Student Web Articles:
Why is it important to understand the history of sea level?
(What have you learned from the Ship to Shore broadcasts?)

According to Tiffany:

Our class followed the broadcasts because of their valuable lessons. It is important to know the history of sea level changes because they can give us hints about when changes will happen again. The history can also tell us what effects future sea level changes will have on us.

From the broadcasts, we learned that coral reefs are just meters under the surface of the ocean. We also learned that when the sea level drops and exposes a coral reef, the reef will die. When the water level rises over a dead reef, a new reef can begin to grow. Only the top layer of the reef is alive and growing.

There are many steps in ocean drilling and it requires many people.

Thoughts from Sammie:

Understanding the level of the ocean is important because we need to be able to understand Earth's history. As a student, I have learned a lot about how scientists work hard to understand Earth's history. We have done a lot with the ocean drilling broadcasts and been involved.

People say that history repeats itself. If that is true, then we need to understand Earth's history and be prepared for the future. We cannot know for sure what will happen in the future, but we might be able to find out more through looking at the past.

Jill's Comments:

We started the program in January. The class went to the website where we found valuable information. It was a good resource. The Ocean Distance Distance Learning Program taught us things we never knew. We learned how sensitive the reefs are to sea level changes. Also, I learned that my home in Texas was actually underwater a long, long time ago-more than a million years ago! I found that to be most interesting.

We learned about what it was like to cross the equator. The crew that has never crossed the equator are called pollywogs. When you cross the equator, you are called a shellback. When the ocean drilling ship crossed the equator, they (the crew that had never crossed before) had to take a dip in drilling mud, which was interesting to hear about but also nasty.

I also learned that the sea level changes through time and how coral dies in layers. When drilling, they dig up core samples that tell us about Earth history. I have enjoyed being involved in the ODP-Distance Learning Program.

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