Deepwater Canyons 2012: Pathways to the Abyss

Expedition Education Module

Ocean Explorer Expedition Education ModOcean Explorer Expedition Education Modules (EEM) are designed to reach out in new ways to teachers, students, and the general public, and share the excitement of daily at-sea discoveries and the science behind NOAA’s major ocean exploration initiatives with the people around the world. The Deepwater Canyons 2012 - Pathways to the Abyss expedition offers a unique opportunity to engage explorers of all ages as we continue our journeys to parts of our ocean planet that few have seen – submarine canyons of the U.S. mid-Atlantic continental slope.

A summary of why scientists and educators are interested in exploring this area and what we might learn from our efforts in this region as we strive to further understand the 95% of our planet that is virtually unexplored.

Expedition Purpose

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 Classroom Lessons

A collection of lesson plans for students in grades 5-12 has been specifically designed for this expedition. You will also find links to other lesson plans residing on the Ocean Explorer website that have been developed for previous NOAA expeditions, and have content that relates to the Deepwater Canyons 2012 - Pathways to the Abyss expedition.

Next Generation Science Standards

Next Generation Science Standards

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Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Mathematics where appropriate.

Common Core State Standards

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Lessons and learning tools relevant to the expedition.

Additional Lessons

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 Multimedia Discovery Missions

The Multimedia Discovery Mission Demos are a series of 14 interactive multimedia presentations and learning activities that address topics ranging from Chemosynthesis and Hydrothermal Vent Life and Deep-sea Benthos to Food, Water and Medicine from the Sea.


 OceanAGE Careers

Ocean Careers to Inspire Another Generation of Explorers, or OceanAGE Careers, invites students to learn about the talented people who explore our ocean planet.


 Related Information

The web links below are provided for informational purposes only. Links outside of Ocean Explorer have been checked at the time of this page's publication, but the linking sites may become outdated or non-operational over time.


Davies, A. J., G. C. A. Duineveld, M. S. S. Lavaleye, M. J. N. Bergman, H. van Haren, and J. M. Roberts, 2009. Downwelling and deep-water bottom currents as food supply mechanisms to the cold-water coral Lophelia pertusa (Scleractinia) at the Mingulay Reef complex. Limnol. Oceanogr. 54(2):620–629.

De Leo, F. C., C. R. Smith, A. A. Rowden, D. A. Bowden, and M. R. Clark. 2010. Submarine canyons: hotspots of benthic biomass and productivity in the deep sea. Proc. Biol. Sci. 277(1695):2783-2792.

Hecker, B. and G. Blechschmidt. 1979. Final Historical Coral Report for the Canyon Assessment Study in the Mid- and North-Atlantic Areas of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. Manuscript report prepared for U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management. Washington, DC.