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Teacher Workshop April 2002

"Determining the Resistance of Marine Animals to Environmental Chemicals"

Dr. Mark Hahn, WHOI, Biology Department

Dr. Hahn’s major research interests include receptor-mediated mechanisms of toxicity, and means of adaptation and acquired resistance to exposure to persistent organic pollutants. This presentation centered on looking at toxins in the marine environment, particularly dioxins, PCBs, POPs: the mechanisms of toxicity, what makes animals resistant, genetic markers for resistance.

Resources for "Understanding the Sensitivity and Resistance of Marine Animals to Environmental Chemicals"

Mark Hahn's web site

NPR report on dioxin-resistant killifish from New Bedford Harbor

Dioxins-R-Us (general information and web sites on dioxin research)

Dioxin information

Endocrine Disruptor Screening and Testing Advisory Committee (EDSTAC) Final Report

Fooling with Nature (PBS Frontline)

Tulane University Center for Bioenvironmental Research

Chlorine Chemistry Council

EPA Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program web site

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, endocrine disruptors

Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) 

Silent Spring Institute

EPA Superfund Cleanup (for students) 

Endocrine Disruption in Wildlife Populations, by Woods Hole Sea Grant

Research Update: Contaminants in the Marine Environmnet and their Effects on Marine Mammals, by Woods Hole Sea Grant

The Link Between Environmental Contaminants and Animal Susceptibility
Crago, T.I.
In: Two if by Sea, Vol. 4, No. 1, 2 pp.
Available online:

Nor'easter Researcher Profile: Using Biomarkers to Detect Contamination of the Marine Environment
Hahn, M.E.
In: Nor'easter, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 8-11 Spring/Summer 1994

Evolution of Pathways for Chemical Sensing, Response, & Adaptation
Hahn, M.E.
In: Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 1998 Annual Report, 2 pp.

Dioxin Toxicology and the Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor: Insights from Fish and Other Non-traditional Models
Hahn, M.E.
In: Mar. Biotechnol., Vol. 3, pp. S224-S238 2001

Formation of a Biological Company, from Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum

Survival in the Sea, from Secrets of the Ocean Realm

Serial Dilutuion & PPM (activity), from the Advanced Technology Environmental Education Center

We All Live Downstream (activity), from Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum

Acquired Resistance to Ah Receptor Agonists in a Population of Atlantic Killifish (Fundulus heteroclitus) Inhabiting a Marine Superfund Site: In Vivo and In Vitro Studies on the Inducibility of Xenobiotic Metabolizing Enzymes
Bello, S.M., D.G. Franks, J.J. Stegeman, and M.E. Hahn
In: Toxicological Sciences, Vol. 66, pp. 77-79 2001

cDNA Cloning and Characterization of a High Affinity Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor in a Cetacean, the Beluga, Delphinapterus leucas
Jensen, B.A. and M.E. Hahn
In: Toxicological Sciences, Vol. 64, pp. 45-56 2001

cDNA Cloning and Characterization of an Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor from the Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina): A Biomarker of Dioxin Susceptibility?
Kim, E.-Y. and M.E. Hahn
In: Aquat. Toxicol., Vol. 58, pp. 57-73 2002

"Marine Magnetotactic Bacteria"

Dr. Katrina Edwards, WHOI, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department

Dr. Edwards’ research interests include the role of microorganisms in mediating the rates and mechanisms of rock, mineral, and organic matter transformations, and in particular the effects of bacterial films on rocks. This talk was about the discovery of bacteria responsive to the earth’s magnetic field, their abundance and behavior, their ecological niches and importance. Included was a demonstration of how to isolate magnetotactic bacteria from a local marsh and stimulate them to move directionally in response to an external magnetic field.

Resources for "The Interaction of Bacteria and Seafloor Minerals"

American Society for Microbiology (web pages on different microbes)

Michigan State University web site, "Microbes in the News"

Michigan State University Microbe Zoo

Microbe Zoo — curious microbe piece on magnetotactic bacteria

Utah Elementary Science Teacher Resource Book, 6th grade level and background and experiments with microorganisms, and intended outcomes

Woodrow Wilson Teachers Activity on Magnetotactic Bacteria and Natural Selection

Dr. John F. Stolz, Hunt for Magnetotactic Bacteria

Marine Biological Laboratory (information on microbes with magnetotactic bacteria to come)

Magnetic Microbes, from the Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology

Spirilla and Magnetospirillum
Information excerpted from:
Microbiology: Dynamics and Diversity
Jerome J. Perry and James T. Staley
Saunders College Publishing, 1997

