The Dynamic Ecosystems Project
Never doubt that a small groupof thoughtful, committed citizens
can change the world;indeed, it's the only thingthat ever has. - Margaret Mead

Two primary energy sources powerfully influence the ocean basins: sunlight and its radiant energy, and internal heat with its convective and conductive input. Understanding the complexity of the oceans requires documenting and quantifying—in a well-defined time-space framework overdecades—myriad processes that are constantly changing and interacting with one another. Illustration designed by John Delaney and Mark Stoermer;created by the Center for Environmental Visualization (CEV) for the NEPTUNE Program.

The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience

Hydrothermal Vents:This incredible active hydrothermal vent was imaged for the first time during the Marianas expedition. It was 30 meters high and gushing high-temperature fluid full of metal particulates. This vent was home to many different species, including Chorocaris shrimp, Munidopsis squat lobsters, Austinograea crabs, limpets, mussels, and snails.
Video courtesy of the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2016 Deepwater Exploration of the Marianas.

Dive 1: Six gill shark seen while exploring Santa Rosa Reef, south of Guam, during the first dive of the expedition. (Video)

Energy Transfer in An Ecosystem

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The Web of Life
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Ecosystem Project Idea

Fun Craft for Kids: Create Your Own Terrarium

Terrariums have been around for years but they’ve gained a lot of popularity recently in the interior decorating world. They are a fascinating example of a self-sustained ecosystem and, depending on how you decorate them, a home fashion statement. They’re also a great teaching tool for kids. Making a terrarium can be a fun project for you and your child to do together that you can then display either in their room or as a centerpiece in a family common room. The best part is that it is an ever-changing decoration piece. You can even change out some of the plants or objects in the terrarium based on your child’s changing tastes. So, here’s what you’ll need to create your own terrarium:
1. Soil
2. Pebbles
3. Activated Charcoal
4. Moss
5. Glass container (Can be an open container or one with a lid. Closed containers can be more difficult to sustain but can also be more rewarding for teaching your kids about ecosystems).
6. Various plants
7. Fun objects

  1. Put a one-inch layer of pebbles in the bottom of the container.
  2. Put a half-inch layer of activated charcoal right on top of the pebbles. The charcoal isn’t totally necessary but it will help filter the water.
  3. Put a layer of Sphagnum moss on top of the charcoal. This is optional but Sphagnum wiry and dry and will keep the soil from falling into the pebbles below.
  4. Put a layer of soil on the top of all of this about two or three inches thick.
  5. Poke small holes into the soil place all of your plants in the soil.
  6. Place your objects around the plants for a festive look. A terrarium is the perfect complement to our **Creekside Homestead Trend** and fun rustic objects will capture the theme. Or, if you’re more into a beachy look, use sand instead of soil and purchase plants that grow well in this type of climate. You can accessorize with tiny beach chairs or toy sea creatures to create a terrarium that goes with our **Seacoast Cottage Trend**.
  7. Water the terrarium a moderate amount and cover it. Watch it over the next few days. Water only if the soil is drying out. If you over water then leave it uncovered to let the water evaporate. If your terrarium is not enclosed, ignore these final directions.
If you want more information on teaching your kids about ecosystems, I found this great website called **Storm the**. They also have lots of other cool ideas for fun science projects!-- Catherine Conley (creator)

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