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OCEANOGRAPHY MERIT BADGE

SCOUTMASTER BUCKY CLASS PREPARATION PAGE

Return to Oceanography Merit Badge Page

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

 

Please arrive with ample time prior to the start time of your class for registration.  Remember there will be others checking in as well and depending on the size of the class and the event the class is being held in conjunction with that registration may take a little time.
 

You should bring a blue card filled out properly for this class. (Scoutmaster Bucky Online participants - you should have forwarded your Blue card to Scoutmaster Bucky prior to the class via email or postal mail Scoutmaster Bucky - 5724 Aldrich Avenue South  Minneapolis, Minnesota  55419.) If you are not familiar with how to fill out a blue card, you should familiarize yourself with Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card" document. Click here for Scoutmaster Bucky's "How To Fill Out A Blue Card".  Remember it is a Scout's responsibility to take care of their own blue card from beginning to end.


Your Scout Uniform is required to be worn for attending this Merit Badge session.   If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact Brian Reiners; Scoutmaster Bucky via email or on the phone at 612-483-0665.

Reviewing the merit badge pamphlet PRIOR to attending and doing preparation work will insure that Scouts get the most out of these class opportunities. The merit badge pamphlet is a wealth of information that can make earning a merit badge a lot easier. It contains many of the answers and solutions needed or can at least provide directions as to where one can find the answers.  It is NOT acceptable to come unprepared to a Scoutmaster Bucky event.

You can (and should) use the Scoutmaster Bucky Oceanography Merit Badge Workbook to help get a head start and organize your preparation work. You can download the Scoutmaster Bucky Oceanography Merit Badge Workbook by clicking here.  If this link is not working please check the internet for other merit badge workbook options.

It should be noted that this merit badge class is not meant for those who just want to come and see what they can get done. It is possible to complete this merit badge by being properly prepared and having done the preparation work prior to the class. Preparation is a MUST.

 

 

OCEANOGRAPHY MERIT BADGE SPECIFICS

 

Things to remember to bring for this Merit Badge Class:

1. Merit Badge Blue Card properly filled out and signed off by your Scoutmaster

2. Oceanography Merit Badge Pamphlet

3. Scout Uniform

4. Supporting documentation or project work pertinent to this merit badge which may also include a Merit Badge Workbook for reference with notes

5. A positive Scouting focus and attitude

Following is an outline of the class to help you prepare.  Note that Scouts will be signed off only on those requirements that the Merit Badge Counselor determines meets the requirements; no more no less  This Merit Badge should not be expected to be earned without preparation and work

 

1. Name four branches of oceanography. Describe at least five reasons why it is important for people to learn about the oceans.

Scouts should have this written out to show the counselor that some thought and research has gone into this requirement and Scouts should be prepared to describe their findings.

 

2. Define salinity, temperature, and density, and describe how these important properties of seawater are measured by the physical oceanographer. Discuss the circulation and currents of the ocean. Describe the effects of the oceans on weather and climate.

Scouts should make notes to assist them with the definitions during the class and be prepared for discussion. Scouts will not automatically be signed off on this requirement just for attending as the requirement states that they must discuss and describe a number of items and will be required to partake in group and/or individual discussion to obtain credit.

 

3. Describe the characteristics of ocean waves. Point out the differences among the storm surge, tsunami, tidal wave, and tidal bore. Explain the difference between sea, swell, and surf. Explain how breakers are formed.

Scouts should formulate a written answer for this requirement prior to the class and be ready to explain their work as a part of classroom discussion.

 

4. Draw a cross-section of underwater topography. Show what is meant by:

a. Continental shelf

b. Continental slope

c. Abyssal plain

Name and put on your drawing the following: seamount, guyot, rift valley, canyon, trench, and oceanic ridge. Compare the depths in the oceans with the heights of mountains on land

While a good portion of this requirement will be covered in class, Scouts are highly encouraged to work on their drawing thru the use of the Merit Badge Pamphlet and other sources to have as much of this requirement done prior to the class.  There will only be a small amount of time available for Scouts to complete any drawings during the class.

 

5. List the main salts, gases, and nutrients in sea water. Describe some important properties of water. Tell how the animals and plants of the ocean affect the chemical composition of seawater. Explain how differences in evaporation and precipitation affect the salt content of the oceans.

As with all the requirements, having good preparation work and notes will help insure the highest potential for completion of this requirement in the class.  Half of this requirement is preparation and research, the other half which will be facilitated in the class is the describing, telling, and explaining.  Scouts cannot complete this requirement by only doing one or the other, both parts must be done for each component. Scouts not coming to class with preparation work will find it difficult to complete this requirement on the day of the class.  Preparation is a MUST for this requirement along with active class participation during the discussion.

