Arctic Ocean Biodiversity

This learning module was created in collaboration between Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) and the Fish Eye Project in conjunction with the C3 expedition. To celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, Canada C3 embarked on a signature project - a 150-day sailing journey from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage that is connecting Canadians from coast to coast to coast.

Due to the extreme terrestrial environmental conditions in the Arctic, species biodiversity can be a challenging concept to teach. However, from a marine perspective the Arctic ocean is bursting with life. As a way to highlight the diveristy of Arctic marine species to citizens across Canada (and the world), the Fish Eye Project live streamed an educational dive in Cambridge on August 27th, 2017 as one of the C3 celebrations. The lesson below can be paired with the recorded dive video to take students beneath the waves and into the beautiful and stunning world of the Arctic Ocean. Further, this learning module uses real data from a SCUBA diving transect study done by the Vancouver Aquarium and Polar Knowledge Canada in 2016 (Heywood 2016). Species found in that study are used to teach the concept of biodiversity as well as how scientists conduct their research and calculate biodiversity.

To learn more about the Fish Eye Project and the Arctic Live Dive review the following:

Activity 1 - Are You Abundant or Rich? This lesson explores the difference between species abundance (many individuals of one species) and species richness (many species, independent of the number of individuals) by asking students to collect coloured cards through a game-like activity.

Activity 2 - Transects and Quadrats: This lesson explores the use of transects and quadrats as tools for cataloging and documenting species in a given area. Students will gain an understanding about the differences between the methods using each tool and explore examples of arctic species, especially those found in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.



Grade Level

  • Elementary
  • High School
  • Middle School


Author Name: 

Ocean Networks Canada

Updated Date

Jun 12, 2018 11:45am PDT

Created Date

Sep 27, 2017 3:56pm PDT