Bathymetric Mapping and Underwater Ecosystem Health

Lesson ⑤

Field Trip Introduction



  • Image of Castable sonar/GPS unit
  • Picture of bathymetric map from the Castable sonar/GPS unit (use your own or the one provided Appendix 6)
  • Coral reef bathymetry video (


  • Completed Spheres Map from Lesson 3
  • The Sea and Me Sheet `(Appendix 5)
  • Science Notebook


Show students a video/picture of the Castable sonar/GPS unit you plan to use for bathymetric mapping to come.

Questions to discuss:

  • What do you think this device is used for?
  • How is this connected to what we have learned?


Give students some time to explore the image created by the unit as well as the unit itself. Then, show them the coral reef bathymetry video. Have them come to a conclusion about what it is and what the unit does.


Have a discussion with students about the importance of this technology.

  • Why do they think it’s important in understanding underwater ecosystems?
  • Why was this technology important in relation to the Great Barrier Reef?

Explain to students the use for the device. Let them know that in the coming weeks they will be taking a trip to the local underwater ecosystem to map and survey the area.


Have students write in their journals about how they think using the device will give them more accurate information about the ecosystem.

What do they think they might learn?


Use the discussion as an assessment tool.