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Fall, 2020 Issue

November 1, 2020



Dauphin Island Sea Lab - Science Fridays


Come and join us for a Friday of marine science! Discovery Hall Programs is offering a day of drop-in classes for home school students, for parents looking for enrichment activities for their children, for students who can join us after a day of virtual learning, or just for folks who love to learn about all things marine science.

On the first and third Fridays of each month, we are offering three different field classes each approximately two hours long. Each month, we offer two different themes Ocean Animal Biology and Ocean STEM. Learners can participate in only one class, take two or three classes on the same day or take all six classes over the course of a month, Some of the classes are appropriate for all ages, while younger students will benefit from working with an accompanying adult for others.
 
 

Ocean Animal Biology

Gulf Coast Marine Animals 9:30-11:30 am
Join us for an entertaining and informative introduction to a variety of marine species from the coast of Alabama and the Gulf of Mexico. After introducing local species of invertebrate and vertebrate animals such as the sponge, jellyfish, sea star, clam, snail, crab, shark, fish, octopus, and more, participants will be able to touch, hold, and examine specimens. This curiosity generating activity will have participants learning about the animals adaptations, life cycles, and basic marine ecology.

What to bring: a water bottle and excitement!

Suitable for all ages.
The Microscopic World of Plankton 1:00-3:00 pm
Join us for an exciting look at some of the smallest and most amazing creatures on the planet - plankton. The word plankton comes from the Greek word planktos meaning to wander. The more we learn about the ocean, the more we realize how incredibly important plankton are. They are the base of many ocean food chains and they are responsible for much of the oxygen in our atmosphere, but they do have their dark side. Come practice your collecting and microscope skills as we explore the world of plankton.

What to bring: a water bottle and curiosity!

Suitable for ages 10 and up, or for all ages with an accompanying adult.
Wetland Ecology: The Salt Marsh 3:00-5:00
Come explore with us and learn about an essential and fascinating local habitat - the salt marsh. During our exploration, we'll discuss the critical role of wetland ecosystems, we'll investigate the plants and animals found in this stressful habitat, and get firsthand experience examining its food web. After a brief chat setting the stage, we'll head to the marsh on our science bus and explorers will have the opportunity to 'sink into their explorations by dragging seine nets, sieving mud, scooping up animals, and becoming up close and personal with marsh grasses.

What to wear and bring: old clothes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy, sneakers that lace tightly for walking in the mud, (no flip-flops, Crocs, Tevas, etc.), a hat to shade the sun while outside, sunscreen, a water bottle and your sense of adventure!

Suitable for ages 10 and up, or for all ages with an accompanying adult.

Ocean STEM

Ocean Drifters - 9:30-11:30 am
There's motion in the ocean! And it's important! Ocean currents determine the distribution of ocean animals, suspended and dissolved materials as well as heat and energy. Drifters are a type of technology that scientists use to study ocean currents. Come build with us as we design, build, and test our own mini-drifter using our engineering skills. We'll also track a full-size ocean drifter using satellites and an app and discuss the significance of nearshore currents in barrier island dynamics.

What to wear and bring: comfortable shoes that can get wet and sandy, a hat to shade the sun while outside, sunscreen, a water bottle, and your creativity.

Suitable for ages 10 and up, or for all ages with an accompanying adult.
Trash (in) the Ocean - 1:00-3:00 pm
Marine debris is a huge problem that impacts marine life everywhere. Join us to learn more about marine debris and microplastics. We'll play the role of a beach dwelling animal and understand how hard trash is to avoid. We will explore how scientists collect and analyze data by collecting our own and comparing it to that collected across the world as we take part in a citizen science project using NOAA's Marine Debris Tracker app.

What to wear and bring: a device (if you can), comfortable shoes that can get wet and sandy, a hat to shade the sun while outside, sunscreen, a water bottle, and your sense of stewardship.

Suitable for ages 10 and up, or for all ages with an accompanying adult.
ROVing the Gulf - 3:00-5:00 pm
Do you like to build things and then see if they work? If so, then this class is for you! Scientists, ocean engineers, and explorers use remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) as they visit, study, and work in the ocean, especially in the deep sea. In this class, we will learn more about ROVs, buoyancy, and hydrodynamics and then team up to build and drive a ROV in the Sea Lab pool.

What to wear and bring: a hat to shade the sun while outside, sunscreen, a water bottle, and your building skills.

Suitable for ages 10 and up, or for all ages with an accompanying adult.
 

We do ask that you pre-register here for these class(es) so we know how many individuals to expect, but we also recognize that sometimes you just have to head to the beach. If you find yourself in a day before planning situation, please just give us a ring before heading down to make sure there is space available in the program for that day. Please note that the weather on Dauphin Island can be different from that in Mobile or areas farther north: only severe weather conditions result in cancellation. Cancellations due to weather will be posted on our Facebook page.

Many of your questions will likely be answered in the registration form, but contact us at DHPSummer@disl.org or (251) 861-2141, x 7515 if you need additional information.

If you have trouble using the link above, please register at https://bit.ly/SeaLabFridays.

DISL has implemented a number of procedures and precautions to minimize the risk of COVID19 transmission during visits to the Sea Lab. Activities will take place primarily outdoors, groups will be limited in size to facilitate social distancing, and masks will be required for indoor activities, and when social distancing is not possible. Please feel free to contact us for additional information.