Cue Plankton: Ocean Timekeepers

Cue Plankton: Ocean Timekeepers is a lesson developed for high school students to explore a particular species of zooplankton, a copepod, known as Pleuromamma xiphias. The lesson looks at the process of diel vertical migration (DVM) and an organism’s ability to demonstrate predictable, daily cycles of fluctuation, known as circadian rhythms. The purpose of the lesson is to understand the structure of the water column at one of BIOS’s spatial stations, Hydrostation ‘S’, in the Sargasso Sea. The lesson explores circadian rhythms and timing of fecal pellet production by P. xiphas. Students will utilize the freeware ‘Image J’ to analyze photographs taken from a research cruise at BIOS in March 2019.

Check out the lesson plan, worksheetCTD Data, and fecal pellet stack data. Educational resources were supported by NSF grant #1829318.

High Dive into the Data

Access Data on BCO-DMO

Brief Description….

  • How to
  • Access the
  • Datasets
  • on BCO-DMO

How were the data collected?

  • Ship: R/V Atlantic Explorer
  • Location: Hydrostation S
  • Lat/Lon: 55oN, 75oW
  • Oceanographic Tool: MOCNESS Trawl

Description of data collection method goes here. Not super detailed but educating folks on the types of sampling that happens on a ship at a very high level.

Multimedia Resources


Descriptive text here

The Great Carbon Elevator

Descriptive text here about this neat infographic

Video: Dr Maas

In this StoriesXFuture video, Dr. Amy Maas explains how innovation and technology help ocean scientists study plankton, the tiny guys who matter a lot. Check out the video on YouTube!


Samples collected during a MOCNESS trawl are poured through a sieve.

Photo Gallery