Vintage/Retired GS badges and memorabilia
Oceanography Oceanography: The science that deals with oceans, the physics and chemistry of their water, marine biology and the uses of the ocean’s resources.
To earn this Badge, complete at least SIX of the following activities:
1. Oceanography includes the study of plant and animal life in the oceans, the study of ocean currents and many other things. Make a display of or list the different things that oceanographers study.
2. Explore and experiment with the way water carries things, like sand grains, and what happens to them when they are left behind. Do at least one of the following activities:
a) Shake up a jar of water with some sand, gravel, silt, small shells, and/or clay. Observe which things settle first and how the layers of sediment form. Why do you think this happens?
b) Make a long trench using wood or metal and plastic. Place some gravel, sand, silt, small shells, and pieces of wood at one end. Use a hose to simulate a stream. Does the speed of the water affect the amount and size of material carried by the water? Try raising one end. Does this affect what is carried by the water? What about the amount of water? Try pushing the material up a slope using water, the way oceans do. What do you observe?
c) Most ocean water is not perfectly clear. Find out what causes cloudiness in water. You may need to use a filter, plankton net, magnifying glass or even a microscope.
3. Visit the Coast. Look closely along the shoreline for debris such as shells, pebbles, plants, bottles, beach glass (pieces of glass that have been polished smooth by the sea), and decaying matter. Where did these things come from? How did they get there and what is likely to happen to them? What are flotsam and jetsam? Investigate how pollution is affecting a bay or the ocean. What are the long and short-term effects of this pollution? Participate in or organize a beach or river clean-up. (Follow Safety-Wise activity considerations.)
4. Do one of the following: a) Learn about and describe ocean waves. Where do waves get their energy? What accounts for the different types of waves? How do different kinds of waves affect the coastline? What accounts for the different kinds of beaches (rocky coasts, tide pools, sand dunes, for example)? Draw pictures or make a display to show what you have learned.
-or- b) Observe waves in motion. If you cannot go to really see the following structures, make a model of a beach to help you discover what effect waves have on the shoreline. Observe how the effects of waves on the shoreline may be altered by a jetty (a wall that is built out into a body of water), a groin (a short wall built at right angles to the shore to trap moving sand), or a breakwater (a structure protecting the shore from breaking waves). Observe the changes in the behavior of the waves.
5. Do one of the following: a) Phytoplankton and zooplankton are microscopic plants and animals. They are eaten by a great many larger animals. Make a food chain illustrating the importance of plankton to sea life. Expand it into a food web that includes examples of both sea and land creatures.
-or- b) Make a plankton net. Tow the net from a dock, wade with it, hold it in a current, or tow it behind a boat for about twenty minutes. (Follow Safety-Wise activity considerations.) Examine what you have caught under a microscope or high-powered magnifying glass. Identify and draw the three most common types of plankton in the sample.
6. Do one of the following: a) Explore plant and animal life along the shores and mudflats of a coastal shoreline. Learn how the estuarine ecosystem supports the abundant life found here. Collect and observe a ghost shrimp and a shore crab. List 3 unique characteristics of the estuary.
-or- b) Travel to a sandy coast beach to discover the plants and animals that live there. Investigate where you would fi nd at least 2 different types of organisms that inhabit that inhabit the sand. (Examples include razor clams, sand crabs, amphipods, isopods, mysids and blood worms.)
-or- c) Prepare a display, talk or activity that talks about at least 2 hazards that exist on the coast. Describe what you would do to avoid and/or react to these hazards. Examples of natural hazards that pose a threat on the coast include sneaker waves, earthquakes, tsunamis, and coastal landslides.
7. Do one of the following: a) Measure and record the water temperature one-foot below the surface of a body of water three or four times daily, at the same time each day, for six consecutive days. Measure and record the air temperature at the same times. Record the cloud cover and roughness of the water surface. Show your fi ndings on a graph. How does water temperature change with respect to air temperature? What other conclusions can you draw?
-or- b) Make a tide stick. Take a four-foot stick and mark it every six inches. Push it into sand in shallow water and record where the water level is. Check every half-hour to see how the depth has changed. Chart or graph your results. Learn how to read a tide chart. Find out what the tides are for a particular beach for a week.
8. Make a list of some of the endangered species that live in or depend heavily upon the ocean. Research at least one of these species, and include a drawing or picture, a description, why it is endangered, and what, if anything, is being done to protect the species and its habitat.
9. Do one of the following: • Visit the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center, located in Newport, Oregon. • Visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon. • Visit a tide pool.
10. Do one of the following: a) Make a list of careers that relate to oceanography. Learn about the different types of training or education needed to do these jobs.
-or- b) Arrange to meet a professional in the fi eld of oceanography. Meet with this person at his or her place of employment, or have the person come to a troop meeting.
-or- c) Research a scientist who has made an important contribution in the field of oceanography. Interview the scientist in person or by phone, letter, or e-mail, if possible.
11. Hike a mile on the Oregon Coast Trail and observe how the coastline changes in different areas.