Underwater Forests: Kelp Ecosystems – Early Semester


    “All the information was presented in an easy-to-follow manner, but if someone had a question, the answer or resources were as in-depth as possible. I was particularly fascinated by the relations between kelp forest ecosystems and other ecosystems. The instructor did a great job making an interesting topic even better.”
    ~ Student M.R.

    Please note: Prof. Emma’s schedule is currently in flux. If this course’s time needs to be changed (possible, although unlikely), parents will be notified.



    Step 1: Register Your Student

    Step 2: Enroll Your Registered Student

    InstructorProf. Emma Stein
    Content LevelsGrades 6-7 • Middle School
    Grades 7-8 • Junior High
    Grades 9-10 • Lower High School
    Course Length8 weeks
    Live Webinars Held OnThursdays, 10:00 - 10:50 AM Pacific - 8/15/24 - 10/11/24

    How can there be a forest underwater? What lives there? How are underwater forests affected by their organisms? How can underwater forests live in some places but not others?

    Find out the answers to these questions and more in this eight-week workshop!

    Underwater Forests will explore the different types of kelp that create these ecosystems and the different types of organisms they support—both offshore and onshore. Underwater forests are extremely influential systems! We’ll look closely at the miniature ecosystem found on each kelp individual and how kelp individuals interact with each other. We will also explore how kelp ecosystems are influenced by abiotic (non-living) and biotic (living) factors.

    Spoiler alert: An underwater forest isn’t only kelp!

    For a list of scientific skills students will develop, see the What to Expect tab.

    What to expect in the Required section in the classroom each week:

    • One research forum—in which students will be given the opportunity to consider the week’s topic.
    • One activity forum—in which students can show their creativity through an activity.

    What to expect in the Highly Suggested & Optional sections in the classroom each week:

    • Curated resources, including websites & videos, are provided to excite learners and to add depth to the subject matter.

    What to expect during the weekly webinar:

    • Weekly webinars are 50 minutes long. Webinars are recorded and are available for students with schedule conflicts.
    • Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars.
    • Active Participation (via the microphone and chat) in online class discussions.
    • An activity at the end of the webinar.

    Scientific skills students will develop:

    • Awareness of factors, organisms, and commonly referenced vocabulary surrounding kelp forests.
    • Knowledge of what is considered abiotic and biotic factors.
    • Awareness of how ecosystems are linked to other ecosystems and their environments.
    • Researching using general Internet sources.
    • General scientific literacy and understanding, including an understanding of current techniques and research.

    Before taking this course, students should be able to: 

    • Read at a solid 5th-grade level or above.
    • Write a few sentences independently.

    Students should be willing to:

    • Actively participate (via the microphone) in the class discussion.
    • Encourage class discussion by adding their questions/ideas in the chat window during the webinar.
    • Respond with positive and encouraging comments on their classmates’ posts in the classroom forums.

    Required books & materials:

    • Weekly readings will be online, no textbook required.