Marine Environment Instructional Resources

The following links provide a wealth of online resources to assist with this unit. Also: at the end of the resources section is a glossary of terms used in the student activities.


GLBA: Nature and Science, Oceans

Ocean Habitat

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve: Intertidal and Subtidal zones

USGS Marine Habitat Studies

Geologic characteristics of benthic habitats in Glacier Bay, southeast Alaska

Fjord Processes and Oceanographic Dynamics
(Recommended for Advanced Students Only)

Web of Life: kelp forests

Kelp Forests

Rube Goldberg

Glacier Bay maps

Bathymetric maps of GLBA

Glacier Bay Ecosystem GIS

Sea Otter Projects

Glacier Bay: A Maritime Wilderness

Natural History of Glacier Bay - Geology

Natural History of Glacier Bay - Geography

Natural History of Glacier Bay - Plants

Natural History of Glacier Bay - Animals

Natural History of Glacier Bay - Change

Human History of Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay Ecosystem GIS - Effect of a Keystone Species, the Sea Otter

Map of Glacier Bay National Park (Shows glacial retreat timeline)

The EPA Global Warning Kids Site

Global Warming: Early Warning Sites

GLBA Nature and Science

Ocean Link

USGS Seabirds and Forage Fish, etc.

Marine Bathymetry: What we learned

Geology Field Notes on GLBA

Glacier Bay: Ice Baby Ice

Glacier Bay: Web Resources

Ocean Habitat

Food Webs - Build Your Own

Food Chains and Webs

Fun With Food Webs

Food Chains


Refers to nonliving objects, substances or processes
The number of individuals in a stock or a population
Caused by, or resulting from, human activities; often used to refer to environmental changes, global or local in scale
Measurement of the depth of the ocean floor from the water's surface; the oceanic equivalent of topography
Organisms (plants and animals) that live at or near the bottom of a sea
Variety of life forms: different plants, animals and microorganisms, their genes and the ecosystems they form; usually considered at three levels: genetic diversity, species diversity and ecosystem diversity
Refers to living objects, substances or processes
Sudden appearance of millions of phytoplankton resulting from increased reproduction due to favorable conditions
Capelin (Mallotus villosus)
A small fish of the smelt family found in the Arctic Ocean in large quantities; in the summer, it grazes on dense swarms of plankton at the edge of the ice shelf.
The green pigment of plants that captures the energy from sunlight necessary for photosynthesis
A narrowing
Occurring over a 10-year period, such as an oscillation whose period is roughly 10 years
Indicating that glaciers have retreated from the area
Demersal zone
Water that is near to (and, thus, is significantly affected by) the coast or the sea floor
Depth finders
Navigational instrument used to measure the depth of a body of water (as by ultrasound or radar)
Geographical area inhabited by an animal species
Ecological niche
The way a species makes its "living"; where it lives, what it consumes, and how it avoids consumption by predators or displacement by other species
Estuarine circulation
Exchange of fresh water and salt water
A semi-enclosed coastal body of water with a free connection with the open sea where water is measurably diluted by fresh water
To develop gradually
To thrust, force or press out
Field guide
Book used to identify animals
A glaciated valley flooded by the sea to form a long, narrow, steep-walled inlet, such as Glacier Bay on the SE Alaska coastline
Fjord estuarine system
Two subsystems: subsystem subtidal (deepwater habitats) and subsystem intertidal (wetlands)
Single-cell protista with one or more flagellates, a whip-like organelle often used for propulsion
Forage fish
Small fish which breed prolifically and serve as food for predatory fish
Frontal zone
An interface or zone of transition between two dissimilar bands of water
Gravitational pull
The force that draws all bodies in the universe toward one another
  • The place occupied by an organism, population or community; it is the physical part of the community structure in which an organism finds its home, and includes the sum total of all the environmental conditions present in the specific place occupied by an organism. Often, a habitat is defined to include a whole community of organisms.
  • The home to a particular organism, where the species will attempt to be as adaptive as possible to that particular habitat, in what is deemed their ecological niche
  • Homogenous
    All the same
    Relating to water in motion
    Intertidal zone
