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Living in the Ring of Fire

from Alaska SeaLife Center

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This class begins with a discussion of tectonic plate boundaries and how plate movements create and shape coastlines, deep ocean trenches, and mid-ocean ridges. This is followed by a description of undersea volcanoes (seamounts) that hold evidence of the Pacific plate's movement. Finally we'll discuss how earthquakes and tsunamis have shaped both land & lives on the Kenai Peninsula, changing the course of Seward’s history in 1964.

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About This Program


By Request: $180.00

Price includes materials for up to 30 students. Extra materials are available for $1.00 per student.

$20.00 will be added to reservations made less than three weeks in advance.
Sessions for international schools may include extra postal fees.
Sites that book five or more sessions at once will be discounted $10.00 per session.


55 minutes

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 5, 6, 7, 8Public Library: Library Patrons

Minimum participants:

5 recommended

Maximum participants:

30 recommended; 60 possible

Primary Disciplines

Sciences, Problem Solving

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference - H.323 (Polycom, Cisco/Tandberg, LifeSize, etc...)
Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Skype, iChat, Vidyo, Movi/Jabber, Blue Jeans, etc...)

Booking Information

This program is available every day, beginning any time after 7am Alaska time (11am Eastern time). Please see our website for seasonal recommendations by time zone.

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Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

Programs cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will be charged the full cost. No fee for programs cancelled due to weather-related or similar school closures.

About This Provider

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Alaska SeaLife Center

Seward, AK
United States

The Alaska SeaLife Center is a world-class marine science facility that combines a research mission with an animal rescue and rehabilitation program and public education. The center incorporates exhibits that immerse the visitor in the marine ecosystem of Alaska and provide opportunities to view animals in naturalistic habitats and research settings.

Darin Trobaugh

Program Details


1. This program begins with an overview of plate tectonics, specifically centered around the Pacific plate.
2. We define the Ring of Fire, and talk about Alaska's position in this geology including how glaciers might affect our volcanoes.
3. Students then review the evidence and mechanics of convergent, divergent, and transform boundaries. We are looking for which direction the Pacific plate is moving.
4. Students examine the "hot spot" theory and the creation of the Hawaiian Islands.
5. Students then use the age of sea mounts in the Gulf of Alaska to estimate how fast the Pacific plate is moving.
6. We then offer a brief history of volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis in Alaska, as well as their effects.


Students will be able to:
• Locate the Ring of Fire on a map or globe.
• Give reasons for prolific volcanic and seismic activity around the Ring of Fire.
• Describe the basic elements of the theory of plate tectonics, including convergent, divergent and transform plate boundaries.
• Explain how plate tectonics can influence the ocean floor and shorelines.
• Calculate the approximate direction and speed of the Pacific plate's migration.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

National Academic Science Standards (grades 5-8)
Science as inquiry
• Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
• Understandings about scientific inquiry

Physical Science
• Motions and forces

Life Science
• Diversity and adaptations of organisms

Earth and Space Science
• Structure of the earth system
• Earth's history

Science and Technology
• Understandings about science and technology

Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
• Natural hazards
• Science and technology in society
• Changes in environments

History and Nature of Science
• Science as a human endeavor
• History of science