Bringing Shark Research on Cape Cod into Your Classroom
Dr. Camrin Braun, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI)
Megan Winton, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC)
Grace Simpkins, WHOI Sea Grant (WHOI SG) education specialist
Marianne Walsh, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy education director
Date: February 15, 2023
Lesson Plans and Classroom Activities:
- Shark Story Hour: This AWSC list of shark picture books comes with additional activities, videos, or coloring pages to supplement the story and make a longer lesson
- AWSC Virtual Shark Lessons:
- What is a shark introductory lesson
- Shark anatomy lesson
- Shark true or false challenge
- Movie sharks vs. real sharks
- All about fossils
- Shark tagging
- How sharks move
- Does a shark sink?
- How to track sharks
- All about ocean currents
- Deep water sharks
- Conservation vocabulary
- AWSC Exploring Careers in Shark Conservation: Check out videos that explore various careers
- AWSC Finvestigations: Watch YouTube video related to sharks and answer accompanying journal questions
- Understanding the Rewilding of Cape Cod: A Curriculum Unit for Middle School Learners**afternoon workshop sessions**:
- Unit 1: How did we get here? - This unit has students gathering historical information, building a timeline, and exploring various groups that have been affected by changes in wildlife.
- Unit 2: The science around us - Students learn about some of the current research in the area, and explore how scientists develop technology to answer their questions.
- Whale Sharks- Tracking an elusive animal: NOAA researchers compiled sighting and tracking information over 16 seasons and then created figures to illustrate patterns in the data. Study each of the images and then answer the discussion questions.
- Sharks- Taking a bite out of the myth: Explore trends in shark populations using shark landing data from the National Marine Fisheries Service. Recognize the low risk of shark attacks compared to other hazards, discuss impacts of fishing on sharks, evaluate population numbers, and look at data trends.
Background and Resources:
- Atlantic White Shark Conservancy (AWSC) Website
- Camrin Braun’s Marine Predators Group Website
- AWSC Shark Center Field Trips or Classroom Visits:
- AWSC YouTube Channel
- Rewilding Cape Cod: An interview with Wildlife Photographer and native Cape Codder, John J King.
- Managing the Beaches Along Cape Cod: To better understand how the seashores of Cape Cod are managed, take a listen to these interviews with the Town of Orleans Director of Natural Resources, Nate Sears, and Cape Cod National Seashore Assistant Superintendent, Leslie Reynolds.
- White Shark Overview - Interview with AWSC Staff Scientist Megan Winton
- Q & A with Dr. Greg Skomal
- Getting to Know the Community: Get to know the community and learn how changes in wildlife have had an effect on different stakeholder groups in the region.
- Interview with Dr. Andrea Bogomolni: Learn about the natural history of seals in the Cape Cod region and what scientists are doing to better understand their population, habitat use, and more.
- NOAA Live! Recorded Webinars Geared Towards Grades 2-8 with NOAA Experts:
- NOAA Fisheries Fish and Sharks webpage
- NOAA Fisheries 12 Shark Facts That May Surprise You
- NOAA Fisheries Fun Facts about Sharks
- NOAA Fisheries Dive into Shark Week 2021: Learn how NOAA manages U.S. shark populations
- Tracking Shark Movement:
- Sharktivity: This is the AWSC sighting and resource app for waters off of Cape Cod. App sightings are supplied by researchers, safety officials, and users that upload photos. Data from sharks with acoustic tags and SPOT are also available.
- White Shark Logbook (Detection data and white shark catalog): This provides historic data from 2010-2021 so that you can visualize acoustic detection data for tagged sharks off the coast of Cape Cod.
- Ocearch Tracker Page - This map of tagged sharks shows real-time, up to date locations of a variety of tagged sharks around the US
- Women in Shark Science:
- For AWSC research season updates, follow:
- Florida Museum of Natural History - Fish Profiles
WHOI Oceanus Articles
- Casting a (long) line to the twilight zone food web: Scientists and fishermen work together to study key predators in the ocean twilight zone 2023 Oceanus article.
- Partly cloudy with a chance of sharks: Researchers develop ‘heat map’ shark forecast system to improve beachgoer safety 2022 Oceanus article.
- Sharks take ‘tunnels’ into the depths: Spiraling eddies offer conduits to food in the ocean twilight zone 2018 Oceanus article.
- Shark Tales: Satellite tags reveal hidden world of ocean’s largest fish 2016 Oceanus article.
- An ocean that’s no longer wild: Tagging project aims to help conserve sharks, rays, and other fish 2013 Oceanus article.
Deeper Exploration: Papers in Scientific Journals:
- Bowlby, H, Joyce, W, Winton, M, Coates, P, and Skomal, G. (2022) Conservation implications of white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) behaviour at the northern extent of their range in the Northwest Atlantic. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. 79(11): 1843-1859.
- Braun, C, et al. (2022) Diving into the vertical dimension of elasmobranch movement ecology. Science Advances. 8 (33)
- Braun, C, Arostegui, M, Thorrold, S, Papastamatiou, Y, Gaube, P, Fontes, J, Afonso, P. (2022) The functional and ecological significance of deep diving by large marine predators. Annual Review of Marine Science. 14: 129-159.
- Marshall H, Field L, Afiadata A, Sepulveda C, Skomal G, Bernal D (2012) Hematological indicators of stress in longline-captured sharks. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A: Molecular & Integrative Physiology. 162 (2): 121-129.
- Verkamp HJ, Skomal G, Winton M, Sulikowski JA (2021) Using reproductive hormone concentrations from the muscle of white sharks Carcharodon carcharias to evaluate reproductive status in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Endang Species Research. 44: 231-236.
- Winton M, Sulikowski J, Skomal G (2021) Fine-scale vertical habitat use of white sharks at an emerging aggregation site and implications for public safety. Wildlife Research. 48: 345-360.
- Camrin Braun’s lab group publication page
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
8:45 – 9:15 -- Check-in at WHOI Redfield Auditorium. Breakfast: pastries, coffee, juice, tea, water
9:15 – 9:30 --Introduction to WHOI Sea Grant and WHOI
9:30 – 10:30 -- Atlantic White Shark Science and Research, Dr. Camrin Braun, WHOI
10:30 – 10:45 -- Break
10:45 – 11:45 -- Atlantic White Shark Science and Research, Megan Winton, Atlantic White Shark Conservancy
11:45 – 1:00 -- LUNCH (provided). Chat with speakers, discuss classroom integration, and explore WHOI Discovery Center
1:00 – 1:15 -- Split into 2 groups and proceed to afternoon sessions
1:15 – 2:15 -- Group 1 - Building Underwater Equipment, Grace Simpkins, WHOI SG; Group 2 - Rewilding Cape Cod, Marianne Long, AWSC
2:15 – 3:15 -- Groups swap locations and activities
3:30 - 4:00 -- Hand out PDPs and wrap up