A pod of more than 500 common dolphins swim off Newport Beach on Thursday.
PUBLICIDAD

PUBLICIDAD

A few dozen college students enjoyed a special treat on Thursday morning as they embarked on a marine protected areas science cruise from Davey’s Locker in Newport Beach on World Oceans Day .

When the Western Pride left port, the students were divided into groups for plankton collection, digital fishing, and water quality sampling. Before any of these experiments could begin, a welcome diversion surrounded the boat.

A pod of more than 500 common dolphins swim off Newport Beach on Thursday.

A pod of more than 500 common dolphins swim off Newport Beach on Thursday.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Children gasped and squealed excitedly as a pod of hundreds of dolphins swam alongside the ship. Michael Harkins, who was driving the cruise, said around 500 dolphins were in the group. Students also learned that dolphins feed on forage fish and use echolocation.

“I’ve never seen a dolphin before,” enthused Camila Hernandez, 12, a seventh-grade student at Tuffree Middle School in Placentia. “I’ve seen them in movies and stuff, but I’ve never seen them in person.”

Finally, it was time to return to the planned activities. The first group of students cast their plankton nets into the water from the back of the boat. Once they brought them back, they went below decks to identify what they had captured using a digital microscope.

Juan Rojas-Avelar, 14, left, and Sebastian Ramos-Rodriguez, 13, center, cast a net to collect plankton on Thursday.

Juan Rojas-Avelar, 14, left, and Sebastian Ramos-Rodriguez, 13, center, cast a net to collect plankton off Newport Beach on Thursday.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Experts on board explained to the students the two types of plankton: zooplankton (animals) and phytoplankton (plants). Moyinoluwa Jaiyeola, 13, a seventh grader, noted that she also learned that plankton cannot swim.

At the water quality monitoring station, students worked with Van Dorn bottles – a device used to obtain water at specific depths – checking water temperature, pH level and salinity.

Kaitlin Magliano, head of education at Crystal Cove Conservancy, said data collected by students and their competent supervisors is passed on to researchers at UC Irvine. While dolphins served as an attention divider, Magliano saw a lot of benefit in students who leaned into sea life. They also saw sea lions on the way back to port.

Sea lions sleep on an ocean marker off the coast of Newport Beach on World Oceans Day.

Sea lions sleep on an ocean marker off the coast of Newport Beach on World Oceans Day.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

PUBLICIDAD

“I’ve never heard of anything like this, where students were allowed to participate in real scientific research,” Magliano said of her work for Crystal Cove Conservancy, where she has worked for eight years. “I feel like it’s been so rewarding to see the students realize that their impact is significant and that we value their work and their opinions and see them as scientists, and [seeing] that moment when they realize it’s something they could do.

The marine protected area exploration program is a collaboration between Crystal Cove Conservancy and Newport Landing Sportfishing. Kate Wheeler, president and CEO of Crystal Cove Conservancy, said educational tours began in 2012. The program has run 50 to 70 tours a year since about grade five.

Wheeler stressed the importance of providing children with multiple opportunities to explore their natural environment and engage in science. Crystal Cove Conservancy provided a learning scale that includes restoration ecology and building and coding environmental sensors. Additional opportunities are available through internships for those wishing to further their scientific pursuits.

Jessica Roame, Educational Programs Manager at Newport Landing and Davey's Locker, reviews the types of plankton.

Jessica Roame, educational programs manager at Newport Landing and Davey’s Locker, reviews the types of plankton students have collected and how to record their work with Jacquelyn Garcia, 14, center, and Janessa Pineda, 14.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

“What we want to do is create that ladder and then it gives them that career ramp,” Wheeler said. “Many, not all, students will go into careers in natural resources or engineering, but many of them will, and those who won’t and may leave the ladder sooner, they are going to be more informed citizens, more informed about environmental issues.

“The other thing that we think is critically important is getting them out into the parks,” Wheeler added. “They need to get out to the ocean and into the parks. They need to see this happen and have time to see what the natural world is like.

On World Oceans Day, students from Tuffree High School board a boat to take part in a science cruise on marine protected areas.

On World Oceans Day, students from Tuffree Middle School board a boat for a science trip to marine protected areas to collect plankton, sample water and identify fish in the kelp forest through the use of GoPro cameras.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

Conservation and sport fishing may seem like a direct contradiction, but Jessica Roame, education manager at Davey’s Locker and Newport Landing, says the two are increasingly aligned. Ultimately, both interested parties want to see more fish in the ocean, she said.

“We’re proud of the fact that we’re able to not only continue the legacy of the company, which is sport fishing, but we’re able to pivot to do more education, more whale watching, more ecotourism,” Roame said, noting the formation of the local marine protected area in 2012.”[That is] something i think… more people are going to research, although i will say that sport fishing, in general, is very environmentally friendly compared to commercial fishing, go out and catch your own hook and line, take the time to figure out how to do it This. There is a lot to be said for the skills and knowledge many anglers have for the ocean.

Alejandra Jimenez and Jalen Telles take water pH and temperature samples.

Alejandra Jimenez, 13, left, and Jalen Telles, 13, take water pH and temperature samples during a science water excursion.

(Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)

#Students #explore #marine #protected #area #scientists #World #Oceans #Day

PUBLICIDAD