Archive for the ‘Camps’ Category

Natural History 4: California Plate Tectonics @ Pinnacles National Park

Posted on: January 28th, 2014 by admin

We’re going to do some geological time travelling today, by hiking around an ancient volcanic formation!

Rising out of the chaparral-covered Gabilan Mountains, east of central California’s Salinas Valley, are the spectacular remains of an ancient volcanic field.  Massive monoliths, spires, sheer-walled canyons and talus passages define millions of years of erosion, faulting and tectonic plate movement. Pinnacles National Park, located near the San Andreas Fault along the boundary of the Pacific Plate and the North American Plate, is an excellent example of tectonic plate movement. The Pinnacles Rocks are believed to be part of the Neenach Volcano that occurred 23 million years ago near present-day Lancaster, California, some 195 miles (314 km) southeast. This was also the same time period during which the volcanic formations known locally as the “Sisters”, were making their way north from the Baja Peninsula.

The giant San Andreas Fault split the Neenach volcano and the segment on the Pacific Plate crept north, carrying the Pinnacles. The work of water and wind on these erodible volcanic rocks has formed the unusual rock structures.  Fault action and earthquakes also account for the talus caves that are another Pinnacles attraction. Deep, narrow gorges or shear fractures were transformed into caves when huge boulders toppled from above, and wedged in the fractures before reaching the ground. These boulders became the ceilings of the talus caves that now entice not only people, but also several kinds of bats.

Natural History 3: Mission San Miguel and Mission San Antonio

Posted on: January 26th, 2014 by admin

We’re going on a historical  expedition to see how some of the original Californians lived!

Salinans, were the indigenous people whose tribal lands stretched along the Central Coast, from Morro Bay to Big Sur, and the Salinas Valley, the “Valley of the Oaks” which now includes parts of San Luis Obispo and Monterey Counties. They were among the first aboriginal Californians to come in contact with Europeans, during Portola’s expedition. Their language is said to be 6,000 to 8,000 years old; one of the oldest in California. The three main dialects spoken, were Playaño among the coastal tribes between Morro Rock north to Esselan, Antoniaño among the people near Jolon, north of Paso Robles, and Migueleño among those in the vicinity of San Miguel.  All three dialects had their origins rooted in Hokun. As hunter-gatherers, they understood how vital it was to conserve plant and animal life to insure a constant food supply. This was done by maintaining a balance between need and availability. In drought years, the people adjusted their diets the way the wildlife did.

Although Mission San Antonio was the third mission established in California, along El Camino Real, it is the only one that did not become  a major population center.  The museums collections at San Antonio and San Miguel are the most extensive collections of Salinian artifacts available for public viewing.

Natural History 2: Using Nature Skills for Advanced Field Study

Posted on: January 22nd, 2014 by admin

 

This week’s course is for those students who have completed the introductory Sensory Awareness week, and wish to further develop and expand their basic nature awareness skills.

Topics will include:

Advanced Outdoor Safety: outdoor hazards, poisonous plants, natural insect repellents and insect bite treatment, heat exhaustion and water usage.

Advanced Animal Tracking: raccoons, coyotes, rabbits, skunks, deer, birds, insects and rodents.

Survival Foods: cattails, conifers, thistles, acorns and grasses.

Shelter Building:  building survival shelters from tree and plant debris.

Water, Water, Water:  water purification methods.

Primitive Crafts: stone tools, bow drills, cordage making, and musical instruments.

Bird Language: learning to identify the “Five Voices of Ground Birds”.

Sketching, Journaling and Mapping: documenting observations and outdoor experiences.