Magnetite in Freshwater Magnetotactic Bacteria
Frankel, R.B., R.P. Blakemore, and R.S. Wolfe
In: Science, Vol. 203, 30 March 1979

Magnetotactic Bacteria
Blakemore, R.
In: Science, New Series, Volume 190, Issue 4212 (Oct. 24, 1975), pp. 377-379

Magnetotactic Bacteria
Blakemore, R.P.
In: Ann. Rev Microbiol., Vol. 36, pp. 217-238 1982

Investigating the Uses of Backyard Bacteria, from Access Excellence @ the national Health Museum

Earth's Magnetic Field (Magnetosphere), from NASA

Studying Living Organisms: Using Magnetotactic Bacteria to Study Natural Selection, from Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum

American Society for Microbiology (web pages on different microbes)

Mr. Martin Bowen, WHOI, Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department

As a Sr. Research Associate in the Deep Submergence Laboratory, Mr. Bowen has been a long-time pilot of the remotely-operated vehicle Jason, and was present when the Titanic was discovered and explored. This presentation was about the history of the development of technology for deep sea exploration, including the ROVs Jason andMedea, the versatility of this type of equipment for undersea work, and the engineering problems and solutions on the way to the current and next-generation ROVs and AUVs (remotely-operated vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles).

Resources for "Technology for Marine Exploration "

WHOI web pages for the Deep Submergence Lab

Office of Naval Research

Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute's web pages on their ROVs

COAST Project (technology links) go to "resource guide," then "elementary and middle" or "high school," then "technology

The Jason Project

Ocean Explorer
Vol. 3, No. 3 March 1994
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Getting Better and Better
Kovacs, D.
In: Dive to the Deep Ocean: Voages of Exploration and Discovery
Available online:

Dive In: The Physics of Underwater Diving, by NOAA's Aquarius, the World's Only Underwater Laboratory

Feedback Loops, a COAST - Deep Sea Technology Activity

Measuring Water Depth activity
Part of the NSTA Great Lakes Jason Curriculum

"A New Look at an Old Oil Spill"

Dr. Christopher Reddy, WHOI, Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry Department

Dr. Reddy’s research is concerned with understanding the source, transport, and fate of organic contaminants in the marine environment, using novel analytical techniques. This talk profiled original, current, and ongoing research into a devastating oil spill in a nearby marsh environment, relaying over 25 years of tracking of the hydrocarbon pollution in the marsh, the depth of penetration and the amount of retention and change of the hydrocarbons. Dr.Reddy emphasized that the oil hasn’t gone away in 25 years, that it still can be found in the marsh, and that the effects on the marine community are ongoing.

Resources for "A New Look at an Old Oil Spill"

Chris Reddy's Web Site

NOAA Contaminant Spill Response

NOAA Report on Toxic Chemicals in Coastal Environments

EPA Guide to Superfund Sites and Toxics

NOAA Oil Spill Response (for kids)

Environmental Protection Agency (oil spill learning center)

American Petroleum Institute (in the classroom)

Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee Council restoration site

The Audubon Society's Web Site, with links to information about oil spills in the Arctic

WHOI's Coastal Ocean Institute oil spill information page

NOAA's FAQs about the history of oil spills, with links to quite a bit of oil spill information

"Pollution Solution," part of Smithsonian Education's Ocean Planet resources

Contaminated Sediments in the Marine Environment
McDowell, J.E.
In: Nor'easter, Vol. 11, pp. 8-11 1999
Available online:

Bioremediation: Bacteria Get Tough on Pollutants
Cohen, A.
In: Nor'easter, Vol. 6, No. 1, pp. 28-31 Spring/Summer 1994

How Marine Animals Respond to Toxic Chemicals in Coastal Ecosystems
McDowell, J.E.
In: Oceanus, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 56-61 Summer 1993

A Local Oil Spill Revisited
Teal, J.M.
In: Oceanus, Vol. 36, No. 2, pp. 65-73 Summer 1993

Analyses of Aromatic Hydrocarbons in Intertidal Sediments Resulting from Two Spills of No. 2 Fuel Oil in Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts
Teal, J.M., K. Burns, and J. Farrington
In: J. Fish. Res. Board Can., Vol. 35, pp. 510-520 1978

An Environmentally-Friendly Oil Spill Experiment, by Environment Canada

Sediment Penetration Exercise, by NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration

Oil Spill in a Test Tube, by Access Excellence @ The National Health Museum

What's Under There?, an activity prepared by Teachers Experiencing Antarctica