Biology 319: Approved External Activities

CSUF BIOL 319 – Prof. Eernisse – Outside-of-class Activities

Complete one outside-of-class activity listed here, or propose an alternative one to me. 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 any outside-of-class activity you choose, you will record observations of living marine organisms, usually in their natural habitat, and write a brief report of the trip.

Your report (about 2 pages) should have the following to get full credit:
a) Your name
b) A concise title including where and when you completed the observations, and evidence that you were there (selfie, receipt, or other evidence).
c) Introductory paragraph, including some background about the activity locality, and what you expected or hoped to see.
d) Description of what you saw that was related to any marine organisms in their environment. I would love to read any natural history observations that you can make.
e) What is your take-home conclusion about the activity? Was it worthwhile? Does it make you want to explore some of the other activities?

Images are good if you want to include them but please do something to reduce the size of the images from your cell phone or camera. Typical images could be more than 5 mb and even one will make your report swell in size and make it difficult to email to me. Try emailing yourself the images you want to include and select “small” or “medium” size when prompted. Then save the reduced-size images and use those. You can also sometimes reduce the size of your file by exporting to PDF format.

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, and springtime Grunion Run Program.

3.     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.

4.     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.

5.     Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Huntington Beach (estuaries): One of the few remaining coastal estuary/salt marsh systems in the Los Angeles area. See Bolsa Chica Bird Checklist.

6.     Upper Newport Bay (estuaries): A small coastal marsh/estuary habitat, with little freshwater input. Many birds can be seen. Rent a kayak here.

7.     San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary, Irvine (estuaries): One of the few remaining coastal estuary/salt marsh systems in Orange County.

8.     Intertidal and tide pools, highly recommended, check tides first, then visit one of the Marine Protected Areas in southern California such as at Dana Point (24200 Dana Point Harbor Dr., Dana Point, CA 92629 – the beach trail starts in front of the Ocean Institute, Shaw's Cove (map), Crystal Cove (8471 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651 -- or try Reef Pt. Parking Lot Map), or Little Corona Beach (3100 Ocean Blvd, Corona Del Mar, CA 92625); or in Los Angeles Co.: a beautiful beach is Abalone Cove (5970 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275 or print out directions).

9.     Whale watching (open ocean): There are many opportunities (try Newport Landing (or here), the Ocean Institute's offered whale watching cruises in Dana Point, Dana Wharf Whale Watching who might have a 10% student discount, or Capt. Dave’s Dolphin & Whale Safari in Dana Point) to go whale watching, especially in 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, but the time to do this is between mid-January and late February.

10.  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.

11.  Shark Reef Aquarium, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas: I don't know anything about it. Tell me all about it!

12.  Other: Suggest an activity that is related to marine biology!


Revised March 30, 2018