    A zone of transition extending from areas of high tide, that are routinely exposed to air and sunlight, to areas of low tide that are rarely exposed; plants and animals that inhabit this area have adapted to the extreme variability of conditions in and out of water.
    The early, immature form of any animal when more or less of a metamorphosis takes place before the assumption of the mature shape
    Cap of less dense water
    The quantity of a specific substance present per unit of surface area; also, discharge of nutrients from the watershed into a receiving body such as a lake, stream, wetland or estuary
    Marine substrate
    Earthly material found at the bottom of a marine habitat
    Mean Low Water
    The average level of low water at a place over a 19-year period
    Very small
    Rocks and soil carried and deposited by a glacier
    Natural History
    Study of animals or plants; sum of the facts about the animals and plants of an area or class
    All aquatic animals that can swim through the water against currents - marine mammals, fish, squid and some crustaceans
    Any number of inorganic or organic compounds that promote life and growth; nutrients are cycled through food webs.
    Watching something and taking note of anything it does
    Study of the ocean and ocean life
    Characteristic of a population
    Pelagic zone
    Part of the open sea or ocean comprising the water column, i.e., all of the sea other than that near the coast or the sea floor
    (literally: hydrogen power) A scientific measurement that describes how acidic or alkaline (basic) the water is
    Process by which plants convert water and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates, using sunlight as the source of energy and with the aid of chlorophyll
    Phytoplankton (fyte-o-plank-tun)
    Small, often microscopic, plants and animals floating, drifting or weakly swimming in bodies of fresh or salt water
    A diverse group of minute animals (zooplankton) and plants (phytoplankton) that drift in the water
    Organisms of the same species that occupy the same area
    A fine suspension of solid particles (such as silt)
    An animal that hunts and kills other animals for food
    An animal hunted or caught for food
    RAdio Detection And Ranging. An electronic instrument that uses radio waves to find the distance and location of other objects
    A stretch of turbulent water in a river or the sea caused by one current flowing into or across another current; a tide rip is a rip caused by opposing tides.
    Degree of saltiness of a given substance such as the ocean
    Policy of inferring the behavior of a whole batch by studying a fraction of it
    Narrative descriptions of ideas, risks and environmental factors and how they may affect operations
    Sedimentation rate
    Process by which suspended particles in water settle to the bottom
    Piles of rocks left over as glaciers retreat
    Degree of resistance of a layer of water to vertical motion
    To cut an object of interest into several parts, or strata, which are then analyzed separately; stratification of a population results in subpopulation that can be analyzed separately.
    Surface on which a plant or animal grows or is attached
    The portion of a tidal-flat environment that lies below the level of mean low water for spring tides; normally, it is covered by water at all stages of the tide
    A characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained indefinitely; ability of an ecosystem to maintain ecological processes and functions, biological diversity, and productivity over time
    Terminal moraines
    Debris left at the edge of a glacier’s extreme forward movement
    A boundary layer of water that separates warm, surface waters from cold, deep ocean waters
    Tide rip
    A rip caused by opposing tides (see Rip)
    Tidewater glaciers
    Glaciers that flow into the sea
    A cloudy condition in water due to suspended silt or organic matter
    Movement of nutrient rich waters from the bottom of the ocean to the surface
    Differences between individuals within a population or among populations
    Water column
    Section of water extending from the surface of a body of water to its bottom
    Total land area from which water drains into a particular stream or river
    Zooplankton (zoo-plank-tun)
    Small animals, or larvae of larger animals, that drift in the ocean that and are eaten by larger fish, marine mammals and invertebrates


>>Activity #1
Setting The Scene

Last updated: October 6, 2017

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