Our Naturalist program is for entering 4th and 5th graders who have attended an Explorers camp. The Naturalist campers will dive deeper into life and processes of the San Francisco Bay and Pacific coast, learn research methods and discuss current issues in our world’s marine ecosystems. By learning how to be naturalists, these devoted marine scientists will become familiar with the skills and passion needed to be a life scientist during their fast-paced camp week.
Naturalists have an amazing and fun week ahead of them. Activities include:
- Preserved sea star dissection to examine the water vascular system.
- Creating a quadrat, a tool used to quantify the number of species and amount of new species within a designated area. This tool is essential for studying biodiversity and the health of an area. Campers will keep the quadrat they create!
- Learning how to take fish data by identifying and taking measurements on the fish caught. This data goes into a database which other organizations have access to.
- Examining Phyla and the features of different groups of animals which made scientists group them together.
… and much more!
All Naturalist camps (except for the shortened July 5th camp week) have:
- 2 days at our site to study live animals from our aquarium and to engage in other science projects both indoors and outside
- 2 field trips (reached by school bus) that feature different habitats (shortened July 5th week has 1 field trip)
- 1 day aboard our ship that includes fishing, studying plankton, sampling mud, and learning about nautical navigation
- 2 staff plus a volunteer for every 15 campers
- Flexible curriculum that engages multiple learning styles
Naturalist campers will be visiting two field trip sites: the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center and the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve. On both of these excursions campers will learn about the habitats, perform experiments to better understand the conditions of each location, and examine animal life.
There are 4 weeks of Naturalist camp available during the summer. If your entering 4th or 5th grade camper has attended an Explorer camp during a previous summer we encourage them to join this fast-paced program. Campers also have the option of being in an Explorer camp earlier in the summer and signing up for Naturalists later on to compound the information and dive deeper into marine science.
Join us for this awesome experience as campers dive into marine science and explore our local marine habitats. Camps run Monday through Friday, 8:30am-3pm with extended care available until 5:30pm.
July 5-8 *special overnight opportunity available
*We have a special option for the shortened 4th of July camp week of Naturalists: an optional overnight is available on the Thursday (July 7th) of camp for an additional $50. Campers will bring their overnight materials (clothes, sleeping bags, etc) and we will camp in the MSC. Food will be provided. Campers will watch a marine science themed video TBD, tow for night plankton and examine under a microscope, learn how scientists navigated using the stars, and more!