More familiar faces are returning to MSI! We are happy to welcome back our experienced campers to our Ocean Naturalist camp. Today they are becoming naturalists and getting more in touch with using all of their senses to observe and interpret nature. At camp our Naturalists will carry a journal to record their experiences and observations. Your camper can practice being a naturalist wherever they go with a simple naturalist kit! Create a journal by stapling or tying pages together and decorating the cover, you may want to add a pocket in the cover for found items. In your kit include tools for being a naturalist such as a magnifying glass, guide book to plants and animals, a pencil, crayons to make rubbings, and a small Tupperware for found objects. Once you have your journal and tools, you can be a naturalist everywhere you go! Practice noticing and recording your observations. Remember, recording may be words, sentences, drawings, diagrams, rubbings, or any number of other ways to remember and communicate what you experience.
Below are examples of invertebrates from different phyla that our Naturalists saw today. Can they remember the name of the phyla?
Ask your Plankton Pioneer what an invertebrate is!
We have a full Bay Explorer camp this week. Our Bay Explorers are “estuary stewards” today. They are being introduced to the bay estuary habitat and the birds and fish that live here. This morning they pulled in a beach seine (a type of net) to see the fish that live just off shore here at MSI. They had a great time studying these fish up close as a preview for their boat trip during which they will fish again. Our bird study focuses on the different types of feet and beaks used by different birds in different habitats. Continue your bird studies at home with a home made bird feeder. Use a recycled milk carton or jug and cut out a couple windows. Push a couple dowels through the carton below the holes for birds to perch on. Think about the size of birds that you hope to attract—will they be able to perch on the dowel? Will they be able to grab the food you put in the feeder?
Our Plankton Pioneers also enjoyed studying Bay animals today. They got to touch live fish and hold live invertebrates! Can your camper teach you what an invertebrate is? Invertebrates are animals that have no spinal chords. Examples from today include sponges, spider crabs, shore crabs, mussels, snails and shrimp.