Welcome to Teachers

Hello, Educators –

We are looking forward to sharing an exciting exploration of the Peconic Estuary with you and your students on board the Long Island Aquarium Explorer Tour Boat.

Directions and parking information can be found directly on the Long Island Aquarium website.  When you arrive, your group leader can check in at the desk inside the front entrance of the Long Island Aquarium.

Please advise the members of your group to dress appropriately for the day’s weather, keeping in mind they will be walking on a dock, up and down boarding ramps and steps, sitting on benches beneath the boat canopy for our trip on the water, walking on a beach in wet and dry sand, and participating in outdoor water-side activities.  The wind and air temperature on the open water in a boat is always cooler and breezier than on land – protection from the sun and layers of clothing for warmth are recommended.

Before the day of your trip, it is most helpful to prepare your students to enter our “floating classroom/laboratory” with anticipatory activities that inspire students to be curious and observant.  Investigate our website at  www.blueocean.org for exciting ways people of all backgrounds and interests can contribute to marine conservation.  Find powerful anticipatory activities for your classroom at www.ARKive.org/education.

The discoveries you and your students make this day will surely enrich your curriculum throughout the year and their lives as maturing citizen-scientists.  We are grateful to have this time with you to share the inspiration and hope we find in our work with Blue Ocean Institute.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns:  ahaskell@blueocean.org or at the Blue Ocean Institute office 631-632-3763.

Best fishes,

The Blue Ocean Education staff

Useful Information for Teachers 

During your time on the Explorer Tour Boat, you learned about estuaries and the plants and animals that live here. We have compiled a list of websites that may be useful in the classroom to further your discussion about estuaries or for your students to bring home as resources for study on their own or for class projects.

1. Blue Ocean Institute:  www.blueocean.org
and Carl Safina’s blog:  www.carlsafina.org

2. SoMAS, Stony Brook’s School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences:  www.somas.stonybrook.edu

3. Long Island Aquarium:  www.atlantismarineworld.com

4. Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation:  www.riverheadfoundation.org

5. National Marine Educators Association:  www.marine-ed.org/ and the New York State Marine Educators Association:  www.nysmea.org

6. ARKive – photos, video, and sounds of the “worldʼs endangered species”:  www.arkive.org.  Please take time for ARKiveʼs survey to give feedback on what teachers need.

7. National Estuary Program:  http://water.epa.gov/type/oceb/nep/about2.cfm.

8. Marine Conservation:  www.marinebio.org

9. Try a Google search for the “garbage patch” in the Pacific Ocean.

10. Horseshoe Crab information:  www.horseshoecrab.org

11. Suffolk County Water Authority (water conservation and the water cycle.):  www.scwa.com

12. Recycling Facts:  www.squidoo.com/recyclingfacts

13. Our Water – Our World (information about pests and pesticides.):  www.ourwaterourworld.org

14. East Hampton Town Shellfish Hatchery:  http://www.town.east-hampton.ny.us/HtmlPages/Aquaculture/Aquaculture.htm

We would like to hear from you.  Your feedback helps us to update our program and provide what teachers, like you, want to experience.

E-mail:  ahaskell@blueocean.org


absorption – one substance taken into another

adaptation – characteristic of an organism increasing its survival in its habitat

adsorption – one substance gathering on the surface of another as a condensed layer

air bladder – fish organ providing buoyancy

anadromous – fish migrating from seawater to freshwater to spawn

benthic – organisms living on or in the bottom surface

bioaccumulation – progressive concentration of toxic substances up the food chain

biosphere – area of earth and its atmosphere inhabited by life

carnivores – animals feeding on meat

catadromous – fish migrating from freshwater to seawater to spawn

condensation – formation of liquid water from gas or vapor

consumers – organisms unable to produce their own food and eating other organisms

decomposers – organisms feeding on dead matter and breaking it down into nutrients

density – amount of mass per unit of volume

dissolved oxygen – DO, a measure (mg/l) of the amount of oxygen dissolved in water

ecosystem – community of organisms and their physical environment

erosion – wearing away of soil by natural forces (wind and water) and human activities (logging and agriculture, for example)

estuary – partially enclosed body of water where meeting and mixing of freshwater and saltwater occurs

evaporation – loss of moisture in the form of water vapor, change of liquid water into water vapor (gas) form

