Kids Walking

Goose Barnacle


In 1990 the National Park Service commissioned the National Biological Service to study the Cabrillo National Monument intertidal zone. The purpose of the study is to measure the impact of public visitation and other human activities in the San Diego metropolitan area. The Goose Barnacle (Pollicipes polymerus) is among the 13 key species being monitored semi-annually. Every spring and fall the scientists collect information about Goose Barnacles from the Cabrillo tidepools.

Your team's job...

You are now part of scientific team. You and your teammates will research and investigate Goose Barnacles much like the scientists at the Cabrillo tidepools do. You will perform the same measurments and compare your information to actual data collected during the Cabrillo intertidal zone study. Each member of your team has a specific role:
Goose Barnacle
Goose Barnacles
(click to enlarge)
Your team has four main assignments:
  1. Research and gather information about the Goose Barnacle.
  2. Analyze photoplot slides of Goose Barnacles.
  3. Draft a scientific report.
  4. Present your findings at the scientific conference.
Your efforts will be assessed according to two evaluation rubrics:

Resources you can use...

Write a scientific report.

Your team must draft a scientific report. The report will be assessed according to a
Scientific Report Rubric. Print a copy of the rubric so that your team can refer to it as you complete your report. Also, you can download a template in ClarisWorks or Word 6.0 for your team to use. The template includes content suggestions for six main areas:
Cabrillo National Monument tidepools at high tide.

Cabrillo National Monument tidepools at low tide.
  1. Introduction
    • What is this report about?
    • Why is your team writing this report?
    • What should readers expect to learn from it?

  2. Research
    • What is a tidepool?
    • Where are they located?
    • What type of plants and animals live there?
    • What makes tidepools such a unique ecosystem?
    • What does the moon have to do with tidepools?
    • Why is it important to study tidepools and tidepool species?
    • Give a detailed description of your team's tidepool species.
    • To what family classification does this species belong?
    • Where do they live?
    • What zone in the tidepool do they occupy?
    • How long do they live?
    • What do they eat?
    • What eats them?
    • How do they reproduce?
    • What are some interesting facts about this species?
    • And so on...

  3. Purpose/Problem
    • What is the problem?
    • Why are scientists conducting a study at the Cabrillo Monument tidepools?
    • How long has this study been occurring?
    • Why are scientists studying your team's tidepool species?
    • Why is it important to study your team's species?
    • Why do the scientists sample in the spring and fall?
    • Why do they gather information from more than one photoplot site?
    • And so on...

  4. Procedure
    Explain how your team collected data from the photoplot slides.
    1. Step one.
    2. Step two.
    3. Step three.
    4. Step four.
    5. Step five.
    6. And so on...

  5. Data & Results
    Keep accurate records.

    Photoplot #_____
    Date Percent Cover (%)

    Graph the data.

  6. Conclusion
    • Review both slides of photoplot number 274S. As time passes, what do you observe about the percent cover of your team's species?
    • What does this tell you about this species at Cabrillo?
    • What can the results of this study tell us about other tidepool species?
    • How can studying tidepools help us to learn about other ecosystems?
    • What does your team recommend doing to protect the tidepools?
    • And so on...

Share what you have learned.

Share your important findings at the scientific conference. Assign each team member a section of your scientific report to present at the conference. Remember, how well you work together as a team will be assessed according to a Collaboration Rubric.
Return to the Cabrillo Tidepool Study page.