Posts Tagged ‘Field trip’

On the field trip you were given a New England Aquarium scavenger hunt booklet to complete. You were also encouraged to take photographs. Now it is time to share your learning with others, through your blog post.  Your post must answer all the components of your booklet, as illustrated and outlined below.

  • Extended observation of one organism


  • Report on six exhibits

(You may have substituted the jelly exhibit for one of these.)


  • Describe the mission of the New England Aquarium and how it is conveyed throughout the exhibits


  • Share experiences from the touch tank and the giant ocean tank


Normal criteria for a blog post apply:

  • 150 words
  • pictures (if they are not yours, provide a citation!)
  • links to additional information (at a minimum, provide a link to the New England Aquarium, but other links could take readers to additional information on particular animals, such as penguins)
  • provide appropriate keywords on your post
  • publish and share the link


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Floating Lab Field Trip

Oceanography students were blessed with a picture perfect day for their field trip with the UNH Marine Docents Floating Lab Program on October 4, 2013. This program took place on a fishing boat rented from Eastman’s Docks in Seabrook, NH and consisted of five separate lab activities, each about 25  minutes long. The five labs were:

  • Plankton sampling
  • Charting a position
  • Benthic organisms
  • Water sampling
  • Georges Bank Fish

Students were grouped into five groups and rotated through the stations. Each station had two marine science docents, so the student-to-teacher ratio was no more than 1:3! This was a wonderful opportunity to get some authentic learning for high school students. We also took advantage of a sandy beach lesson after lunch. Each station is briefly described below.

Trawling For Benthics

Before any of the activities got underway, we trawled for benthic organisms and the students helped pull up the catch.

Bottom trawling is a benthic sampling technique that uses a net dragged along the bottom of the water body to collect organisms living there, for further study. The device used in this program is shown in model form in the image below. If has floats on the top of the net and weights on the bottom of the net to keep the net as open as possible. For purposes of scientific study, it provides a “grab” sample of a small area and facilitate habitat mapping studies. Since trawls are destructive in nature, they are not to be used in fragile habitats.

A model of the trawling net is used to explain its operation


The trawl line dragging behind the boat

Students line up and grab a piece of the trawl line rope to pu it up.

Many hands make light work.


Plankton Catch

Students used a standard plankton net – and I forget the size mesh – for taking a plankton sample. The critters were then rinsed down the mesh and collected in a box, where students could take a sample for viewing. The viewing container, I believe this is a DiscoveryScope, is a little clear rectangular box that fits together. This viewing box then fits onto a frame with a magnifying glass to look through. I could not get any pictures through the view box but some of the students were able to.

Stunning students sampling plankton

Working a plankton sampling net

Viewing box to see the plankton collected

Charting Your Position

At this station students determined their location in Hampton Harbor using a portion of the marine chart and parallel rulers. We had tried a similar activity in class, but did not have any parallel rulers, and this – being on the water bobbing around and looking for water towers and high tide lines – gave a more honest representation of how to plot your location. The students also had real compasses, rather than their iPhone compass, which further improved the activity.

Docent showing the Georges Bank Chart

Learning how to use a parallel ruler

Benthic Organisms

The best way to describe what was pulled from the bottom is to show you the pictures.


Tough guy crab


Baby lobsters


Sea squirt


Red algae


Baby mussels and tunicates


Front box: barnacles feeding


Sandollar, baby flounder, and red algae


Adult female lobster with thousands of eggs on swimmeretes

The lobster in this picture was quite large with an impressive number of eggs on the swimmeretes.  I wish I had gotten a better picture



Two baby lobsters with a Jonas crab

Water Sampling

Students setting up a Van Dorn bottle, horizontal water sampler, to take water sample.

<img class=" wp-image " id="i-2158" title="Students take water samples at 5m depth" alt=""

Students take water samples at 5m depth

1003131018Georges Bank Fish

Thinking about what fish use Georges Bank, what they eat, where they live, and their abundance.

Afternoon Sandy Beach Program

We had a 45 min break for lunch (yay! beach pizza from Tripoli’s!) and then one last activity on the beach: How do beaches form? Students examined and compared high, mid, and low-tide sands as well as the wrack line, and made nifty little booklets about what they uncovered.


Student Assignment

Students who went on this field trip are to blog their learning, choosing from one of the questions below or creating their own:

  • How was your ocean literacy changed?
  • What is one thing you learned today?
  • Choosing just one of the floating lab stations, what value did you get from the station?
  • How did this field trip help you understand marine science?
  • How did the field trip illustrate methods used by scientists in the real marine science investigations?
  • What do you understand better now, as a result of the learning stations?

All statements must be supported with evidence (examples), and have follow-up from additional sources (links). The usual two paragraph minimum with a related picture applies. The pictures Ms. Goodrich took are here.


It was a good day. The weather was spectacular. The students were engaged in real, honest-to-goodness science practices. And the staff of both Eastman’s and the UNH team were great.

Thanks goes out to Dari Ward at UNH for organizing this wonderful ocean literacy program. The docents on this field trip were extremely professional, knowledgeable, friendly and experienced. They enhanced the program considerably with these qualities.  The program itself is funded through a New Hampshire Sea Grant.

