Steve Palumbi & Megan Morikawa Study Coral Reef Damage in American Samoa
This video describes the work of biologists Steve Palumbi and Megan Morikawa, who use field and controlled experiments to understand the mechanisms that allow some corals to tolerate a greater amount of heat stress than other corals.
Steve Palumbi has been researching corals around Ofu Island in American Samoa for years. In Ofu, some corals live in tide pools exposed to water temperatures that normally cause heat stress and can lead to coral bleaching and death. He is using transplantation and controlled laboratory experiments to study how adaptation and acclimation can contribute to resistance of these native corals. Along with graduate student Megan Morikawa, Palumbi is also testing whether heat-resistant corals can be transplanted to help restore damaged or destroyed reefs.
The accompanying “Student Worksheet” incorporates concepts and information from the video.
An audio descriptive version of the film is available via our media player.
Student Learning Targets
- Examine research practices.
- Develop scientific explanations and justify claims using evidence.
- Explain the difference between acclimation and evolutionary adaptation.
acclimation, adaptation, bleaching, marine biology, oceanography, ocean warming, restoration
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS1.C, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2.C; SEP4, SEP5
AP Biology (2019)
ENE-1.I, ENE-4.C, SYI-1.F, SYI-2.A; SP4, SP6
IB Biology (2016)
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 9.6
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-1.A, ERT-1.C, ERT-1.D, STB-4, SP1, SP4, SP5, SP6
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
Common Core (2010)
ELA.RST.9-12.7, WHST.9-12.1 Math.N-Q.1,
Math.A-CED.1, Math.A-REI.3; MP2, MP3
Vision and Change (2009)
CC1, CC5; DP2