EarthEcho Expedition: | Beyond the Dead Zone

The EarthEcho Expeditions team travels to South Florida to explore how development and agriculture have impacted this region’s natural ecosystems. 

EXPLORE the issue with Philippe Cousteau through EarthEcho Expedition videos;

ENGAGE students through lesson plans and curriculum enhancement activities;

ACT to solve the issue of dead zones through service learning Action Guides that empower youth to create change in THEIR communities.

Teachers, begin here.

It takes more than knowledge of environmental issues to equip young people with civic skills to solve the complex problems facing our planet. Through service learning, youth identify community needs, develop plans and partnerships and are inspired and motivated to take action. The Five Stages of Service Learning—investigation, preparation, action, reflection, and demonstration—provide a reliable process. By understanding how each stage works, youth become effective community changemakers.

These five videos with Cathryn Berger Kaye, author of The Complete Guide to Service Learning, and with Philippe Cousteau will get you started.

  • Day 1 Loxahatchee, FL

    South Florida is home to some of the world’s most unique aquatic ecosystems such as the Everglades, which provide critical ecosystem services for the people and animals of South Florida. Take off with Philippe Cousteau and EarthEcho Expeditions co-host Josh Carrera, as they explore how Florida’s Everglades are being protected and restored after decades of damage from development and agricultural runoff. Our hosts travel by helicopter and airboat to examine how natural ecosystems can be engineered and adapted to mitigate agricultural pollution.
    See all Day 1 updates
  • Day 2 Biscayne Bay, FL

    The waters of South Florida’s Biscayne Bay are a sanctuary for abundant species of fish and invertebrates. Join Philippe Cousteau and, USGS Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner as they dive below the surface to explore the invisible threats to corals that may impact all marine life in these waters. Examining Dr. Kuffner’s underwater research site reveals that small changes in water quality may have tragic consequences for corals and other shell-forming creatures.
    See all Day 2 updates
  • Day 1 The Issue

    EXPLORE: Take off with Philippe Cousteau and EarthEcho Expeditions co-host Josh Carrera, as they explore how Florida’s Everglades are being protected and restored after decades of damage from development and agricultural runoff.

    Science Standards include:

    LS2.A Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

    LS2.C Ecosystem Dynamics, Function, & Resilience

    ESS3.C Human Impacts on Earth Systems

  • Planting Bullrush
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    Planting Bullrush

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    Video Worksheet: Beyond the Dead Zone, Part 1

    This worksheet accompanies Beyond the Dead Zone, Part 1 video. Students should take time for reflection before, during, and after the video while focusing on key vocabulary and themes: 

    • Ecosystems
    • Human Impacts 
    • Eutrophication 
    Download Worksheet
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    Service Learning in Action with World Learning Inc.
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    Service Learning in Action with World Learning Inc.

    ACT: As part of an exchange program through the U.S. Department of State and World Learning Inc., Ecuadorian, Colombian, and Peruvian youth worked with SFWMD scientists to restore a section of the roughly 60,000 acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas.

  • Restoring the Everglades
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    Restoring the Everglades

  • Airboat in the Everglades
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    Airboat in the Everglades

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    STEM Career Closeup - Research Scientist Lou Toth
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    STEM Career Closeup - Research Scientist Lou Toth

    Take a look at the work of Research Scientist Lou Toth, as we spend a day in the field with this South Florida Water Management District ecologist.

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    Urbanized Water Cycle Lesson Plan

    Objectives
    As a result of these activities, students will be able to:

    Describe the natural movement of water in the hydrologic cycle
    Identify the state of water as it moves through this cycle and the energy inputs that drive that movement
    Understand how increased urbanization impacts the hydrosphere and adjoining biosphere

    Download Lesson Plan
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    RainCheck: A Guide for Stormwater Action
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    RainCheck: A Guide for Stormwater Action

    Throughout the world, water resources are polluted as rainwater travels over roofs, pavement, and bare earth before entering our waterways. Use the tools in this Action Guide to develop a plan to protect local waterways from polluted stormwater. 

    Download Action Guide
  • Bird’s Eye View of the Everglades
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    Bird’s Eye View of the Everglades

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    Virtual Field Trip: Beyond the Dead Zone

    On this virtual field trip Philippe Cousteau introduces new Beyond the Dead Zones materials.  Classrooms watching talk with scientists from Hyperion Treatment Plant—Los Angeles’s largest wastewater treatment facility—and a South Florida Water Management District scientist in the field.

  • Taking Flight Over the Everglades
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    Taking Flight Over the Everglades

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    World Water Monitoring Challenge Hangout

    Join Philippe Cousteau as he meets with international students from World Learning Inc. to celebrate World Water Monitoring Day. Discuss the importance of knowing your water's quality, pollution sources, and how you can take action to improve local waterways. 

    We invite classrooms from around the world to join us in testing water from their own communities in this step-by-step hangout. Low-cost kits for water quality monitoring can be purchased from World Water Monitoring Challenge: http://monitorwater.org/Order_Kits.aspx

See all Day 1 Photos on Flickr
  • Day 2 The Issue

    EXPLORE: The waters of South Florida’s Biscayne Bay are a sanctuary for abundant species of fish and invertebrates. Join Philippe Cousteau and US Geological Survey Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner as they dive below the surface to explore the invisible threats to corals that may impact all marine life in these waters.

    Science Standards include:

    ESS3.A Natural Resources

    ESS3.D Global Climate Change

    PS1.B Chemical Reactions

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    Service Learning in Action with Rockway Middle School
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    Service Learning in Action with Rockway Middle School

    ACT: Students at Rockway Middle School in Miami, FL,  grow corals in their classroom and have learned about the critical ecosystem services that the reefs provide. This classroom is working with university partners to restore habitat by providing healthy corals for transplant to experimental reef sites.

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    Video Worksheet: Beyond the Dead Zone, Part 2

    This worksheet accompanies Beyond the Dead Zone, Part 2 video. Students should take time for reflection before, during, and after the video while focusing on key vocabulary and themes: 

    • Natural Resources
    • Global Climate Change
    • Chemical Reactions 
    Download Worksheet
  • Experimental Corals
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    Experimental Corals

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    STEM Career Closeup - Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner
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    STEM Career Closeup - Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner

    Take a look at the work of Marine Biologist Ilsa Kuffner, as we spend a day in the field with this U.S. Geological Survey marine biologist.

  • Examining Coral Structure
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    Examining Coral Structure

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    You Have the Power
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    You Have the Power

    Want to help curb the use of fossil fuels and the process of ocean acidification? Saving energy is an answer. This Action Guide will walk you through the process of conducting an energy audit and then creating, implementing, and documenting an energy conservation plan. Get started right away, because when it comes to saving energy at school or at home, you have the power!

    Download Action Guide
  • Coral Bleaching
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    Coral Bleaching

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    Ocean Acidification Experiments from Science Scope

    These activities are designed to explore ocean acidifcation in the middle school classroom. As oceans absorb atmospheric CO2, they undergo a series of reactions that cause a reduction in normally stable ocean pH. Materials can be dowloaded or further explored through the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory here.

    Download Lesson Plan
See all Day 2 Photos on Flickr