June 23-27, 2014

Meet in San Luis Obispo locations, TBA

Registration Fee: $300.00 Full Week or $80.00/day  

 

 

Natural History 1A: Sensory Awareness and Nature Connections

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by admin

According to Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, the Core Routines of Nature Connections are things people do to learn.  They are not lessons or knowledge, but learning habits.  Nature awareness begins with developing a personal relationship with the outdoors.  This leads to an understanding of our environment, our place as humans in the natural cycle, and our responsibilities as stewards.  The Core Routines help students to “flip the switch”, that will turn off the “noise” of modern life, to expand their vision beyond the narrow confines of television, computers, and electronic devices.  Core Routines tap into what indigenous cultures call the “Original Instructions” which guide the way we interact with the natural world.  Nature awareness, requires that students use all their senses to gather information about the environment and its inhabitants.  Like the eyes of a newborn, students will re-learn how to notice everything!  Some Core Routines include:

Sit Spot: finding a special place where you can be comfortable sitting still, alone and quiet, before exploring the environment.

Story of the Day: After spending time in nature students share their individual stories about their experiences, either verbally, or by writing or drawing in a journal.

Expanding our Senses through Games:  Learning to use all their senses, to notice everything, and not simply relying on our dominant sense (sight).

Questioning and Tracking:  As wildlife “detectives”, students will learn to identify animal tracks.  We will constantly ask the questions: Who? What? When? Why? And How?

Animal Forms and Games:  Thinking like a bird or an animal; learning the movements and behavior of wildlife.  “Bodily learning by feel” the anatomy of animal movements through imitation and games.

Wandering: Unstructured exploration to heighten “place awareness” while developing an intimate relationship with the ecosystem.

Storytelling:  An ideal tool for beginning discussions about our relationship with the environment.

June 16-20, 2014  

Meet @ Cuesta Canyon Park, San Luis Obispo, Ca.

Registration Fee:  $300.00 full week or $80.00/day

Natural History 1:Sensory Awareness and Nature Connections

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by admin

According to Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature, the Core Routines of Nature Connections are things people do to learn.  They are not lessons or knowledge, but learning habits.  Nature awareness begins with developing a personal relationship with the outdoors.  This leads to an understanding of our environment, our place as humans in the natural cycle, and our responsibilities as stewards.  The Core Routines help students to “flip the switch”, that will turn off the “noise” of modern life, to expand their vision beyond the narrow confines of television, computers, and electronic devices.  Core Routines tap into what indigenous cultures call the “Original Instructions” which guide the way we interact with the natural world.  Nature awareness, requires that students use all their senses to gather information about the environment and its inhabitants.  Like the eyes of a newborn, students will re-learn how to notice everything!  Some Core Routines include:

Sit Spot: finding a special place where you can be comfortable sitting still, alone and quiet, before exploring the environment.

Story of the Day: After spending time in nature students share their individual stories about their experiences, either verbally, or by writing or drawing in a journal.

Expanding our Senses through Games:  Learning to use all their senses, to notice everything, and not simply relying on our dominant sense (sight).

Questioning and Tracking:  As wildlife “detectives”, students will learn to identify animal tracks.  We will constantly ask the questions: Who? What? When? Why? And How?

Animal Forms and Games:  Thinking like a bird or an animal; learning the movements and behavior of wildlife.  “Bodily learning by feel” the anatomy of animal movements through imitation and games.

Wandering: Unstructured exploration to heighten “place awareness” while developing an intimate relationship with the ecosystem.

Storytelling:  An ideal tool for beginning discussions about our relationship with the environment.

June 16-20, 2014:  Cuesta Canyon Park, San Luis Obispo, Ca.

Registration Fee:  $300.00 full week or $80.00/day

Marine Science 2A: Coastal Geology and Intertidal Exploration

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by admin

Coastal Geology

Students will explore geological formations such as sand dunes, shale formations, and marine terraces of Montana de Oro. We’ll hike Valencia Peak, and explore the numerous trails within the park.  Students will learn how forces within the Earth initiate the events that cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and how those events have shaped California’s coastline and coastal mountain ranges.  Students will also search for marine artifacts in the shale rubble.  Students will learn to distinguish between sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, and learn the processes involved in converting rocks from one type to another.

Intertidal Exploration

We will explore the park’s extensive intertidal zones searching for anemones, urchins, sea stars, shore crabs and a host of other organisms.  Students will observe the various adaptations that allow intertidal organisms to live in this turbulent and constantly changing habitat, and use field guides to identify them. Students will conduct census surveys by random sampling, then develop population profiles.  Students will use scientific sketching and journaling to document their observations.  We will also explore the interconnections between the biotic and abiotic components of intertidal ecosystems, by having students design and sketch their own intertidal food webs, focusing on how energy flows through the intertidal.  Games and marine related activities will help to reinforce their learning experience. 

