Marine Camp 2016: Underwater Investigator Sneak Peak

The Underwater Investigator camp for entering 6th-8th graders is a week-long program that is sure to inspire curiosity about the various fields within marine science. This summer campers will explore a different marine science field each day, including marine ecology and conservation, biodiversity, physical and biological oceanography, biomimicry, and will even learn what it takes to be an aquarist. They will practice scientific data collection on land by using real scientific equipment and they will also create their own quadrat, a research tool used to collect data to survey the biodiversity and health of a habitat. Campers will also spend a fun day canoeing to nearby Bair Island where they will investigate mud-dwelling invertebrates, examine the hydrology of the slough, and check out native and non-native plants that make this wetland such a unique habitat.

Their camp week culminates in a fun 2-day-long trip aboard our research vessel, and campers and staff even sleep aboard the boat! Campers will board the boat at 9am on the Thursday of their camp week and participate in various marine science studies as they venture to Sausalito for field trip activities. They will then have free time playing games and exploring the area while we barbecue dinner. Campers will then board the boat and watch a movie as we head to the Marina Bay Yacht Harbor for the overnight portion. On Friday campers will use scientific equipment to sample fish from the Bay, examine invertebrates from the mud, and study plankton underneath a microscope. This fun-filled week is packed with action!

Currently all of the Underwater Investigator sessions are full but campers can still be registered for the waitlists.

UNDERWATER INVESTIGATOR SCHEDULE:

June 20-24

July 11-15

July 25-29

WAITLIST SIGN UP NOW

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Marine Camp 2016: Naturalist Sneak Peak

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.

NATURALIST SCHEDULE:

July 5-8 *special overnight opportunity available

July 18-22

August 1-5

August 8-12

*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!

SIGN UP NOW

Marine Camp 2016: Ocean Explorers Sneak Peak

Entering 2nd-5th graders have two camp options: Wetland Explorers (discussed in a blog from 2 weeks ago found HERE) or Ocean Explorers, a camp of similar structure but focusing on a different habitat. Ocean Explorers camp is about “whole world’s ocean” and how we are connected to it. Campers will learn about various habitats such as the highly productive kelp forest, the harsh sandy beach, the ever-changing rocky shore and the dramatic open ocean which is strongly characterized by physical factors. Diverse populations of marine algae and animals are found along the rocky coast as well as in the open ocean. Wind, sunlight, tides and other physical factors create a complex environment, and the animals that are a part of northern California’s coastal community have incredible adaptations for survival.

Ocean Explorer camp, as well as MSI’s other camp options, is geared toward California’s science standards taught during the school year, and is fun and interactive. Hands-on lessons, animal touching, games, crafts, songs and more are themed toward the material to engage campers to embrace the communities along our nearby coastline.

All Ocean Explorer camps 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
  • 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

Campers will be going on two field trips during their week at camp: Bean Hollow State Beach and the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center. Bean Hollow (along the coast about 17 miles south of Half Moon Bay) offers ample opportunity for tide pool exploration and other activities. Campers will be able to find hermit crabs, black turban snails, sea anemones, purple shore crabs, sea stars with 5-6 arms, and more! This region also offers a coastal walk where campers can spot common native and non-native coastal plants, and even find a harbor seal haul-out where these marine mammals are commonly seen resting on the rocks.

The second field trip is a visit to the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary Visitor Center in San Francisco. Located near Crissy Field, this facility has been transformed from old Coast Guard Buildings and is found along the beach. Campers will explore the region looking for crabs along the shoreline and taking part in crab population surveys. They will also drag a plankton net through the water and compare the coastal plankton to that found in the south Bay at our facility. Campers will also take part in a marine debris project with the Ocean Conservancy; they will contribute to a survey in which they will account for and tally the number of trash items found. The data will be entered into a database and submitted to the Ocean Conservancy, which will be compiled and become a part of a report for the city of San Francisco and contribute to the global project placed by the Ocean Conservancy.

