Activity Answers
Broadcast 3

Weekly Weather Log
Each week please complete the following information for both our location here off the coast of Australia and the location at your school. Each week students should complete the weekly log with the weather information at their school. Mrs. Linsley will send the ship weather report by email following each broadcast. Students can record this information at that time. Also, the front page of the web site will always display the time and date in Australia.

  My School Ship in Australia



Day and Time

January 31, 2001 @ 10:00am
[indicate snow, sleet or rain]
Skies or Cloud Bank
High Summer
Wind Speed and Direction
East, 8 Knots

Formula for Converting Celsius to Fahrenheit:
F= (1.8 X C) +32

1 Knot = 1 nautical mile per hour (1 nautical mile = 6076 feet or 1852 meters)

Cloud Cover is recorded by a code which lists the coverage in eights:
1:1/8 or less
8:8/8 Overcast
9: obscured or cloud amount cannot be determined

[Complete the questions below prior to the broadcasts, if at all possible]

1. Why is sunlight important to reef growth?
Reefs need sunlight because they are living--they have algae on them which is a plant and plants need sunlight to live. The algae provides the food for the various species living on the reef. If the water becomes too deep through an influx of water for the sunlight to penetrate, we say the reef is dying. What actually is happening is that the algae dies and thus the food chain is interrupted at its base. This is important because a drowned reef is an indication of sea level rise and that is what we are looking for in attempting to prove our hypothesis of sea level change in the last 15 million years.

2. Are there reefs in the Gulf of Mexico?
Yes, there are reefs in the Gulf of Mexico; they are the Flower Garden Banks about 90 miles off Freeport, Texas. These are deeper reefs than most of those off Florida, but they are quite spectacular. The site is declared a National Marine Sanctuary which means it is protected like a National Park; teachers and students may obtain information about these from the National Marine Sanctuary Office in Bryan. Also, you can visit the National Marine Sanctuaries web site at or contact Shelley Dupuy ( She is the education coordinator for the Flower Garden Banks. The National Marine Sanctuaries are under NOAA.

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