• Sunset view of Glacier Bay and the surrounding Fairweather Mountains.

    Glacier Bay

    National Park & Preserve Alaska

The Marine Environment: Education Standards


Content Standard A: Science as Inquiry

Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry:

  • identify questions that can be answered through scientific investigations;
  • design and conduct a scientific investigation;
  • use appropriate tools and techniques to gather, analyze, and interpret data;
  • develop descriptions, explanations, predictions and models using evidence;
  • think critically and logically to make the relationships between evidence and explanations;
  • recognize and analyze alternative explanations and predictions;
  • communicate scientific procedures and explanations;
  • use mathematics in all aspects of scientific inquiry.

Understanding about scientific inquiry

  • different kinds of questions suggest different kinds of scientific investigation;
  • current scientific knowledge and understanding guide investigations;
  • mathematics is important in all aspects of scientific inquiry;
  • technology used to gather data enhances accuracy and analysis;
  • scientific explanations emphasize evidence;
  • science advances through legitimate skepticism, answering and querying others' work;
  • scientific investigations can result in new ideas or methods for study;

Content Standard C: Life Science

Regulation and Behavior

  • all organisms must be able to obtain and use resources, grow, reproduce and maintain stable internal conditions while living in a constantly changing environment;
  • regulation of an organisms internal environment involves sensing it and changing physiological activities;
  • behavior is one kind of response to an internal or environmental stimulus, it is a set of actions determined by heredity and experience;
  • behavior evolves through adaptation;

Populations and Ecosystems

  • a population consists of all individuals of a species that occur together at a given place and time; populations living together compose an ecosystem;
  • populations of organisms can be categorized by the function they serve in an ecosystem;
  • sunlight is the major source of energy for ecosystems;
  • the number of organisms an ecosystem can support depends on the resources;

Diversity and adaptations of organisms

  • biological evolution accounts for the diversity of species developed over many generations; species acquire many characteristics through biological adaptation;
  • extinction occurs when the environment changes and the adaptive characteristics of a species are insufficient.

Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives

Characteristics and changes in populations

  • the size of a human population can increase or decrease.

Types of resources

  • resources are things we get from the living and nonliving environment to meet the needs and wants of a population;
  • the supply of many resources is limited.

Changes in environments

  • environments are the space, conditions and factors that affect an individual's and a population's ability to survive and their quality of life;
  • changes in environments can be natural or influenced by humans, some are good, bad or neither, pollution can influence organisms;
  • some environment changes are rapid, others are slow;

Content Standard G: History and Nature of Science

Science as a Human Endeavor

  • women and men of various backgrounds engage in science and related professions, alone or in teams;
  • science requires different abilities, and relies on basic human qualities such as reasoning, insight, energy, skill and creativity.

Nature of science

  • scientists formulate and test their explanations of nature using observation, experiments, and theoretical and mathematical models;
  • scientists can have different opinions in areas of active research;
  • it is part of scientific inquiry to evaluate the results of scientific investigations;


Data Analysis and Probability

Formulate questions that can be addressed with data and collect, organize, and display relevant data to answer them:

  • 6-8:
    • formulate questions, design studies, and collect data about a characteristic shared by two populations or different characteristics within one population;
    • select, create, and use appropriate graphical representations of data, including histograms, box plots, and scatterplots.

Select and use appropriate statistical methods to analyze data:

  • 6-8:
    • find, use, and interpret measures of center and spread, including mean and interquartile range;
    • discuss and understand the correspondence between data sets and their graphical representations, especially histograms, stem-and-leaf plots, box plots, and scatterplots;

Develop and evaluate inferences and predictions that are based on data:

  • 6-8:
    • use observations about differences between two or more samples to make conjectures about the populations from which the samples were taken;
    • make conjectures about possible relationships between two characteristics of a sample on the basis of scatterplots of the data and approximate lines of fit;
    • use conjectures to formulate new questions and plan new studies to answer them.


Element 5: Environment and Society

  1. How human actions modify the physical environment;
  2. How physical systems affect human systems;
  3. The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources;

Element 6: The Uses of Geography

  1. How to apply geography to interpret the past;
  2. How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future;

Did You Know?

Dr. Cooper

It was the inspiration of one man, Dr. William S. Cooper, an ecologist studying how plant life returns to land freshly revealed from beneath retreated glaciers, that lead to the establishment of Glacier Bay as a National Monument in 1925.