Our Plankton Pioneers are going to enjoy learning about some “splendid splashers”: mammals and sharks! Our marine science center (the “MSC”) features a real grey whale skeleton as well as a life size model of an orca. These whales represent two different groups of whale: toothed whales and baleen whales. They are perfect teaching tools for our campers to learn about marine mammals. What makes them mammals? What makes us mammals? We like to use the acronym: WHALE. Mammals have/are: Warm-blooded (enothermic), Hair, Air-breathers, Live birth, Eat/drink milk as babies.
Today our Bay Explorers are headed to Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge. This beautiful protected space features beautiful examples of some important bay habitats. Our campers will explore and examine the differences between: upland areas, salt marsh, mudflat and salt pond habitats. They will also learn about the historical depletion and now restoration of important marshlands around the San Francisco Bay. At home they can demonstrate some effects of resource and habitat removal with a little experiment: Take a chair away from your table to see if competition or adaptation occurs when your family sits down for a meal.
It is beach day for the Ocean Naturalists! They are hoping for a good enough tide to explore the tide pool habitat as well as the sandy beach, dune and cliff habitats at Bean Hollow State Beach. This is a perfect area to demonstrate cycles in geology and water patterns. The waves that make Half Moon Bay a famous surf spot will become a teaching tool as our campers learn about how waves travel through the water to eventually topple over when they hit the shore. I wonder if our Naturalists will be able to observe some patterns while watching the waves?