I have the opportunity this year to help teach a marine biology class at school. Along with my coastal ecology JanTerm, this is the closest I’ve come to teaching something I’ve been trained for.
The class is a fairly unique chance for students to directly experience a subject. There are two weeks of on-campus learning that includes topics on oceanography, biology, marine biology, and Hawaiian Island geology and natural history. This is followed by a two week trip to Hawaii.
Yes I said a two week trip to Hawaii! I love my job!
While in Hawaii the students get to experience the natural world in truly hands-on fashion. We will be hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, going on boat rides, learning about the new biodiesel industry, exploring volcanoes, tidepooling, and wave analysis activities (i.e., surfing).
Day 1 included a short hike exploring the dry coastal hillside habitats. Students learned to make observations and identify plants. They practiced their journaling skills and shared information they learned previously about the plants they found. We picked up snorkeling gear in anticipation of our five snorkeling adventures. We also took a trip to the Maui Ocean Center. They have a fantastic aquarium set up with all local species and frequently rehabilitate organisms and return them to the ocean. They have a great collection of local sharks in their big tank.
It’s really great constantly hearing students brag about all the cool stuff they have learned.
Here’s to a good two weeks!