• Views 61
  • Favorites
Photo by RainWater_Gallery via Pixabay

Database Provider


Oregon State University


7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon, Oregon Coast, Willamette Valley / Portland Metro


YouTube Video

Understanding Hypoxia: Dead Zones on the Pacific Coast

Ask a Question

  • This video is about the communities and coastal ecosystems impacted by changing environmental conditions and low oxygen levels in the ocean, detailing the cooperation between university scientists and Native communities.
  • Students will learn how climate change is exacerbating the conditions that cause hypoxia and hear from a variety of individuals including members of the Quinault Indian Nation, scientists, fishing communities, and marine resources experts.
Teaching Tips


  • It ends on a hopeful note, provides solutions, and promotes informing the public about healthy ocean ecosystems.
  • The video is sectioned out into four chapters in the description.
  • It illustrates collaboration between Indigenous communities and scientists to work together in solving environmental problems that affect everyone.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Some of the visuals of dead fish may be upsetting to some students. A social-emotional student check-in may be appropriate after the video.


  • Students in science classes can do further research into hypoxia, dead zones, and eutrophication and locate areas where it is most prevalent. This would tie into lessons about decomposition, cellular respiration, ecosystems, limiting nutrients, or algal blooms.
  • Students can create a visual diagram to explain how hypoxia occurs, using examples from the video or from related coursework.
  • Students in language arts classes can write persuasive writing from the perspective of local fish markets or members of the Quinault tribe to encourage actions that will help protect coastal environments.
  • Students in social studies classes can map out the various stakeholders impacted by hypoxia and label their concerns. They can follow up by identifying current legislation or local organizations focused on addressing these issues.
Scientist Notes
This video resource from Oregon State University examines the changing climate, which in turn affects the ocean, leading to ever-more frequent hypoxia events off the Oregon coast. This resource clearly explains how increased temperatures lead to changes in wind patterns and ocean currents, resulting in more frequent coastal dead zones where oxygen levels are too low to support sea life. Videos of beaches littered with dead fish make the scope and seriousness of this problem very clear. Interviews with fishermen from the Quinault tribe and seafood merchants in Portland give the problem a human touch, as the abundance of the Pacific Ocean has made fishing a part of the lives of many Oregonians for generations. This video shows how researchers from Oregon State University are partnering with many of these fishermen to better understand hypoxia. The linked article in the video description gives much more information about this research project. This resource is well sourced and is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem.
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate 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.
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
  • Related Resources


    Login to leave a review