Title

Developing and Testing an Ocean Acidification Case Study

Graduation Date

5-2017

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Director of the Honors Program

Gigi Gokcek, Ph.D.

First Reader

Diara Spain, Ph.D.

Second Reader

Doreen Gurrola, M.S.

Abstract

Case studies are used to supplement knowledge discussed in class by encouraging students to seek out further information on issues. I developed a case study on ocean acidification for general education environmental science classes and beginning science majors. Ocean chemistry is not typically discussed in detail in college courses, therefore my goal was to explain ocean acidification with relevant examples taken from news articles and primary literature. Phase one of the case study introduced the topic using a general overview of ocean chemistry and pH. Phase two included historical industrialization data of CO2 emissions and pH values for analysis. The final phase provided an article on ocean acidification effects on a marine snail, the sea butterfly (Limacina helicina), to help students understand the potential biological implications for organisms. We have piloted this case study in two classes. Anecdotally, the feedback indicated that the case study engaged students, while expanding their knowledge of ocean acidification.

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