson - PowerPoint: Hurricane Sandy and Understanding Climate Change
Follow-Up Homework: Understanding the Health of An Aquatic Ecosystem - Measuring Dissolved Oxygen and Primary Productivity
VocabularyLongshore transport, barrier island, swash zone, dune, bluff, berm, berm crest, bar, dune crest, scarp, feeder beach, storm surge, global warming, climate change, greenhouse effect, ocean acidification, coral bleaching