Data Tips with this icon contain special step-by-step Microsoft Excel graphing instructions for advanced levels.

November 2007 - Saving Sturgeon - Atlantic sturgeon have survived since the age of the dinosaurs. Centuries ago, these giant fish were abundant in Virginia rivers. However, today these fish are struggling to stay off the endangered species list. How could such an immense species that could survive for millions of years become nearly extinct in a few short centuries?

May 2006 - River Watch: Tracking the Invasive Veined Rapa Whelk - Veined rapa whelks (Rapana venosa) are predatory marine snails that have been introduced into the Chesapeake Bay, USA. Will they survive and establish a self-sustaining population?

April 2006 - Coral Bleaching - Some of the planet's most diverse ecosystems are at risk. With temperatures on the rise, coral reefs are at greater risk for coral bleaching. Find out how 2005 affected coral reefs and what's on the horizon for 2006.

May 2005 - Diversity of the Deep - Explore the diversity of organisms living on deep sea hydrothermal vents. The species in these unique communities have evolved to thrive in extreme temperatures and no light. This month's data activity will introduce you to some of the common statistical measurements of diversity as you compare the organisms found at various locations on a hydrothermal vent at the Juan de Fuca Ridge.

March 2005 - More Than Meets the Eye - When it comes to ability to see their prey, there's more than meets the eye for some large pelagic fishes. This month we'll look at the eye physiology and life history of four pelagic fish species to find out just what and how they see.

December 2004 - On the Half Shell -Seafood, and oysters in particular, are a holiday tradition for many. And, since December is an "R" month it's safe to eat oysters, right? Seafood handled and cooked properly is very safe to eat, but eaten raw can be a different story. Find out about seafood-related illnesses and how to avoid them.

April 2003 - Without An Ark - Coastal storms can bring extensive flooding resulting in highly publicized human suffering. But what happens to plants and animals in the wild when their habitat is flooded? Learn about some of the short-term impacts and potential long-term effects of floods on selected freshwater and estuarine organisms. Access real-time streamflow data from the U.S. Geological Survey and plot Hurricane Floyd floods.

February 2003 - What's In Your Watershed? Do you know your watershed address? Everybody has one, and it's an important address to know, because we each impact our watershed. To better understand the effects of human activity on the Chesapeake Bay watershed, this data activity looks at land cover data and the results of buffer laws on riparian buffers for several areas in the watershed.

January 2003 - Juvenile Oyster Disease: A Growing Problem - The eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica) can be found from the Caribbean Sea to Canada's Gulf of St. Lawrence. It can survive in a wide range of temperatures and salinities, and even tolerate daily exposure to air as the tide recedes, exposing portions of its home, or reef. Considering these hearty life history characteristics, one would expect the oyster to survive most anything, but human impact and natural diseases threaten the oyster's viability. This month take a look at how juvenile oyster disease is impacting some Northeast oyster populations, and what steps can be taken to remedy the situation.

February 2002 - More Than Mud - Benthic communities are vital to the ecosystem at large, supplying food and habitat for many organisms and improving water quality through their filter feeders. But benthic communities are also one of the aquatic areas most vulnerable to human-induced problems, especially eutrophication and contamination. Learn how scientists use amphipods, a common Chesapeake Bay benthic organism, as an indicator species to help identify polluted sediments.

September 2001 - Ocean Explorers: The Deep East Mission - Throughout September 2001, NOAA's Ocean Explorers conducted the Deep East discovery mission, diving to the depths of the Atlantic in the deep sea submersible Alvin. Log on to the Deep East website to see what the expedition uncovered, then check out their online lesson plans for upper elementary through high school levels.

September 2000 - U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries: Southeast Region - This month we team up with NOAA and the National Marine Sanctuary Program to explore the habitats and associated fish communities of three of the twelve U.S. marine sanctuaries.

June 1999 - Be a Bay Investigator - This month's focus is on the Chesapeake Bay, one of the largest and most productive estuaries in the world. Learn about its watershed, its inhabitants, and how to assess the health of such a complex ecosystem. Use graphs of water quality parameters to study their interrelationships, and check current conditions in the Bay. Answer questions about the decline of certain species using data on fishery stocks. Take a look at past and present distributions of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in the Bay. Many of the questions and concepts will probably translate quite easily to a bay ecosystem near you.

May 1999 - Coral Bleaching - Learn why some of the planet's most diverse ecosystems are at risk. Choose a country whose reefs are of particular interest to you, and do some research using the ReefBase Database. Propose some management recommendations for your country's reefs, and check out 25 things you can do to save coral reefs.

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