4th and up
Join the Marine Science Institute for a four-hour expedition of the San Francisco Bay aboard the 90-foot research vessel, the R.V. Robert G. Brownlee and discover the life in the estuary and how we are connected to it. Students rotate through 3 or 4 stations using scientific methods and equipment to examine different types of life. This program is customizable to address different themes.
Click to see program themes.
Discovery Voyage Pricing:
4 hour program 8 am - 12 noon and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
$1,300-2,600* per trip for up to 45 students.
Additional $200 for up to 60 students.
*Sliding scale available depending on need
Students use equipment to collect a sample of plankton, which they examine in the onboard plankton lab. Using a microscope and digital display, students observe and discuss the adaptations and ecological roles of a number of different species of plant (phytoplankton) and animal plankton (zooplankton).
Students use a Van Dorn bottle to collect water samples to study and compare. They conduct experiments to understand water quality, and discuss influences that change it. Students further explore how water chemistry changes might affect organisms in the Bay.
Ichthyology (Fish) Station
Working as a team, students deploy a 16 foot trawl net to bring fishes on board. In small groups, they study the fishes using dichotomous keys or other identification aids. Students are inspired to observe and touch the live animals that they collected.
Students learn about processes that have shaped the bay down to its muddy bottom, and about the organisms that call that mud their home. Using a Peterson Mud Grab, students collect a sample of sediment from the bottom of the bay (the benthos) which they examine closely to discover live invertebrates.
Delve deeper with a Combination Program! Marine Science Institute offers multiple-exposure programs that combine the Discovery Voyage with in-class visits to deepen students’ experiences and create opportunities for cross-cutting between concepts. The Biomimicry and Scientific Method Programs are excellent opportunities to reinforce learning and encourage students to apply their knowledge in creative ways.
The Discovery Voyage is limited to the participating class, teacher and authorized chaperones permitted to attend the field trip.