Environmental Science - 04

8:00 - Opening

  • Questions, comments, concerns?

  • FIELD TRIP FORMS!!! I gotta have them!
  • Let's take a few moments to talk about this week's field trips
    • Working with the *wonderful* folks at Harbor Wild Watch on Friday
    • Heading up to Mt St Helens and doing the Hummocks Trail with the fine folk of the Mt St Helens Institute
    • ACK! Here's another permission form I forgot to have your folks at home sign. Please send this FORM to them and have them sign it and get it back in the next day or two!
8:05 - 8:15 Daily observations #1 GO HERE for Data Entry
Session #1: Ecosystems 03 -- Puget Sound Intertidal (8:30 - 10:00)


  • Please make a list of the abiotic features present in the Rift Valley in Eastern Africa (please feel free to add any abiotic features that you *think* might be present but were not mentioned in the broadcast)

  • Now please make a list of biotic features/organisms present in the Rift Valley in Eastern Africa (please feel free to add any biotic features/organisms that you *think* might be present but were not mentioned in the broadcast)

  • Now work with your group to combine ALL your features/organisms onto a big list on the 11 x 17 paper I provided.

  • Now brainstorms some relationships between biotic/abiotic features/organisms that exist to enable the ecosystem to survive and thrive

  • Let's review


Weather Report is HERE

  • Leave GHHS @ 9:30
  • Arrive Penrose Beach @ 10:00
  • Assist Harbor Wild Watch with beach survey 10:00 - 12:00
    • Harbor Wild Watch is a local environmental/educational non-profit that monitors the health of beaches around Gig Harbor
    • We often work with a biology professor from Pacific Lutheran University to assist him with his research
  • Lunch: 12:00 - 12:30
  • Leave Penrose 12:30
  • Arrive GHHS 1:00

Keep in mind it will likely be a bit cloudy/chilly in the morning but will likely (but not for sure) warm up and could be much warmer around noon.

Bring close that can get wet, dirty and muddy

Bring flip flops/sandals or old running/tennis shoes that you can slop around in the mud and water

Bring sun screen!

We will provide lunch and water


Where would we find the "Intertidal Zone" ecosystem on a Puget Sound Beach?


LEARNING TARGET: I will be able to sketch & describe the Puget Sound Intertidal Zone ecosystem during today's class.


  • Ecosystem ("?")
  • Rift Valley
  • Intertidal Zone


Take a few moments to characterize the physical layout/features of the Intertidal Zone - In other words if you were standing on a bluff/cliff overlooking Puget Sound looking down at the Intertidal Zone, what would you see?

Now let's do an exercise similar to what we did earlier this morning. Please work alone (at first) to make a list of biotic/abiotic features for a Puget Sound Intertidal Zone Ecosystem

Please now take a NEW 11 x 17 sheet of paper -- longways -- and divide it into three sections

Section #1: Your group's list of abiotic features

Section #2: Your group's list of biotic organisms/features

Section #3: A list of one or two word verbs that indicates how the abiotic features support the biotic organisms (or vice versa)


A list of one or two word verbs that indicates how the biotic features/organisms interact in ways that support that ecosystem

Now let's have some fun with all of that data!

On the index cards I gave you, write down each item in your first two lists separately on each card

Now write down your list of verbs on separate index cards

Now let's move up 2 tables and work with the existing index cards...

Finally - working THOUGHTFULLY-- ONE PERSON AT A TIME, place your index cards on your table in a way that shows that complex interactions that support that ecosystem!

BREAK (10:00 - 10:15)
Session #2: -- (10:00 - 11:15)


  • List the four forces that helped shape the Puget Sound Basin
  • Describe how glaciers carved out the Puget Sound Basin _______ thousand years ago
  • Suggest how earthquakes can (and DO!) cause landslides in Puget Sound
  • Suggest at least one other way earthquakes shape Puget Sound
  • List at least 3 Fault Zones inside Puget Sound
  • Which Fault are scientists MOST concerned about with regard to danger to our society
  • Earthquakes on Puget Sound faults typically happen only once every 600 - 800 years or so. Why are we concerned about them?
  • How much does the ground move during an earthquake on a Puget Sound fault?
  • x


Have you ever experienced an earthquake? If you did, tell your group about it. If you haven't, tell your group how you imagine it might feel.


I will be able to *accurately* describe a major even (earthquake) on the Cascadia Subduction Zone during today's class


  • Glacier
  • Puget Sound Basin
  • Fault
  • Cascadia Subduction Zone


Although earthquakes very definitely do occur inside the Puget Sound Basin, our region is threatened by a type of earthquake that is MUCH more dangerous.

The Puget Sound faults are some fractures/breaks in the Earth's crust where earthquakes have happened in the past.

However, the Earth's surface is divided into massive regions that scientists call Plates:

Now please work with your group and suggest just how that process of plate motion occurs in our area:

Notice this earth moment is MASSIVE. This type of earthquake is called a Subduction Zone earthquake... Why is that?

Notice that the Cascadia Subduction Zone stretches from the middle of British Columbia all the way down to Northern California.

When it *slips* a section or perhaps the entire zone will... well... SLIP! That means billions and billions and billions of tons of rock moving at once along a line hundreds of miles long.

The result is a catastrophic even that we are only just starting to prepare for.

Let's take a gander at THIS (espanol)

Reading/Discussion (11:15 - 11:45)

Get a National Geographic, Scientific American or Smithsonian Magazine and find a picture that *resonates* with you.

Write a *thoughtful* paragraph (IQIA, 3 - 5 thoughtful sentences) on why that pictures resonates (is meaningful) for you.

Let's share a few

Lunch (11:45 - 12:15)
12:15 - 2:15

OPENING QUESTIONS: Compare (explain how they are similar) the formation of an imprint fossil with the formation of a fossil by permineralization

OBJECTIVE:  I will be able to simulate how minerals replace bones/calcium by permineralization in today's activity.


  • Fossil ("A rock record of formerly living organism")
  • Imprint Fossil (?)
  • Permineralization (?)


  • This is.... What type of fossil?


    How do you know?




    Notice the different color of the 'bones' -- the minerals in the water/mud/silt/sediment replaced the calcium in the bones in a process called permineralization



    You should be able to outline ALL of these steps...


    As well as fill in the 'missing' parts between step #2 and step #3

    Now let's work on this activity!



    I'm hoping that you are getting particularly itchy to start chipping into our rocks!!!

    Before you do that, however, everyone in your group has to demonstrate understanding of:

    1) The Green River formation in Wyoming, and why that is such a prolific place to find fossils

    2) How a fish fossil is formed (these are the most common form of fossil in Green River Formation rocks

    3) (MOST IMPORTANTLY) a documented (written) plan that shows in exquisite detail how you plan to excavate your rocks. That includes:

      1. Your method
      2. Your tools
      3. How you plan to keep your work area clean
      4. How and where you plan to store your rocks
      5. How you plan to dispose of your pieces