Join us for a week full of fun, lessons, games, and interactive activities that are sure to excite your camper and inspire their love for the life within the California coastline and open ocean. Camps run Monday through Friday, 8:30am-3pm with extended care available until 5:30pm. Camp July 5th-8th still has spots available!

OCEAN EXPLORER SCHEDULE:

June 13-17 – FULL

June 20-24 – FULL

June 27-July 1 – FULL

July 5-8

July 11-15 – FULL

July 18-22 – FULL

July 25-29 – FULL

August 1-5 – FULL

August 8-12 – FULL

SIGN UP NOW

Marine Camp 2016: Wetland Explorers Sneak Peak

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Opportunities are abound in the Wetland Explorer camp for 2nd-5th graders. This camp explorers our local habitats and the animals that inhabit our incredible backyard. Campers will explore the life found in our local estuary, marshes, sloughs and mudflats. With Bair Island Ecological Reserve across the waterway from Marine Science Institute, campers will be inspired and curious about the vast array of wildlife this area offers. This shoreline habitat makes the Bay ecosystem healthier by providing homes for diverse animals that live only in this habitat, migratory birds that use the marsh as a pit-stop along their route, and by acting as a sponge by filtering pollutants and heavy metals from run-off.

During their week learning about the San Francisco Bay’s wetlands, Wetland Explorers will discover the animal life that calls our estuarine habitat home. This camp is geared toward California’s science standards taught during the school year, and is fun and interactive. Campers will touch animals and participate in hands-on activities, games, crafts and songs tailored toward the material.

All Wetland Explorer camps 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
  • 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

The first field trip is to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park in San Francisco. Here campers will tour the only square-rigged ship left in the San Francisco Bay area, the Balclutha. Built in 1886, the Balclutha was a cargo ship that traveled around the world and now resides in San Francisco as a National Historic Landmark. Campers will learn sea shanties and learn how the San Francisco Bay became one of the world’s largest and most important seaports. Campers will also explore birdlife and invertebrates through activities with binoculars and on the docks at the aquatic park. Kelp crabs, giant bay anemones and nudibranchs as large as your hand will fascinate Wetland Explorers as they compare the invertebrate life in this North Bay area with that found on our docks in the South Bay.

The second field trip is to the Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve, which includes the only extensive wetland along the coast of the San Francisco peninsula. This area hosts extensive flat hiking trails where campers will utilize binoculars and bird field guides to spot some of the 60 species of birds that nest in the marsh (and 200 that fly through it!) and the importance of the marsh as a breakpoint along the Pacific Flyway. They will also use field guides to identify and differentiate between native and non-native plant species. We can even spot harbor seals as they surface, or leopard shark fins as they search along the bottom for food during low tide!

The Wetland Explorer camp is an excellent option for young scientists to learn about our nearby marine habitats. All Instructors have a degree in Marine Biology, Environmental Science, Education or a related field, and many have field research experience and will emphasize different aspects of the curriculum. Each instructor has their own unique teaching style so no two weeks of camp are the same.

Join us for this unique experience as campers explore the science that is practically in their backyard. Camps run Monday through Friday, 8:30am-3pm with extended care available until 5:30pm.

WETLAND EXPLORER SCHEDULE:

June 13-17

June 20-24

June 27-July 1

July 11-15

July 18-22

July 25-29

 

SIGN UP NOW

Marine Camp 2016: Plankton Pioneers Sneak Peak

Campers entering Kindergarten through 1st grade have an exhilarating week ahead of them as Plankton Pioneers!

This camp introduces your budding biologist to the wonders of our amazing local marine life, both in the San Francisco Bay and in our world’s ocean. They will experience the animals and habitats first hand through a variety of fun-filled interactive activities. Campers will learn about and touch live animals in a safe and exciting environment, and participate in themed crafts, games, songs and stories. These activities spark excitement about nature and will inspire campers to appreciate our local life!

Each day of camp has a different theme, enabling campers to explore different aspects of marine science. Plankton Pioneers will also create fun crafts, including decorating their own reusable tote bag with marine animal designs and creating their own jelly to play with. They will also spend a day on board our 90’ research vessel, surveying animals from the San Francisco Bay! This ship was designed specifically for teaching programs in the San Francisco Bay. Join us as we go fishing, survey mud and invertebrates, study plankton, sharks, and so much more!

