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Blogs
A wealth of oil spill assets presented at the first OS webinar
07/29/2010 | Carla Companion, University of Maine (Ocean Systems)
Tags: ROLE model webinar, concept mapping, oil spill, 07.28.10 webinar

Gathering Assets
Throughout the past week, OS staff have been on the hunt to find interesting, scientifically-accurate items to add to the Ocean Climate Interactive database of assets on the topic of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexcio. We gathered some great images of the spill plume taken by various NASA satellites as they passed by, as well as some clear overview diagrams and maps produced by NOAA and others in their collaborative efforts to gather information to discover the best way to address the spill. Presenting scientists Karen Orcutt and Kjell Gundersen also shared some of their own assets with us, which we also uploaded for use in concept maps. We're always adding to our database, and we were happy to see that a variety of science materials were being developed to address this topic.

View all of the oil spill assets collected in the OCI
Download (PDF, 1.65 MB) a list of other resources on the Gulf oil Spill

Scientists Present
Karen and Kjell put together a great concept map of the microbial ecosystem found in the Gulf of Mexico, and its relationship to the recent oil spill. At our first ROLE Model Webinar last night, they did a wonderful job of presenting their map (below) to an audience of educators (from eight different states!) by using desktop sharing software.


"Oil & Microbes" map made by Kjell Gundersen and Karen Orcutt for the ROLE Model Webinar on July 28, 2010.

Teachers participating in the webinar asked great questions - many of which were on topics that are being currently researched. After this webinar, the scientists have expressed interest in following-up on some of the "unanswered questions" around this spill and we will be posting answers to further questions and more resources on this blog as they develop - so stay tuned!

Educators Innovate
In addition to Kjell and Karen's talk, two educators from Bangor Senior High School (Bangor, ME) shared ways that they had used concept mapping with students in various science courses. Ted Taylor discussed how he used concept mapping in his oceanography class by giving his students a starting map with a set of topics that he planned to cover across the course of the semester. From this "base"map, they were challenged to add to the maps as they learned more topics in context. At two points in the semester, Ted analyzed their maps to check the connections that they were making and the additions to the map. By the end of the semester there were some very complex maps flying around! Ted commented that he went back to the maps at the end of the semester and could correlate the students who really "got it" with the ones that made the clearest maps. He plans to use the same process in this fall's oceanography course.

Michele Benoit used a slightly different approach in her chemistry class. At the beginning of a unit on nuclear chemistry, she brainstormed concepts with her students about what they think of when they hear the term "nuclear" or "atomic." From this map, they categorized and started a map as a class on the topic by moving concepts that were related in closer proximity. Students made individual maps from a list of concepts, which were reviewed as part of their final assessment for the class. Michele commented that she was surprised at the variety of maps, and that the personalities and "ways of thinking" of a lot of her students were reflected in their final maps.

We hope to hear more from Ted & Michele as they continue to use these tools in their classrooms this fall, and thank them very much for their innovative efforts!



oil spill map
Want to keep a copy of the oil spill map?
  • Download a pdf copy of this map here (PDF, 98 KB)
  • To view the interactive version of this map, click here.
When asked for a visitor's password, choose ROLEModel1 as the username and cosee as the password.
  • To share the map to your own profile, login to the Concept Map Builder with the username of ROLEModel1 and the password 2010.
Open the map and click "share" to send a copy of the map to yourself (if you have already registered for a COSEE profile.)

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