 

Montana de Oro State Park, Spooner’s Cove

Aug 4-9, 2014

Registration Fee: $300.00 full week or $80.00/day

 

 

Marine Science 1A: Exploring Morro Bay Estuary…and Beyond

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by admin

Students will explore the Morro Bay Estuary to gain an appreciation for the importance of estuaries, in sustaining marine life in the open ocean.  We’ll identify local marine birds, summer migrants, and predatory birds that patrol the estuary.  During “Belly Biology” on the docks, we’ll study the many organisms that make their homes underneath. We’ll explore the salt marsh, mudflats, and rocky shores of the harbor mouth.  While using scientific sketching and journaling techniques, students will catalog and profile various estuary invertebrates and other wildlife that frequent or inhabit the estuary.  Much of our exploration will be from kayaks, allowing us to observe marine life at water level.  We’ll visit an oyster farm, and explore the sand spit dunes and beaches which offers miles of open shoreline for wandering, and scavenger hunts. Well examine effects of tide cycles on life in the estuary, learn to read tide charts, and use them to understand how the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon effect tide cycles.

We’ll finish the week by boarding a Sub-Sea charter boat for a whale watching cruise to track humpbacks, blue whales, and dolphins!

July 21-25, 2014

Meet @ Morro Bay State Park Marina 

Registration Fee: $320.00 full week or 80.00/day

 

 

 

 

Marine Science 2: Coastal Geology and Intertidal Exploration

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by admin

 

Coastal Geology

Students will explore geological formations such as sand dunes, shale formations, and marine terraces of Montana de Oro. We’ll hike Valencia Peak, and explore the numerous trails within the park.  Students will learn how forces within the Earth initiate the events that cause volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, and how those events have shaped California’s coastline and coastal mountain ranges.  Students will also search for marine artifacts in the shale rubble.  Students will learn to distinguish between sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks, and learn the processes involved in converting rocks from one type to another.

Intertidal Exploration

We will explore the park’s extensive intertidal zones searching for anemones, urchins, sea stars, shore crabs and a host of other organisms.  Students will observe the various adaptations that allow intertidal organisms to live in this turbulent and constantly changing habitat, and use field guides to identify them. Students will conduct census surveys by random sampling, then develop population profiles.  Students will use scientific sketching and journaling to document their observations.  We will also explore the interconnections between the biotic and abiotic components of intertidal ecosystems, by having students design and sketch their own intertidal food webs, focusing on how energy flows through the intertidal.  Games and marine related activities will help to reinforce their learning experience. 

July 14-18, 2014

Montana de Oro State Park, Spooner’s Cove

Registration Fee: $300.00 or $80.00/day

 

 

Marine Science 1: Exploring Morro Bay Estuary…and Beyond

Posted on: January 21st, 2014 by admin

 

Students will explore the Morro Bay Estuary to gain an appreciation for the importance of estuaries, in sustaining marine life in the open ocean.  We’ll identify local marine birds, summer migrants, and predatory birds that patrol the estuary.  During “Belly Biology” on the docks, we’ll study the many organisms that make their homes underneath. We’ll explore the salt marsh, mudflats, and rocky shores of the harbor mouth.  While using scientific sketching and journaling techniques, students will catalog and profile various estuary invertebrates and other wildlife that frequent or inhabit the estuary.  Much of our exploration will be from kayaks, allowing us to observe marine life at water level.  We’ll visit an oyster farm, and explore the sand spit dunes and beaches which offers miles of open shoreline for wandering, and scavenger hunts. Well examine effects of tide cycles on life in the estuary, learn to read tide charts, and use them to understand how the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon effect tide cycles.

Friday, we’ll finish the week by boarding a Sub-Sea charter boat for a 2-3  hour whale watching cruise to track humpbacks, blue whales, and dolphins!