Education and Outreach

The Coral Literature, Education and Outreach (CLEO) project leverages techniques developed at NOAA/AOML under the Explorer of the Seas, and several CHAMP Programs.

The Educational Modules below have been developed primarily for middle school classes. Each module consists of three segments: background information (science behind the instrument), classroom experiment (experiment to test parameter instrument measures), and teacher's section (describes the Educational Objectives / National Science Standards, Preliminary Activities / Demonstrations, Suggestions for teaching the concept, and Follow-up or Extension Activities for the class.).

Educational Modules

Coral Spawning

Coral Spawning

Coral Bleaching

Coral Bleaching

brain coral and sea fan, FKNMS

Effects of CO2 on Coral Reefs


What is the CLEO Program?The CLEO Program leverages techniques developed at NOAA/AOML under the Explorer of the Seas, Coral Health and Monitoring Program, and Integrated Coral Observing Network.

Coral Spawning -- BackgroundReef-building corals reproduce in many different ways, but in order to make a completely new and genetically different offspring, all corals must go through these basic steps: gametes (sperm and egg cells) are produced, released by the parent corals, and then combine to form a planula, or "baby coral."

Coral Spawning -- Student ActivityNearly all the colonies on a reef spawn in a single night, with neighboring colonies spawning just a day or two before or after. Is this an advantage to the corals in some way? Is there a way we can test this pattern of reproduction statistically?

Coral Bleaching -- BackgroundWhen a coral bleaches, it loses its zooxanthellae, which are microscopic algae that work like an internal symbiotic vegetable garden, carrying out photosynthesis and providing nutrients to the coral. When zooxanthellae are lost, corals appear white, or "bleached."