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Several weeks ago I was invited to the Connecticut Mystic River Aquarium with my class. I knew this would be really fun and exciting because I love the ocean and what it offers. The most interesting part of the field trip was the Beluga whales. Not only did we get to see these magnificent creatures, but we learned about their habitats and their ways of life. I was chosen to explore more on sea squirts, but unfortunately they did not have any at this aquarium.

Another interesting part of this field trip was being able to touch and handle some of the creatures of the ocean. First I had caught my eye on the tent that held the stingrays and skates. As I entered I knew this would be a great chance to learn more about these interesting creatures. They felt really smooth and underneath there smooth body is where they feed and see. The weird part that happened to these animals was they knew exactly when they were going to be fed.

The penguins I was extremely disappointed because of there lack of doing anything. They sat in the sun and maybe got up to stand every ten minutes. In my disappointment I had made my way to the gift shop to purchase look at some of the items they had. I came across the keychain section and realized that I do not have anything for the car keys. I came across a penguin keychain and a jellyfish keychain. I chose the penguin one because I was upset about the penguins that were there, but at least I got a keychain that makes my car keys look awesome! I hope that next year kids can enjoy the field trip just as much as I did.

— Alex H

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Recently we went to the Mystic Aquarium on a field trip. My favorite parts of the field trip were when we saw the sea lion show and looking at the beluga whales. I liked the sea lion show because they were really cute and they did cool tricks. I also liked the beluga whales because they were cute and i want to swim with them.
I also liked looking at all the fish in the indoor exhibits. The fish were all different colors and really pretty. I liked seeing all the different animals. I also liked the exhibit where you can touch the sting rays. I did not touch any because i am scared of them, but it looked like fun.

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Our field trip, as assessed by Emily: Mystic Adventure.

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Another student blogging about our Mystic Aquarium Field Trip. Follow the link!

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PhotobucketThe exhibit i spent the most time at was the beluga whales. I had never seen a Beluga whale before. i was surprised by their size because i thought they would be much bigger. All the different views of the whale you were able to get made the exhibit much more incredible.

There were a few things about the aquarium i that could have been improved. The aquarium seemed like it was meant more for younger children. I was also expecting to see giant whales and sharks but i didn’t which was a disappointment. But the outside exhibits were the best part of the aquarium and made up for what it lacked.



— Jesse Y.

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The harbor seals provoked the greatest response from me. They looked like tubs a’ blub. I looked the most at the jellyfish. They were very interesting to look at, especially the upside down jellies. Because they looked big and blubbery. They looked funny swimming around and stuff. I felt kind of at peace because there was some soft music playing in the background, but then again maybe I was just imagining the music. Either way it was very relxing and fun to watch.
I liked thetouch tanks because that was the first time I touched a stingray and a shark. I would probably change the movies we watched on the bus. I had happy thoughts.
I really have no further questions baout this field trip. It was fun and I would love to do it again.

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My favorite part of the field trip was observing the jellyfish. The way  they were presented was so beautiful and they look so pink that it made them not even look harmful. The best jellyfish there was the large ones because they reminded me of flowers. The jellyfish that sat on the bottom of the tank were cool because I never knew that these existed.  Yesterday was the first time that I saw jellyfish and they were amazing! On the other hand, the sea lions were so great. They looked like the cat of the ocean. I never knew that these creatures could grow up to 700 pounds and swim up to 30 miles per hour. When we were inside the aquariums, I actually observed them underwater and one swam right in front of the window!

                I enjoyed this field trip very much. My favorite portion of the aquarium was the outside because each creature had a different habitat just like in the wild. The problem I had was I wanted to see more animals, like large sharks but they didn’t have any. The show was impressive but Cocoa was too interested in the food than performing. It made me learn a lot about sea lions. I thought this trip was the best field trip I have every been on!





— Jake

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At the Mystic Aquarium in Connecticut, I saw an abundant number of marine animals, all of which were very interesting to observe and to take pictures of. Many of the sea creatures provoked feelings and emotions from me. The animal that provoked the most response and the most feelings from me were the California Sea Lions. They intrigued me greatly, probably because they were the most captivating and entertaining to watch. they were giant and very amusing to watch.

The feelings that the California Sea Lions provoked from me were intense. The feelings that I experienced was the senses of calmness and relaxation, as they were swimming fastly but gracefully under the water, but as the came out onto the rocks and started speaking, I felt the intense feeling of amusement, awe and excitement.

I felt that we made a great decision to go to the Aquarium.  I liked the Auditorium and the outside exhibits most. They spaced out the exhibits perfectly. I would recommend schools to go there for field trips. One thing I would change about the whole experience was I would ask the Aquarium to get rid of the seagulls swarming around the eating area.