Camps run Monday through Friday select weeks from 8:30am-1pm. Extended care is available until 5:30pm.

Camp availability:

June 13-17 – FULL

June 27-July 1 – AVAILABLE

July 5-8 – AVAILABLE

August 1-5 – FULL

August 8-12 – FULL

Space is available – join the Plankton Pioneers today!

SIGN UP NOW

Marine Camp 2016: Wanted – Enthusiastic and Fun Camp Staff

Wanted: Engaging, high-energy, compassionate and fun instructors and counselors to lead our summer camp! CLICK HERE to apply and join the team.

Marine Science Camp is proud to have a passionate and fun team of instructors, counselors and volunteers each summer. The foundation of this team of educators and leaders is not only their knowledge of marine science, but also their ability to inspire campers. They spark an appreciation for marine science and local habitats while promoting friendship, teamwork, and curiosity.

Our qualified team of highly motivated instructors, counselors and volunteers are outside with the campers every day. Instructors and counselors facilitate hands-on learning and teambuilding in a safe and fun environment. They are CPR and First Aid certified, background checked, and undergo an extensive 2 week training period prior to camp.

Instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in fields varying from biology and marine science to education and environmental studies or other similar fields. Most teach with MSI throughout the year; they are dedicated, experienced and have taught a variety of programs to grades from pre-kindergarten through college. Instructors at Marine Camp lead camper learning, supervise campers and are primarily in charge of safety. They are the crew of our 90 foot research vessel and undergo extensive training and regular safety drills to comply with Coast Guard safety standards. Many have field research experience and relate it to topics learned at camp. Our fantastic Instructors are role models who inspire and share their passion for marine science with campers of all ages.

Marine Camp Counselors are in college or have already received their degrees. They work closely with the Instructors helping with activities, assist in overall supervision and aid in providing an understanding of marine topics. Many of our counselors are pursuing degrees in the sciences and are interested in marine science or education as a career. Marine Camp is an excellent summer opportunity for them to get first-hand experience.

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Rounding out the summer staff are our amazing volunteers, who are a crucial part of the summertime fun. They act as an extra set of eyes, ears and hands, and they also act as role models to ensure our campers are staying safe and having fun. Volunteers join staff and campers for every activity and field trip. They are buddies, helpers, and friends to each and every camper—especially the campers that benefit from having just a little extra help making friends and getting involved. Volunteers join us for different amounts of time—for just one week to almost the whole summer! Some of our campers have become volunteers, who later become Counselors and Instructors! We are so grateful to have these inspiring and energetic people as a part of our team. CLICK HERE to learn more about volunteer opportunities during the summer and beyond.

If YOU match any of these descriptions, CLICK HERE to learn more and apply. I look forward to greeting new and old members onto the team.

Marine Camp 2016: Splash Into Summer

MSI sand

Summer planning is in full swing! It is that time of year to begin thinking about your family’s summer activities. Summer camps of all kinds hold a myriad of opportunities for growth, making new friends, learning and fun. At the Marine Science Institute’s Marine Camp in Redwood City, CA, countless marine science themed activities await campers. Our knowledgeable staff are full-time educators and marine biologists with a genuine passion for sharing the wonders of nature with others. Whether your camper is learning about coastal California or the San Francisco Bay marine life, they will be amazed by the variety of creatures found in our own backyard! Marine Camp has several camps to choose from over the duration of the summer:

Plankton Pioneers is for our youngest campers (entering grades K-1st), and their week is full of exciting activities that introduce campers to different aspects of marine science. Each day at our site is themed with hands-on activities, animal touching and a fun craft that is related to the theme of the day. During one camp day, campers are true marine biologists aboard our Research Vessel and practice animal collecting from the bay!

