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Marine Science Camp 2018: Field trips

Field trips are a highlight for all of our campers and staff. An outdoor excursion in the field offers campers the chance to see science in action, venture through local habitats, and learn what it takes to be a marine biologist.

All of our camps will spend a camp day aboard the 90-foot R/V Robert G. Brownlee. During this exciting trip campers will catch fish, collect mud and look at plankton under a microscope. They will have an opportunity to use scientific equipment and to touch live animals. Questions will include: What type of habitat is the San Francisco Bay? Why is the Bay a special habitat? What kinds of animals live here, and how are they adapted to live in the Bay? The Wetland Explorers and Ocean Explorers will also get to learn about navigation and even have a chance to drive the ship! A goal for our field trip days is for campers to apply information they have learned throughout the week to the actual habitat they were studying. They will better understand how the animals' adaptations enable them to survive by seeing their home.

Ocean Explorers campers will visit a rocky shore and a sandy beach for their field trips. They will be able to compare and contrast these two very different Pacific coast habitats, understand the different stressors and the animals' life strategies in each of the habitats.

Wetland Explorers campers will visit a local marsh to see the wetland habitats (slough, salt pond, mudflat, salt marsh, upland), and study animals that can survive and thrive in this tidal-controlled environment. They will also visit the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco to explore the "Amazon Flooded Forest" exhibit to see what wetlands are like in other parts of the world.

Naturalists campers will also visit the California Academy of Sciences. They will use their growing knowledge of organism nomenclature and classification to locate and study animals of different Phyla around the academy. Naturalists will also visit the Greater Farallones Visitor Center where they will construct and deploy an ROV, learn about navigation and compasses, and conduct feeding experiments.

The Underwater Investigators will canoe through a local slough and test water quality in our watershed. They will also spend two full days and sleep overnight on the research vessel! In the last two summers, the middle school campers have taken the ship to Sausalito, Angel Island State Park, underneath the Golden Gate Bridge, and they even saw breaching whales. During their two-day trip, the Underwater Investigators will work on projects and test different methods of studying the marine environment.

Project Discovery will also work on different projects on the research vessel, then will spend the rest of their camp week camping along the coastline of Monterey County! They will snorkel, kayak, run transects, deploy corers on the beach, and much more as they test different survey methods used by marine scientists.

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