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Photo by Jill Pelto

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Jill Pelto Gallery


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Biology, Visual and Performing Arts

Resource Type

  • Artwork

Regional Focus


"Habitat Degradation: Ocean Acidification"

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  • In this watercolor and colored pencil piece, scientist and artist Jill Pelto uses ocean pH data to illustrate how ocean acidification affects marine species like clownfish. 
  • The text below the artwork will help students understand why ocean acidification makes it difficult for clownfish to survive. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students will learn that ocean acidification is destabilizing the ocean ecosystem.
  • The linked references provide more information on the effects of ocean acidification on marine species.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the following concepts: habitat degradation, pH levels, carbonic acid, and carbon emissions.


  • In art classes, students could analyze how Pelto used color, line, and negative space to convey the clownfish's loss of habitat.
  • In science classes, students could research other marine species that are having difficulty adapting to the increase in pH levels and make a poster or piece of digital artwork to showcase how ocean acidification impacts the species.
  • Other resources on this topic include this experiment that shows students why ocean acidification occurs, and this lesson plan and video on the relationship between CO2 and the acidity of water.
Scientist Notes
This resource shows the influence of human activities on ocean acidification, which impacts marine resources negatively. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
      • HS-LS2-6 Evaluate the claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • Visual and Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard B3 - Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
      • D.B3.6-8adv Analyze why and how an exhibition or collection may influence ideas, beliefs, and experiences.
    • Visual Arts: Standard C1 - Perceive and analyze artistic work.
      • D.C1.9-12prof.a Hypothesize ways in which art influences perception and understanding of human experiences.
    • Visual Arts: Standard C2 - Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
      • D.C2.9-12prof Construct interpretations of artwork, supported by relevant and sufficient evidence found both in the work and in various contexts.
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