WEBCAST: Global Change - Reading Ocean Fossils

Watch the archive of the webcast featuring paleobiologist Dr. Brian Huber. In the show, Brian explains why tiny organisms called foraminifera are great indicators of changes in global environmental conditions.

Smithsonian Science How: Global Change - Reading Ocean Fossils

Featuring Paleobiologist Brian Huber

Meet Dr. Brian Huber, paleobiologist at the National Museum of Natural History. Brian specializes in tiny organisms called foraminifera (forams) that are great indicators of global changes. How can a microscopic organism that most people have never seen be so useful? Take a journey with Brian to find out how forams can tell stories about conditions on Earth millions of years ago. See how fossilized forams are collected from deep oceans and Antarctic ice. Visit an ice-covered place that used to be warm enough for marine reptiles to survive. Consider what Brian's findings suggest for future conditions on Earth, including global climate. 

Watch a recording of the Feb. 12, 2015, webcast using the video player above. The show aligns with national science standards.

How do you participate in the webcast program?

1. WATCH the archive video above

        2. VIEW the "Webcast Extra" video blog, in which Brian answers more student questions

        3. Get TEACHING RESOURCES for the webcast

        4. Design an ASSESSMENT for your students


The Global Change - Reading Ocean Fossils Webcast package supports students in meeting the following middle school NGSS Performance Expectations by offering a set of resources that integrate science concepts with science practice skills.

MS-ESS1 Earth's Place in the Universe

  • MS-ESS1-4 Construct a scientific explanation based on evidence from rock strata for how the geologic time scale is used to organize Earth's 4.6-billion-year-old-history

MS-ESS2 Earth's Systems

  • MS-ESS2-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales

MS-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity

  • MS-LS4-1 Analyze and interpret data for patterns in the fossil record that document the existence, diversity, extinction, and change of life forms throughout the history of life on Earth under the assumption that natural laws operate today as in the past
  • MS-LS4-2 Apply scientific ideas to construct an explanation for the anatomical similarities and differences among modern organisms and between modern and fossil organisms to infer evolutionary relationships