I would like to thank Mr. Christopher and the Delaware Sea Grant for making my Oceanography Merit badge possible! https://www.deseagrant.org/
When I did oceanography merit badge at University of Delaware, I got to do lots of cool things! The visit included not only going to the University, but to the dock where we could see the ocean and do some tests. In the beginning, we put a zooplankton net out. We connected a net with the container to capture the plankton and dropped it into the water on a rope connected to an “arm” that we pushed out.
We then threw a grapefruit into the water to test how fast the current was. We did this by timing how long it took to travel from one end of the dock to the other. That was really cool.
We also checked the wind speed on the dock. We held up a meter and recorded the data.
We put a trap in the water, and caught tons of cool things, like oysters, muscles, fish, grass shrimp, and crabs. We got to dig through the muck to find the different types of sea life. We spread the contents out on the dock and put one sample into the bucket and returned the rest to the sea.
We also estimated the cloud over. To do this, we put our backs together and counted what we could see. We then made an estimate and added them together.
We brought the zooplankton and our catches to the lab and looked at them under microscopes. We could see many things moving super-fast in the water under the microscope that we could not see with just our eyes.
We also got a tour of the Ocean studies building. The walls in the building tell a story by the murals. The murals tell about some of the students that have gone there and what they have done.
I didn’t realize how much technology is part of oceanography. They use Google earth and the satellites to map the ocean floor. They have mapped more of the ocean floor recently because of technology than they ever could before. We also talked about how the track animals by tagging them. One of our favorite parts was to find out that penguins are not afraid of humans and new population growth is happening.
We got to see lots of cool things, and learn lots about Delaware and their history in Oceanography. We got to go by labs that NASA has things in too!
We also looks at fish tanks, and one had pufferfish. They were so adorable! There were two tanks and we learned that they capture the fish and then return them later.
We learned about horseshoe crabs. Their tail is to help them flip themselves over. Their blood can be used to make medicine and is very expensive.
We learned there a lots of jobs in oceanography. There are job not only as a researcher, but teachers, IT, divers, boat/craft drivers, fishers, weathermen and more.
This was my first trip to the Atlantic Ocean. It is amazing how different it is from the fresh water lakes where I live.
I had so much fun, and learned a lot during my oceanography merit badge.