 

6. Describe some of the biologically important properties of seawater. Define benthos, nekton, and plankton. Name some of the plants and animals that make up each of these groups. Describe the place and importance of phytoplankton in the oceanic food chain.

Most of this requirement will be covered in class, but like all other requirements, having a general understanding of the requirement and it's components can prove to be the difference between completing the requirement in the class versus following up at another time..

 

7. Do ONE of the following:

a. Make a plankton net. Tow the net by a dock, wade with it, hold it in a current, or tow it from a rowboat (may be done in lakes or streams). Do this for about 20 minutes. Save the sample. Examine it under a microscope or high-power glass. Identify the three most common types of plankton in the sample.

b. Make a series of models (clay or plaster and wood) of a volcanic island. Show the growth of an atoll from a fringing reef through a barrier reef. Describe the Darwinian theory of coral reef formation.

c. Measure the water temperature at the surface, midwater, and bottom of a body of water four times daily for five consecutive days. You may measure depth with a rock tied to a line. Make a Secchi disk to measure turbidity (how much suspended sedimentation is in the water). Measure the air temperature. Note the cloud cover and roughness of the water. Show your findings (air and water temperature, turbidity) on a graph. Tell how the water temperature changes with air temperature.

d. Make a model showing the inshore sediment movement by littoral currents, tidal movement, and wave action. Include such formations as high and low waterlines, low tide terrace, berm, and coastal cliffs. Show how offshore bars are built up and torn down.

e. Make a wave generator. Show reflection and refraction of waves. Show how groins, jetties, and breakwaters affect these patterns.

f. Track and monitor satellite images available on the Internet for a specific location for three weeks. Describe what you have learned to your counselor.

The requirement will be covered in the class as the instructors will works with Scouts to complete one of these components.

 

8. Do ONE of the following:

a. Write a 500-word report on a book about oceanography approved by your counselor.

b. Visit one of the following:

1. Oceanographic research ship.

2. Oceanographic institute, marine laboratory, or marine aquarium.

Write a 500-word report about your visit.

c. Explain to your troop in a five minute prepared speech "Why Oceanography Is Important" or describe "Career Opportunities in Oceanography." (Before making your speech, show your speech outline to your counselor for approval).

Scouts may choose to do any of these requirements.  Time will be allotted at the end of the class to work on or review any of these options. Following are some requirement specific notes to consider.

8a - Scouts choosing this option should bring their COMPLETED report to class with them.  Please make sure the subject of the report is clearly related to the field of oceanography.  Reports should include the Scout's name and troop.  Proper report writing rules should be adhered to (check with your English teacher at school if you are uncertain).  These reports will be collected up and may be shared with others, so Scouts should make sure they make a copy for themselves prior to the class if they want to keep a copy of their work.

8b1 - Scouts choosing this option should bring their COMPLETED report to class with them.  Please make sure the report is clearly an oceanographic research ship. Reports should include the Scout's name and troop.  Proper report writing rules should be adhered to (check with your English teacher at school if you are uncertain).  These reports will be collected up and may be shared with others, so Scouts should make sure they make a copy for themselves prior to the class if they want to keep a copy of their work.

8b2 - The location of this class qualifies as an Oceanographic Institute and Scouts MAY have time at the end of the class to compose their report so this should not be expected but if time allows they may have time to compose some work.  Scouts should be aware of their writing skills as there will only be a maximum of 1/2 hour (could be slightly more or less based on the class dynamics) to accommodate for this requirement.  Those Scouts feeling that this may be a challenge are encouraged to look towards one of the other components of this requirement that they can work on PRIOR to the class.

8c - Scouts wishing to choose this component of the requirement must understand that it will NOT be possible to complete this at the class.  This is a two part requirement and only the first part will be able to be considered for completion at the class.  Also, Scouts choosing this option will not be able to get away with a couple of words in what appears to be hasty scribbles on a piece of paper.  Like the expectations for the report, Scouts should use proper writing skills and provide a proper outline and/or prepared speech (check with your English teacher at school for assistance if you are not certain).

 

9. Describe four methods that marine scientists use to investigate the ocean, underlying geology, and organisms living in the water.

Scouts should have this written out to show the counselor that some thought and research has gone into this requirement and Scouts should be prepared to describe their findings either one-on-one with the counselor or in a small group discussion with other Scouts.

 

this page last reviewed and updated - December 2015