The Dead Zone: Activity #3

The Dead Zone

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Activity #3: Constructing a master location map using transects and stations – Student groups

Whole class

In the field, scientists take samples in a methodical way along the same transect lines and station sites. Data are often presented on a map of the study area. For studies that cover a large area, data collecting stations can be plotted by latitude and longitude. The class will construct a master map with transects and stations labeled. This map will be used for Activities #4 and 5.

Each student will:

  • Use latitude and longitude to plot his/her station location(s) on a master map.


  • Grades 6-8: G-6-M
  • Grades 9-12: G-3-H
  • Skills: Measuring, communicating, geography, interpreting data, math, formulating models and using data


  • Station data sheets
  • Ruler
  • Pencils, colored pencils
  • Graph paper
  • Enlarged map of Louisiana’s offshore area with grid and longitude and latitude labeled.

(* Need help Changing Latitude & Longitude to Distance Units?)


  1. Each student plots and labels his/her station location on the class master map. These locations will be used for Activities #4 and 5.
  2. Students will check station plots for correct location.

Note: When you are mapping, remember, the latitude and longitude on the data sheet are presented as degrees, minutes and hundredths of a minute only. For example, 28: 52.56′ reads 28E and 52.56 minutes (not 52 minutes and 56 seconds).


  1. What kind of errors are possible while plotting latitude and longitude?