Entering grades 2nd-5th have two options of Explorers camps: Wetland Explorers and Ocean Explorers. These camps are similar in structure but delve into two different habitats. They were designed so that our dedicated marine scientists could attend 2 weeks of camp without much repetition in curriculum. While Wetland Explorers focuses on the San Francisco Bay’s animals and habitats including marshes, sloughs and mudflats, the Ocean Explorers camp focuses on coastal California and the world ocean. Both camps explore how we are connected to those habitats and how we have a direct impact on their health. The Explorer camps both have 2 days at our site, 2 different field trips, and a day aboard our Research Vessel.

Our Naturalist program (entering 4th-5th grade) is for campers who have previously attended one of the Explorers camps and are ready to dive a little deeper into marine science and research methods. Campers will learn how to be naturalists and will focus on aspects within both the wetland and oceanic habitats. This fast-paced camp has 2 days at our site, 2 field trips and a trip aboard our Research Vessel to take students behind the scenes as marine biologists.

Underwater Investigators is for campers entering 6th-8th grades and involves much scientific investigation. Campers explore the varied fields within marine science including marine ecology, biodiversity, biological oceanography and more by using scientific data collection and analysis on land, boat and canoe. Our middle school age camp even has an overnight aboard the Research Vessel!

Our final camp option occurs just one week of the summer. The Project Discovery campers (entering 9th-12th grades) have an action packed week starting with animal sampling and data collection aboard the Research Vessel, followed by 4 days of camping along the coastline. This camp is geared towards high school students who want to study marine biology in the field.

Join us this summer for new field trips, activities, and friends! Week-long sessions are available June 13 – August 12. Registration begins Monday February 1 at 8 am.

CAMP PRICE ENTERING

GRADES

STARTING DATES

(all camps run Mon-Fri – camp is closed for July 4th holiday, and that week will be prorated)

Plankton Pioneers $415 K-1 June 13, June 27, July 5, August 1, August 8
Wetland Explorers $500 2-5 June 13, June 20, June 27, July 11, July 18, July 25
Ocean Explorers $500 2-5 June 13, June 20, June 27, July 5, July 11, July 18, July 25, August 1, August 8
Naturalists $550 4-5

(for returning campers only)

July 5, July 18, August 1, August 8
Underwater Investigators $650 6-8 June 20, July 11, July 25
Project Discovery $1300 9-12 July 18

 

Summer Marine Science Camp is just around the corner. To learn more please visit our webpage at http://www.sfbaymsi.org/marinecamp or contact Alex, the Marine Camp Manager at 650-364-2760 x19 or e-mail alex@sfbaymsi.org.

Share this article, and the opportunity to register with your friends and family.

 

Marine Science Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not for profit organization
©2016. All Rights Reserved

Good Bye Summer, a BayLines Original Article

Article by Felicia Van Stolk, Marine Camp Manager, Marine Science Institute

Saying goodbye to summer is always bittersweet. As we look forward to a new school year, we reflect upon the experiences, new friends and reunions enjoyed during the long summer days. We enjoyed seeing more familiar faces than ever—returning campers, campers-turned-volunteers, volunteers-turned-counselors, and returning counselors and instructors! This crew of enthusiastic leaders has made this summer truly unforgettable. They came from far and wide, with a variety of backgrounds, but with a common connection to MSI.

Our Marine Science Camp instructors have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in marine science, biology, education or a related field. Most of them teach at MSI throughout the year and are dedicated, experienced environmental educators,but a few join us from across the country during the summer to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to our lessons. They are role models to campers who are excited to learn from real marine scientists.

Our summer camp counselors are either in college or have already received their degrees. They work closely with the instructors to help create a fun and safe learning place for our campers. Many of our counselors volunteered for previous summer camps or were campers once themselves!

The final pieces in the puzzle are our wonderful volunteers. Our summer camp volunteers are vital to helping summer camp run. They are buddies, helpers and friends to each and every camper—especially the campers that benefit from having just a little extra help making friends and getting involved. We are so grateful to have had these energetic and generous people helping us out each summer, and hope to see them again as counselors and instructors!

As we say goodbye, we wish everyone a great year. I am glad that many of our staff will return to teach during the school year, and we will miss those who are headed for different adventures at school, at other outdoor education institutions and abroad.

