On Wednesday and Thursday, December 19th and 20th, students enrolled in CdM’s Honors Biology class went on a field trip to the Back Bay. The trip was planned to be a conclusion to their unit on endangered species.
Prior to the field trip, students were involved in a competition put on by California Fish and Wildlife. For the first phase, students paired up and chose an endangered species, preferably in California, to research. Each pair had to find out the cause of endangerment for their species and create a proposal on a solution. The second phase of the project was presenting each proposal and choosing three to five from each class to move onto the next round. Next, all students whose projects didn’t get selected got to chose another group to be a part of. The final phase of the project was further developing each solution and then presenting it to the California Fish and Wildlife association. Three winning groups were selected to have their proposals carried out. Throughout that whole process, students learned about the environment, ecosystems, and habitats.
The morning of the trip, everyone met at 8:25 at school by the busses. Once everyone was checked in, the two busses drove over to the Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) at the Back Bay. After the staff were introduced, all kids were separated into two different groups. One group went outrigging first, and the other went hiking first.
During the outrigging tour, students got to grab paddles and row in the outriggers, which are boats that resemble three canoes connected by beams of wood going horizontally across. The instructors taught everyone the certain commands for rowing and then gave commentary on the surroundings. Students got to observe the mudflats, saltmarshes, and freshwater marsh/pond habitats. They also watched for different types of birds flying above the area.
Once the first tour was finished, the two groups switched activities. At the hike, the tour guide led the group around the dirt hills and cliffs that line the bay. Students learned about the riparian and upland habitats and how they differ.
The trip was a great experience for all the Honors Biology students, and they got to learn how they can help maintain the environment.