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Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Teachers' Curriculum
"The Land-Sea Connection"

Cover | Table of Contents | Introduction | Background | Investigation 1 | Investigation 2
Glossary | Teacher Resources | Curriculum Evaluation | Credits

Letter of Introduction

August 2000

Dear Educator:

The teacher curriculum "The Land-Sea Connection" was developed to complement a full-color, bathymetric & topographic map of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. This curriculum will increase your students understanding of science and geography, and also introduce them to the excitement of real-time underwater exploration. We invite you and your students to join the Sustainable Seas Expedition, a deep sea research mission, via the Internet, discuss marine policy and management in the classroom, and conduct a monitoring transect within the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Some of the content included in this guide was adapted from the 1999 Sustainable Seas Expeditions Teacher Resource Book. We highly recommend use of the SSE Teacher Resource Book as it contains many more ideas and activities for enriching and supplementing your science curriculum. The guide is available at website:

Curriculum learning objectives include

  • using a topographic map as a tool for recognizing geophysical features of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, and its biological and cultural resources
  • exploring the connection between our land-based actions and the health of the oceans
  • being introduced to the concept and technology of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and the use of geographic overlays to answer spatial questions.

Highlights of the state-of-the-art map include

  • special characteristics of seafloor bathymetry and land topography
  • coastal watershed features that connect to the Sanctuary
  • never-before-seen features of the Monterey Canyon
  • urban development and agricultural areas
  • cities & roads, mountains & valleys, seamounts & canyons

To request a printed copy of the map and curriculum, please contact the MBNMS at (831) 647-4201 or

We welcome your comments, suggestions and feedback via the included evaluation, by email, or by phone. On August 16, 2000, a group of teachers and marine educators met to evaluate and revise this draft guide, and share their ideas for additional activities. We hope to build upon those ideas, and produce a final and more expansive edition of this curriculum.

The largest and deepest of the marine sanctuaries, Monterey Bay, spans more than 5,300 square miles of wave-swept beaches, lush kelp forests, and steep canyons filled with life ranging from tiny plants to huge blue whales. We hope the new map and curriculum will help your students increase their understanding of the extraordinary environment and resources of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. More information may be found at

Best wishes,
Education Staff

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Reviewed: September 08, 2023
Web Site Owner: National Ocean Service

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