The resources on this page were created and gathered by Dauphin Island Sea Lab educators and researchers for educators or ocean enthusiasts. There are also several activities included for use during your visit to the Alabama Aquarium.
Video resources are also available on the Dauphin Island Sea Lab YouTube channel and our Digital Learning Page.
Coastal Animal Coloring Pages
- Beach Buddies, detailed
- Beach Buddies, simple
- Sand Striker
- Build a Worm
- Beach Shells
- Tube Landscape
Mr. Potato Fish
This activity is best used after an exploration of the diversity of fishes, whether it is taxonomy-focused investigation or a visual servey of fish diversity.
Common Sharks of the Northern Gulf of Mexico Poster - DISL’s Discovery Hall Programs, the MSU Extension Services, and Dr. Marcus Drymon’s Marine Fisheries Ecology Lab collaborated to create a poster highlighting ten years of shark science. The poster is a companion to a new DISL, MSU, and Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant educational lesson.
Earth Day 2020: Ask the Educator - Sharks of the Gulf (Video) - Discovery Hall Programs marine educator Greg Graeber gives an overview of the sharks and rays found in the Gulf of Mexico.
ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicles)
- ROV Poster- This poster provides an introduction to ROVs and highlights the various classes or types of ROVs. The poster was created by Liz Hoadley while working in Discovery Hall Programs.
- Go ROVing! Loaner Program- This free loaner program is designed for teachers, STEM instructors, and robotics coaches across the state of Alabama who are interested in diving into ROVs with their students. Kits contain all the materials needed to build ROVs with their students as we recognize that some educators might prefer to try it out before investing while others may not have the financial resources to bring this amazing STEM activity to their students.
Lessons explore oysters, oyster reefs, restoration, and living shorelines.
- Building an Oyster Reef: A 3D Activity
- Living Shorelines
- Restore It? A Lesson on Restoration Ecology
Seagrasses Lecture, Dr. Kenneth L. Heck
Sea-Level Rise inthe Classroom is a four-module curriculum designed for high school teachers to introduce sea-level rise impacts and discuss community-based solutions with their students.
Module 1 addresses the science behind the sea-level rise and coastal flooding, and the other three highlight pathways towards community resilience through individual and community action. Module 2 covers natural solutions, Module 3 allows students to investigate the role of policy and ordinances, and Module 4 brings it together through community planning. A capstone project allows students to explore simulated towns and create resilience plans.
For all other document formats, supplemental materials, and PowerPoints please visit the curriculum’s Google Drive folder.
Storm surge, a rise in water level due to various factors, is often the deadliest part of a hurricane. During Hurricane Katrina, a storm surge that reached 28 feet in some communities contributed to the death of over 2000 people. In a 2013 study by Grinsted et al., Katrina-like surge events are predicted to increase two to seven times with every 1°C change in global temperature. With global temperatures on the rise and coastal populations increasing every year, educating people about coastal hazards such as storm surge is of the utmost importance.These materials were created by Discovery Hall Programs and the Northern Gulf Coastal Hazards Collaboratory to help communicate the nature of risks associated with living in coastal areas, especially during hurricane events.
- Student and teacher Resources
- Storm Surge Game
Northern Gulf Institute - Resources for Teachers and Students
Short Interactive Activities
- Gone Fishin- Learn how to identify a fish based on physical characteristics and the management of size regulations and bag limits.
- Sedimental Journeys- Dive into the characteristics of sand, where it comes from, and how humans use it.
- Beach in a Box- Discover the natural artifacts that you can find on the beaches of the northern Gulf of Mexico. This activity can build on different concepts.
- Oil Change- Oil activities designed to be contained, clean, and done repeatedly without cleanup and reset time. Observe and manipulate the properties of oil and water and oil and water with a dispersant. Discuss how oil affects habitats and animals.
- Watershed Puzzle- This can be used as a stand-alone manipulative that doesn’t require a presenter or as a ‘building block’ by a presenter who will expand upon the concepts introduced by this activity. Participants will learn what a watershed is. Participants will observe and manipulate pieces of a ‘watershed map puzzle’ with political boundaries superimposed upon it. Participants will think about how the ‘pieces’ – the counties, states, rivers, the ocean – included in the watershed are connected.
- Which Niche- Participants will be introduced to the concept of niche. They will be encouraged to think critically about animals’ roles in their environment, combining observations about their morphology with prior knowledge about behavior, etc. Participants will gain information about particular habitats and animals.
- Meroplankton Match-up- This can be used as a stand-alone manipulative that doesn’t require a presenter or as a fun intro to a more in-depth discussion of plankton. Participants will be introduced to the concept of plankton and make the connection between metamorphosis of planktonic creatures and more familiar animals like butterflies. They will be encouraged to think critically about adaptations and ocean zones. If used by an educator as part of a discussion, other plankton topics will also be covered.
- Sea of Debris- This is designed to provide more information about marine debris. Participants will gain a better understanding of the persistence of different types of trash. They will understand that different types of trash represent different potential hazards. They will think about sources of marine debris and how they can prevent the problems posed by litter.
- Watershed Moments- Participants will learn what a watershed is and use maps and a tabletop watershed model to visualize the concept. Participants will learn about point- and non-point source pollution and manipulate representations of these on the tabletop model. Additional related activities can be found in the Additional Resources section.
- Tip of the Iceberg- This activity seeks to address very basic clmate science questions.
Oil Spill Research Fact Sheets
- Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Overview
- Breton Sound Estuary- Water Quality
- Chemical Effects of the Oil Spill- Mississippi Sound
- Coastal Alabama and Mississippi Fish Communities
- Deep-Sea Red Crabs
- Ecosystem Modeling Framework
- Fish Health and Oil Exposure
- Florida to Louisiana: Tracing the Oil
- Gulf Coast Salt Marshes: Oil Spill Impacts
- Gulf of Mexico Beaches and Dunes: Oil Spill Impacts
- Impacts of Oil on Spotted Seatrout
- Microbes and the Marine Food Web
- Mobile Bay Ship Channel: Tracking the Oil
- Monitoring Gulf Coast Fisheries
- Monitoring Nursery Habitats After the Oil Spill
- Phytoplankton and the Oil Spill
- Residents and Visitors of Mobile Bay: Oil Spill Impacts
- Responses of Benthic Communities to Oil Exposure
- Sargassum: Floating Nurseries
- The Pontchartrain Basin: After the Oil Spill
- Water Quality Monitoring of Barataria Bay and Lake Pontchartrain