Thank you to our amazing summer staff.
Camp would not be possible with out your enthusiasm and positive kid friendly energy!

To learn more about camp or job opportunities please visit our webpage at www.sfbaymsi.org.

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This article was featured in our BayLines Autumn Edition 2015.

Marine Science Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not for profit organization
©2015. All Rights Reserved

Marine Camp Sneak Peek: Welcome to Camp!

What to Expect? Get ready to explore!

As summer approaches, we’re getting ready for another season of science, discovery and excitement. Marine Science Camp offers a magical opportunity for young biologists to explore science in the field, interact with live animals and get their hands wet as they are immersed in a fun outdoor learning environment. Learning outdoors is hard and rewarding work, and campers go home each day having exercised both their minds and bodies with interactive science-focused activities.

What adventures await your camper? What lessons? What fun? When you pull up in the morning, don’t be surprised to be greeted by an instructor in costume, with music blasting to get everyone excited for the day. When you pick up your camper in the afternoon, you’ll see the same costumes and faces smeared with smiles, mud and, possibly, fish scales! During the time in between, campers will enjoy diving into different areas of marine science, habitats and animals.

Interspersed with educational games, songs, stories and crafts, campers will learn about the natural world. They will use scientific equipment to make discoveries and observations. Days spent at our shoreside facility may include explorations in our teaching aquarium, science center or touch tanks. They’ll spend time outdoors, searching for creatures under the docks and in the mud during low tide. On field trips, including one day aboard our 90-foot research vessel, campers will head out into nature to learn how scientists study in the field. At the beach or in the marsh, they will learn to observe their surroundings and find life all around them.

Nothing excites the MSI staff more than to see campers arrive prepared for adventure. Well-prepared campers come ready to get dirty and wet (with closed-toed shoes!), and have thought-provoking questions to stump our staff of marine scientists. They bring trash-free lunches and reusable water bottles. Most of all, our campers arrive curious and eager to learn. They’ll leave with new excitement about science and as stewards of the environment.

Marine Camp Sneak Peek: Bay versus Ocean Explorers

Marine Science Camp has two options for kids entering 2nd-5th grade in the fall. Both of these camps are geared toward science standards taught during the school year, and are fun and interactive. The SF Bay Explorer and the Ocean Explorer camps are similar in structure, but vary in content. They were designed so that our dedicated marine scientists could attend 2 weeks of camp without much repetition in curriculum.

What they have in common:

  • 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 and stewardship projects
  • 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

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What’s the difference?

The SF Bay Explorer camp: focuses on habitats, animals, and conservation issues local to the San Francisco Bay Area. This camp is about the “science in your own backyard”, so to speak. There are 2 local field trips. One to the Don Edwards National Wildlife Refuge in Alviso, and the other is to Heron’s Head Park in San Francisco. During these trips, campers spend time outdoors in various habitats, learning to take data and study the plants and animals specific to the area. Their stewardship project will take place at Heron’s Head, working to restore the wetland area.

The Ocean Explorer camp: focuses on habitats, animals, and conservation issues associated with Coastal California and the world ocean. This camp is about the “whole world’s ocean” and how we are connected to it. There are 2 field trips to the coast. A trip to Half Moon Bay State Beach will focus on beach and dune habitats, and on the endangered birds that call it home. This trip will feature a stewardship project organized by the State Park rangers to restore native plants to the dunes. A second trip to the coast will focus on tide pools and beach habitats.

Weeks of summer camp also vary based upon our instructional staff. Out staff rotate through these themed camps, bringing their own unique areas of expertise to the content. Each of these instructors has a degree in marine science, environment, or related field experience, and will emphasize different aspects of the curriculum. No two weeks of camp are the same, as each group of campers has different interests, and each instructor has a unique teaching style. Both the Bay Explorer and Ocean Explorer camps are equally engaging, and are excellent options for young scientists learning how to explore marine habitats. Taken together, separately, or even taking multiple sessions of the same, these camps will enrich your camper’s summer by keeping their bodies and minds active.

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Marine Science Institute is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) not for profit organization
©2015. All Rights Reserved

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