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Sea turtles are found in warm seas throughout they world. These turtles are found in shallow waters near the coast, bays, lagoons, and estuaries. Some are also found in the open sea, the young are usually found closer to the coast. Sea turtles lay eggs. Each species is at a different age when they reach sexual maturity. In hawkbills it can be as early as 3 years old in longerheads it is 12-30 years old, and in green sea turtles its 20-50 years old. Female sea turtles come ashore to lay 50 to 200 eggs which are soft shelled and leathery in texture. The female covers the eggs with sand. These sea turtles usually return to the same beach to nest every year. The size of the sea turtles depends on the species. Each varies in size. Green Sea turtles can weigh about 400 pounds and can grow to 45 inches long. Black Sea turtles are about 278 pounds. Leatherback sea turtles can grow to be over 1,000 pounds and are over 6 feet tall. They are the largest. The organisms sea turtles eat depends on the species. They eat sea grasses and algae, sponges, shrimps, squids,  crabs, molluscs, jellyfish, sea weed, cuttlefish, and sea cucumbers. Humans are the main predator to sea turtles. Baby sea turtles are also eaten by fish, frogs, minks and snakes. Their eggs are eaten by scunks and raccoons.



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On the field trip to the Mystic Aquarium, one of the most interesting creatures to see outside in March were the 27 African Penguins. It must have taken a lot of adapting for the warm weather penguins to adjust to New England weather. All of the best exhibits at the aquarium were outside, including sea lions, otters, and whales. The tanks were very big, but I still feel badly for the animals living in a tanks. I also wondered if they stayed outside all year in enviroment different to their own. In the Sea Lions show, we watched displayed the intelligence of these animals. They could recall shapes, respond to words, jump around and call out to the crowd. In Jelly Fish exhibit was another must see at the Mystic Aquarium. A dark room full of lighten up tanks of jelly fish were really cool to see. They varied in size, shape and color as the light reflected off them. This enviroment was an intresting way to see the uniqueness of the animals.

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After a very long bus ride to Connecticut, we arrived at the aquarium. We drove all the way to Mystic Connecticut from our school in northeast Massachusetts.

After walking around and checking everything out all day, we had learned a lot and seen tons of stuff. Thanks to the aquarium employees, who seamed to be talking your ear off every time you turned around, we learned about every single thing we saw.

After an hour of wandering around we found ourselves in the hard bench seats of the auditorium. There was a full audience and a deep pool set up where a stage might usually be. We watched a sea lion show in these seats and it was very impressive. Sea lions are very smart animals and they were probably the most impressive animal we saw all day. Besides the acribatic tricks they preformed, the trainers gave us tons of information on the animals. I thought it was very interesting to learn sea lions are actually pretty close to humans, and have many of the same traits. There are even some strangly close features such as the sea lions bones in what would be its arm and hand. The sea lion has several bones that make up five fingers. This is one of the many interesting parts to the sea lion that make them one of the smartest animals in the world. We watched the sea lions look a row of shapes and be able to find and choose the shape it was set out to find. I think most found the quick swimming and 8 feet of air they got when flying out of the air but the intelligence side to them is also interesting.

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As a marine biology field trip, we embarked on a journey to Connecticut’s Mystic aquarium. While the field trip was short and the bus ride was long, I was really interested by all the animals we encountered.The marine animal that stood out most to me were the beluga whales. There were an array of animals that stood out to me, I found these the most fascinating and surreal. They seemed to have personalitites of their own. I also found the sea turtle very interesting; he spent most of our visit on his head in the tank he was in.




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During my field trip to Mystic Aquarium, I enjoyed watching the Jelly Fish. The jelly fish are almost invisible but when you add light to the background they change into different colors and glow up. I liked how they came in different shapes and forms, some stayed on the bottom and some were upside down. I also enjoyed watching the clown fish. I liked how they cleaned themselves and how they interacted with each other.   

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The facility of the aquarium was nice. I think its better than the New England aquarium because it had more outside space for animals to get actual fresh air and it allow for more swimming space for the larger animals like the belugas and the sea lions. I think they could in the future add more exhibits up stairs or add more of a little childrens touch tank for smaller children to be able to experience the wildlife in a smaller more controlled area. I really liked the area that they had for the sea lions to reform. I think it somewhat resembled their natural habitat while still having the space and opportunity to show off their tricks in an open space thats safe for both the audience and animals.

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Lastly, I think we could spend more time in class studying endangered animals and how we can help bring them back to the normal numbers. I think that the animals of both land and see, espically the endangered ones, only have selective follows that are trying to help. Having the ability to help animals gain more numbers and sometime in the future stabilize so they will be on their own will help all the populartions of the world.

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Plum island field trip

Leading up to the field trip we learned background information on the ocean. We learned about the ocean floor and the different structures under the sea. Which helped us realize the hidden truth about the oceans tides and ocean’s structures. The tides of the ocean are controlled by the moon. http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/tides.htm

We arrived in plum isla nd and learned that the ocean is untameable.  The ocean is indifferent to our troubles.  We found out that sand can be purple. http://www.flickr.com/photos/34463075@N00/1493154286/The purple sand comes from manganese garnet particles that wash down the surrounding hillsides toward the ocean.

There was a dead seal at the beach.  Evidently its because of the weather and possibly bird flu.  It was a dead seal and it was gross.

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