first-order consumers – organisms feeding on plants; herbivores

floatable debris – waterborne debris, i.e. garbage

food chain – sequence of organisms feeding successively upon the next, starting with plants, which are eaten by herbivores, which are eaten by carnivores, cycling through to decomposers

food web – all interconnected food chains

gill rakers – structures used by some fish species to strain plankton from the water

groundwater – water found beneath the surface of the earth

habitat – place where an organism lives

herbivores – organisms feeding on plants

hypoxia – low levels of dissolved oxygen in water

limnologist – scientist who studies lakes and ponds

moraine – accumulation of rocky materials transported and deposited by glaciers

non-point source pollution – non-localized source of pollution

nutrients – substances essential to living things

oceanographer – scientist who studies the ocean

operculum – a protective lid or covering to a body opening

osmoregulation – physical control of water concentration in an organism

outwash plain – the material, chiefly sand or gravel, washed from a glacier by the action of meltwater

pathogens – disease-causing viruses, bacteria, and micro-organisms

pelagic – organisms inhabiting open water

pH – measure of acidity; 0 is most acidic, 7 is neutral, and 14 is most alkaline or basic

photosynthesis – creation of carbohydrates by plants using sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water

phytoplankton – plants (usually very small) passively drifting near the water’s surface; basis of the food chain

plume – teardrop-shape spreading of a contaminant in groundwater

point source pollution – obvious source of pollution discharge, e.g. sewage pipe

polar – molecules having both positively and negatively charged ends

precipitation – condensation of water vapor to rain or snow

primary producers – organisms capable of making own food, e.g. plants through photosynthesis; the base of the food chain

receiving waters – large water systems, usually lakes or oceans, into which streams and rivers empty

rocky intertidal – rocky habitat subject to intense wave action and exposed at low tide

salinity – measure (ppt) of the amount of salt in water

salt marsh – vegetated land periodically covered by salt water

salt wedge – intruding sea water in the form of a wedge along the bottom of an estuary, i.e. less dense fresh water from the river overriding the denser salt water from the sea

sandy beach – flat open habitat experiencing tidal action

scavengers – organisms feeding on dead matter

second-order consumers – animals feeding on first-order consumers; carnivores

sedimentation – accumulation of sediment in waterways resulting in clogging of water systems

solution – substance dissolved in water

spring tides – highest high tide and lowest low tide occurring twice monthly during full and new moons

sub-tidal zone – habitat constantly submerged, supporting benthic and pelagic communities

suspension – particles are mixed throughout a liquid, but not dissolved

thermal sink – moderation of nearby land temperatures by large bodies of water

thermal stratification – temperature differences at different depths in the water

third-order consumers – organisms feeding on second-order consumers

tidal flats – flat sandy or muddy areas exposed at low tide

transparency – ability of light to pass through water, a solution, or solid

transpiration – evaporation of water in plants through the pores in the leaves

watershed – entire area of land and accompanying water draining to a large water body

zooplankton – animals (usually small) drifting passively in the water column

Adapted from:  Long Island Sound in a Jar, as well as BOI education materials.

2013 Long Island Aquarium Explorer Tour Boat Evaluation Form

Dear Educator/Group Coordinator:

Thank you for joining us today on board the Explorer Tour Boat.  We hope your experience was entertaining and educational.  Please take a moment to complete the following evaluation form.  Your response will help us evaluate the impact of our programs, meet the expectations of our visitors, and provide a guide for developing new tools for teaching about the marine environment.

School/Group Name________________________________________

School/Group Contact Person_________________________________

Date of Visit ___________________       Trip Time_________________

Explorer Naturalist’s Name___________________________________

Please circle the appropriate description:

Explorer Cruise        Lab Cruise        Other (Explain)

Please rate the next five questions using the following criteria:

(1) Needs Improvement   (2) Satisfactory   (3) Excellent

1. The experience as a whole was … ________

2. The presentation engaged the audience’s attention. ________

3. The material presented was appropriate for the age level. ________

4. The naturalist was professional, knowledgeable and interactive. _______

5. The program kept a balance between education and entertainment. ______

Please provide a short answer for the following:

Were your educational needs and expectations met?  If not, please explain.

Are there any aspects of the program you would like to see emphasized?

Are there any new activities or topics of discussion you would like to see included?

Do you have any comments or suggestions that you would like to add?

Thank you again.  Please copy and mail to:  Ann Haskell, Blue Ocean Institute, Long Island Aquarium, 431 East Main Street, Riverhead, NY 11901


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