Biology 319: Approved External Activities

BIOL 319 - Fall 2009 - Outside-of-class Activities (Updated Fall 2009)

You must complete any one outside-of-class activity listed here. You may also propose others, but I must approve them, preferably in advance. The purpose of these assignments is for you to gain first-hand experience with, and a better appreciation of, specific marine habitats and organisms. For each, you will record observations of living marine organisms, usually in their natural habitat, and write a brief report of the trip. Further instructions for your activity write-up will be provided in class.The reports are due on the last day of the semester, but can be handed in any time. I encourage you not to wait until the end of the semester to go on the field trips, and to complete the reports soon after you go on a given trip.

  1. Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific.
  2. Cabrillo Marine Aquarium/Museum, San Pedro: A good, local aquarium, with interesting exhibits on regional marine organisms, habitats, and ecology.
  3. Sea World San Diego: In many exhibits at Sea World, you can closely observe marine vertebrate animals, including walruses, dolphins, sharks and a variety of other fishes, and whales.
  4. Steven Birch Aquarium, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD, La Jolla: This is a very good aquarium, with excellent displays on tide pools, kelp beds, schooling fishes, and temperate and tropical fish communities.
  5. Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey: This is an excellent aquarium with exhibits focusing on the middle-to-northern California coast, including kelp forests, sea otters, and the new open ocean exhibit which is the only place in North America where live tunas are on display.
  6. Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Huntington Beach (estuaries): One of the few remaining coastal estuary/salt marsh systems in the Los Angeles area, Birder's Guide here.
  7. Upper Newport Bay (estuaries): A small coastal marsh/estuary habitat, with little freshwater input. Many birds can be seen. Rent a kayak here.
  8. San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine (estuaries): One of the few remaining coastal estuary/salt marsh systems in Orange County.
  9. Intertidal and tide pools, highly recommended, check tides first, then visit one of the Marine Protected Areas in Orange Co. such as at Dana Point (map), Shaw's Cove (map), Crystal Cove (map try Reef Pt. Parking Lot), or Little Corona Beach (map), Corona del Mar; or in Los Angeles Co.: a beautiful beach is Abalone Cove (directions).
  10. Whale watching (open ocean): There are many opportunities (try Dana Wharf Whale Watching who has a 10% student discount or Newport Landing Whale Watching) to go whale watching, especially in the early part of the Spring semester or the latter part of a Fall semester. You may make reservations and go on any whale-watching trip. Ask me for details if you have an opportunity to see where grey whales breed about halfway down the Baja California peninsula. It is fantastic.
  11. Dana Pt., Ocean Institute. Participate in any of the offered public programs.
  12. Shark Reef, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas: I don't know anything about it. Tell me all about it!
  13. Grunion runs (Cabrillo Aquarium -- this is better in a spring semester).
  14. Other: Suggest an activity that is related to marine biology!


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Revised Nov. 8, 2009