Storm Tracking Science

A Lesson from the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

About this Lesson

During the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan, Dr. Lisa Gilbert led shipboard science projects, gathering information on the weather, water, birds, mammals and even trash encountered along the way. Dr. Gilbert and her assistants, the 38th Voyagers used modern instruments like GPS to determine location and a microscope to analyze plankton.  They recorded observations in a log much like the ones used by generations of seafarers before them.

Inspired by the 38th Voyage, graduate student Alexandra McInturf and Dr. Gilbert created a new science unit for middle school teachers.  The six lessons in the unit merge history with science to encourage an enduring interdisciplinary connection between modern marine science and the experience of the nineteenth-century whaler. 

This lesson, "Storm Tracking Science" is the third of six lessons in the unit "Science on the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan," funded in part by Williams College.

Learning Objectives for this Lesson: 

- Students understand and are able to visualize the water cycle and how it relates to atmospheric circulation

- Students are able to relate atmospheric circulation and pressure to weather patterns

- Students are able to predict the conditions for natural hazards based on their understanding of atmospheric circulation and the formation of storms

- Students are able to use real-life data as evidence for the motions and interactions of air masses

Next Generation Science Standards:

1.-MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.

2.-MS-ESS2-5. Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.


Created By
Alexandra McInturf, Lisa Gilbert
Grade Level
3-5, 6-8
General Interest, Science

Links to Lesson PDFs

The Lesson

Storm Tracking Science : A Lesson from the 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

Supplements to the Lesson