Overview of Activities:
Our shipboard learning is focused on hands-on activities that allow our students to act as field scientists. They will use real scientific tools to collect data, make observations, and understand the ways we impact and are impacted by the Long Island Sound. Students will be engaged in active learning while also having the opportunity to appreciate and develop a deeper connection to one of our most valuable natural resources.
Water sampling– How can we learn about Long Island Sound without looking at the water itself? Take samples of water from different locations and use tools to take measurements and compare them in order to learn more about the way water quality affects the health of the Sound.
Intertidal habitats– Examine a model of the rocky intertidal environment and meet and hold some of the creatures that call it home. Get your hands dirty and learn how the intertidal zone is impacted by human activities, and how we are affected by it.
Trawling– Deploy and retrieve the trawl net in order to learn about some of the equipment that field scientists use to study biodiversity and to come face-to-face with some of the residents of Long Island Sound. Collect, study, and touch animals from the lowest levels of the Sound.
Raising sails– Work together to set sail! Using a bit of muscle, we can turn our 80-foot floating classroom into a quiet, emissions-free way to travel Long Island Sound as it has been traveled for hundreds of years.
Field observations– Take a moment to simply observe the Sound and use your senses to determine the conditions for your field study for that day. Compare how these conditions differ from what you typically experience and understand what a special and unique place Long Island Sound is.
Plankton sampling– Take a closer look at the critical (but often tiny) members of Long Island Sound that fill its waters. Use a plankton net to retrieve a sample of plankton and use field scopes in order to identify what species can be found here. Discuss the role that plankton play in the ocean food web and how they directly affect us, even on land.