Skip to Content

Is Iron Fertilization Good for the Sea?


Author(s)

LeLeng To Issacs (rr)
Biological Sciences
Goucher College
leto@goucher.edu

Abstract

This case study describes experiments to seed the ocean with iron to encourage algae growth. It explores how human activities contribute to greenhouse effects and global warming, proposals to potentially counteract these effects and make the ocean more productive for commercial fishing, and the issues and possible unintended consequences of such activities. The case is appropriate for introductory biology, ecology, environmental biology, microbiology, and environmental microbiology classes as well as courses dealing with environmental policy.


Objectives

  • To examine how human activities contribute to greenhouse effects and global warming.
  • To show the importance of microbes in biogeochemical cycling.
  • To consider the potential ramifications of ecosystem-scale experiments.
  • To consider some potential environmental effects of agriculture and aquaculture.
  • To appreciate the impact that human activities have on other species.
  • To guide students through decision making by analyzing information and incorporating concepts learned from the classroom and assigned readings.
  • To consider the gap in our current scientific knowledge regarding long-term iron fertilization and the proposed commercialization by Ocean Farming, Inc.
  • To formulate a global policy regarding the generation of CO2 and other greenhouse gases by different countries

Keywords

Iron fertilization; global warming; climate change; ocean; sea; greenhouse effect; carbon dioxide; environmental decision making

Topical Areas

Ethics, Policy issues

Educational Level

Undergraduate lower division

Format

PDF

Type / Methods

Debate, Dilemma/Decision, Discussion, Role-Play

Language

English

Subject Headings

Environmental Science  |   Ecology  |   Microbiology  |   Biology (General)  |   Marine Science / Oceanography  |   Natural Resource Management  |  


Date Posted

09/21/00

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience, details about how the case may be taught, and a list of references and resources.

Answer Key

Answer keys for the cases in our collection are password-protected and access to them is limited to paid subscribed instructors. To become a paid subscriber, begin the process by registering.

Comments