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Tracking the Migration Using Daily Data
from California Observation Posts

Introduction

What can gray whales teach us about survival? Track this spring's gray whale migration using daily whale count data collected by research teams on the California coast. Use the resources below to record, graph and analyze the point count data collected from Observation Posts #6 (Los Angeles) and #7 (Santa Barbara). Explore the Year in Review samples for a start-to-finish look at one migration season.

 

View Data  Record Data Graph Data Analyze Data
Northbound Migration

 

Gray whale migration analysis chart

Migration Comparison Chart

How to Analyze Migration Data

How do scientists analyze migration data? They study the data they've collected, organized, and graphed. They look for patterns, make predictions, formulate hypotheses, ask questions, make comparisons, and share discoveries. Guide your students in taking the same steps that scientists take!

Here's how:
Use the Summarize and Analyze Chart to help students learn how to examine the data they collect and graph. This open-ended handout can be used in different ways. For example:

  • One week, look at the migration data to find patterns and make predictions.
  • Another week, make comparisons and pose possible explanations for differences noticed in the data.

Explore the sample sentence starters for ways to guide and support students' learning. Throughout the season, migration updates will include prompts and questions that will also help students learn how to analyze the data they collect and graph.

Gray whale migration analysis chart

Summarize and Analyze Chart

Sentence starters for data analysis: Gray whale migration data

Sentence Starters

A Year in Review: Spring Migration 2010

Explore the Year in Review samples for a start-to-finish look at one migration season.

Observation Post #6: Los Angeles

Migration Data

Spring Migration 2010: Sample graph

Sample summary and analysis: Gray Whale migration data

Sample Data Sample Graph Sample Summary
Observation Post #7: Santa Barbara Channel
Migration data spring 2011 Spring Migration 2010: Sample graph Season Summary
Sample Data Sample Graph Sample Summary

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