Utilizing well-stocked aquariums along with preserved specimens and exhibits, our marine biology instructors will help students become more familiar with the fish they observe during their snorkels. Students are also introduced to the classification, anatomy, behavior, and unique adaptations of fish.
A host of local invertebrates are available to view and touch in this lab. Our touch tank is well stocked with a number of these animals that lack backbones. While students explore and examine these animals, instructors facilitate discussions of classification, species identification, adaptations and ecology.
In the algae lab, students will get their hands on a local sample of various algae collected from Cherry Cove. Students explore the classification, adaptations and anatomy of algae while examining the sample. Emphasis is placed on the importance of algae in the marine ecosystem as well as its benefits on a global scale, including its benefits to humans. Students finish this lab by preparing a pressed algae sample to take home as a souvenir.
Instructors will collect a live plankton sample from Cherry Cove.
Divided into small groups, students will observe their samples through a video microscopy system and identify the different types of plankton that are present. Instructors will also lead students in a discussion of the food web and some of the effects that pollution has on the world’s oceans.
Students will discuss the lunar cycle, currents, tides, and the interaction between land and water that creates this unique habitat. Using direct observation, students learn about the abundance and types of algae and invertebrate species in the various intertidal zones. Discussion of the unique characteristics of tidal zones and their inhabitants further demonstrate adaptations, physiology, and ecology of tide pool life.
The shark lab features a large touch tank filled with small sharks and their cartilaginous relatives, skates and rays. Having the opportunity to interact with these animals in a controlled environment helps to mitigate the myths of their danger. Students will use specimens and other visual aids to learn about the biology and adaptations of different species of sharks. Presentations and experiential activities, including a chance to touch sharks, are used to lead students to a better understanding of these amazing marine creatures.