Archive for the ‘Camps’ Category

Marine Science 5: Back Bay to Breakwater @ Morro Bay Estuary

Posted on: May 15th, 2016 by admin

This camp is water exploration week, from Monday to Friday, we’ll be cruising Morro Bay by kayak.  We’ll explore the Chorro and Osos Creeks which deliver  freshwater to the estuary, and provide haul out sited for local harbor seals.  We’ll cruise the harbor mouth where salt water flows in with the rising tides, while observing the behavior of adult sea otters and their pups. We’ll explore the sand spit dunes and beaches on both sides.  Students will examine  local aquaculture with oyster and abalone farmers. We’ll learn all about the Harbor Patrol, and its unique  mission, and explore the Morro Bay Estuary Program exhibit to find out ways to become involved with maintaining the health of the estuary.  As usual, we will incorporate scientific observation and data recording techniques into our week’s activities as we examine the ecology of life in the estuary.

Advanced Coastal Geology: Exploring San Andreas Fault

Posted on: March 26th, 2016 by admin

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This is serious climbing, hiking and kayaking and climbing week! We will be following the route of the San Andreas Fault as it passes through San Luis Obispo County.  From Carrizo  Plane, to Parkfield the “Earthquake Capital of the World” We will observe and explore the boundaries between the two tectonic plates that formed California during its chaotic geological history.  We’ll investigate volcanic pillow lava cliffs in Avila Beach, and serpentine formations around the city of San Luis Obispo. We will build our own regional rock collections, and also get some expert instruction from The SLO County Rock Hounds.   We’ll kayak over to the Sand Spit dunes in Morro Bay, then hike over to the ocean.  The final weeks’ challenge will be a road trip to Pinnacles National Monument to explore the talus caves within this amazing volcanic formation that has moved due to plate tectonics; some 320 miles North from its’ origins in what is now LA County.

Marine Science 3: Estuaries and Beyond

Posted on: February 12th, 2016 by admin

Morro Bay Gumbo includes many other marine animals that are seen around the estuary.

Students will explore Morro Bay Estuary and learn the importance of estuaries, in the lives of marine animals and birds.  We’ll observe nesting local marine birds and their feeding behaviors. We’ll observe summer migrants traveling along the Pacific Flyway, as well as local raptors (hawks, falcons, and osprey) that patrol the estuary.  We will also Kayak the entire bay during the week. Students will learn about Aquaculture (marine farming) by visiting an oyster farm in the bay, and The Abalone Farm in Cayucos.

During “Belly Biology” (observing invertebrates living under the docks, while laying on your belly!) we’ll examine the invertebrates that make their homes underneath. We’ll explore the salt marsh, mudflats, and the harbor mouth where the Sea otters hang out.  Students will learn to read tide charts, and will observe the effects of tide cycles on estuary life. On Friday’s we’ll finish the week by boarding a Sub-Sea charter boat for a whale watching cruise to track humpback whales and other marine mammals. When we dock, we’ll grab some lunch at Giovanni’s on the Embarcadero.

 

 

Marine Science 2: Stone Soup (Coastal Geology)

Posted on: February 9th, 2016 by admin

California’s coastal geology began in the ocean. Our state is a compilation of Pacific Plate island arcs; like the Hawaiian Island chain, that converged and were forced by subduction under the North American Plate, until the appearance of the San Andrea Fault.  The Central Coast exhibits visible evidence of our geological history from Guadalupe to Big Sur.  Here on the coast, we sit on a constantly shifting piece of the Earth’s crust and we’re also on the western rim of “The Ring of Fire” where the majority of the earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and plate shifting occurs. For millions of years, the topography of California has been shaped and reshaped by glaciers, plate tectonics, volcanic activity, and earthquakes. 

 

In Montana de Oro State Park, we’ll explore wave-cut marine terraces, shale coves, and sand dunes, and climb 220,000 yr-old Valencia Peak; an uplifted marine terrace rising  1347 feet above the park.  We’ll explore Bishop’s Peak, one of the seven named volcanic plugs known locally as the “Seven Sisters”, and examine the pillow lava formations near Port San Luis.  We’ll explore the Oso Flaco Lake Dunes and the Pismo Dunes Reserve.  Field trips take us to Pinnacles National Monument near King City to explore the Talus caves, and we’ll also visit the “Earthquake Capital of the World” Parkfield, Calif.  On the way we’ll stop at the San Andreas Fault so students can explore the fault line up close and see the visible effects of fault activity.


 

Marine Science 1: Estuaries and Beyond

Posted on: February 8th, 2016 by admin

Students will explore Morro Bay Estuary and learn the importance of estuaries, in the lives of marine animals and birds.  We’ll observe nesting local marine birds and their feeding behaviors. We’ll observe summer migrants traveling along the Pacific Flyway, as well as local raptors (hawks, falcons, and osprey) that patrol the estuary.  We will also Kayak the entire bay during the week.  Students will examine local Aquaculture (marine farming) by visiting an oyster farm in the bay, and The Abalone Farm in Cayucos.

During “Belly Biology” (observing invertebrates, while laying on your belly!) we’ll examine the invertebrates that make their homes underneath and discuss the adaptations that make their way of life possible. We’ll explore the salt marsh, examining halophytes (salt tolerant plants), the mudflats, and its inhabitants; like ghost shrimp, Navanax, and the arrow goby. We’ll explore the harbor mouth where the Sea otters hang out, and roam the breakwater rip rap searching for slugs, sea stars, urchins, and sea cucumbers.

Students will get a overview of Harbor Patrol operations, and equipment and learn to read tide charts, while observing the effects of tide cycles on estuary life. On Friday’s we’ll finish the week by boarding a Sub-Sea charter boat for a whale watching cruise to track humpback whales and other marine mammals. When we dock, we’ll grab some lunch at Giovanni’s on the Embarcadero.