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Teacher resource

Climate change and coral reefs: teacher guide

This teacher guide provides educators with comprehensive materials, classroom activities and ongoing opportunities for their students to understand, and act to reduce, the problem of climate change on coral reefs. The guide is intended for use with five video modules led by world-renowned coral biologist Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg ...


The future of coral reefs

In this clip, Dr Kiki Sanford asks coral reef scientist Professor Peter Harrison whether he sees a bleak future for the world’s coral reefs. He replies that, although the overall health of coral reefs worldwide will probably continue to decline, there is much reason for hope that at least some coral reef communities will ...


Gaps in understanding of coral reef ecology

In this clip, coral reef scientist Professor Peter Harrison explains that there are still huge gaps in our knowledge of coral reef ecology. He states that one of the key concerns among researchers is how corals are likely to respond to a changing climate that is causing sea temperatures to rise and ocean chemistry to change. ...

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Coral reefs fading fast

Coral reefs represent a unique partnership between two separate organisms. It's an amazing symbiosis that has thrived for millions of years. But right now, the effects of climate change threaten the reefs on a global scale due to coral bleaching. Find out what causes this phenomenon and the significance of carbon dioxide ...


What damages and stresses coral reefs?

In this clip, coral reef scientist Professor Peter Harrison responds to a request by Dr Kiki Sanford to outline specific natural and human-induced factors that stress coral reefs. He then explains that a combination of both natural and chronic human stressors is leading to a decline of coral reef systems around the world.

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Ellison Reef: has it been saved?

Ellison Reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef, is located off the coast of Mission Beach in North Queensland. In 1981, after years of court battles, the entire Great Barrier Reef became a protected World Heritage Site. But, after three decades of protection, the reef is still dying. What action is required to save one of ...

Teacher resource

Coral bleaching

This is a detailed plan for teaching a unit on coral bleaching. It includes a unit outline, overview and aim, learning outcomes, inquiry questions, background information about coral bleaching, lesson plans and a guide to assessment. The lesson sequence is based on the inquiry based 5Es approach to teaching Science, with ...

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Restoring coral reefs

This is a video resource describing efforts by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to restore coral reefs damaged by pollution, disease, climate change and ship groundings in the Caribbean and Florida Keys. The video explains that the natural building blocks of reefs in these areas are staghorn and ...


The effects of climate change on coral bleaching

This website is designed to support science and geography inquiry investigations about how coral ecosystems are being impacted by climate change. It contains information and images about the biology of corals and their vulnerability to changes in temperature and pH levels.


Climate change

This Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) resource explains how climate change causes ocean acidification, sea level rise and temperature increase and threaten the long-term health of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR). It examines impacts on GBR species and habitats, as well as communities and industries that rely ...


Extreme weather

This Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) resource describes the impacts of extreme weather on the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), highlighting the impacts of flood plumes and cyclones that affected the GBR over the 2010 – 2011 summer, with a link to a GBRMPA report about the impacts of tropical cyclone Yasi. The ...

Teacher resource

NASA launchpad: biomes

This resource for educators details a learning program studying the Earth as a system and how scientists use data to understand the Earth system. Students learn about the Earth's ecosystems, or biomes, through exploring the six spheres within the Earth system and discussing how they are interrelated. They then research ...


Measuring photosynthesis

This is a colour underwater photograph of marine scientist Candida Savage using a scientific instrument known as the diving-PAM. The diving-PAM is being used to measure photosynthesis in corals in Fiji. Candida Savage is wearing full diving clothing and equipment including mask, wetsuit and oxygen tanks.

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New Zealand's marine environment

This is a colour video clip of a marine scientist, Dr Candida Savage, discussing the large variety of different habitats within New Zealand's marine environment. Dr Savage is a teacher and researcher at the University of Otago, New Zealand.