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Marine Biology

Inspiring Youth To Protect The Oceans

11811454_876124882464540_7186074118662348853_nWith all of the recent talk about protecting the oceans, there is increasingly more and more momentum to learn what we can do to help from our coastal and inland communities. People are rallying together to end practices that are devastating to the environment; despite all of the conservation laws that are on the books, there are still practices that are used which damage the oceans and destroy fisheries.

Most people learn more effectively if they experience something first hand. That’s why Mountain and Sea Adventures provides experiential learning programs for their students, along with teachers and chaperones who want to learn more about ocean conservation.

The four major oceans on the planet are home to diverse and distinctive ocean creatures. These animals are simply not just the usual fishes or whales we know, but also cephalopods, crustaceans, plants, and even birds. Some of these creatures are on the brink of extinction and many are endangered due to negative human impacts on the marine environment.

In order for the abundantly and extremely valuable resource of the ocean to be around for future generations it is important we make sure that we are taking actions that are sustainable and do not allow for bad practices to continue negatively affecting the oceans.

Power of The Dollar

As consumers, we all need to make the shift to promoting ocean conservation by reducing our plastic consumption, using biodegradable products, and picking seafood that was harvested or raised in a manner that helps the oceans to rebuild instead of destroying them.

Individuals and some organizations, have contributed greatly in the efforts to save our oceans. However, while their works are helpful, they cannot do it alone. People like you and I have to do our part in protecting this diverse ecosystem.

There is also a great amount of damage that gets done to the oceans with the usage of industrial fishing techniques. Many sea creatures find that their habitats are being destroyed. The good news is that there are more and more options for sustainable seafood for folks who want to be eating from the sea in a responsible manner.

So, what can individuals do in order to help save the ocean? First, we should encourage awareness by studying and sharing ocean facts. Education and learning will encourage awareness, which in turn will promote its preservation. Academic institutions and organizations have conducted substantial studies of different ocean conditions, and information is widely accessible for those who want to learn more about this and contribute to finding viable solutions.

In addition to that, it’s always best to start when young, that’s why parents and teachers should take their kids/students to environmental educational programs that are focused on imparting a love for conservation.

MSA’s programs offer youth useful and fun environmental education activities that students will find incredibly interesting to learn. Kids, teens as well as parents and teachers, can get up close and personal with the marine environment when they attend our programs at Catalina Island or Camp Oakes, Big Bear. It is an adventurous program that is both educational and enjoyable for everyone.

Single Use Plastics Are A Thing Of The Past

The importance of bottle water cannot be overlooked. Please think for a moment about how many people you saw today with a bottle of water and then think of that on a global scale. Those bottles alone would create a staggering pile of dump. Buying a reusable water bottle from the store and filling it up at home from a larger bottle will not only save you money but it will decrease the amount of plastic products purchased on a regular basis if everyone does so. This not only cuts down on garbage but it cuts down on petroleum based consumption. Plastic products are not biodegradable and will not go away with time but we can shrink the numbers of them in our landfills and in our oceans by not purchasing as many of them.

Another easy way to cut down on waste products is to carry reusable shopping bags. How many times a week do you go to the store and walk out with more than you even planned to purchase. Filling more plastic bags than you can use, and in turn creating more waste than necessary.

Ocean Awareness in Your Yard and Landscape

Runoff from the streets goes somewhere, does it not? In coastal areas more times than not, it goes to watersheds and ends up in the ocean. When you walk down the street, clean out your garage regularly, or wash your car in the driveway always be conscious of what goes down the gutters.

If you see trash when out in your neighbourhood do not forget to pick it up. You are taking care of your home and our planet by doing so. Millions of pieces of garbage are unnecessarily allowed to float their way to the coast and add to a growing pollution problem in the oceans.

We can all make a difference and every little bit does count even if it not evident at times. Always reuse resources that can be reused and cut down on those that you do not need to consume. You can also look into supporting many non-profits organisations that support education, conservation, and environmental protection. The “Gyre” of waste in the Pacific is just one example of marine pollution that exists today. Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) educates thousands of students from the southern California area every year.

Do not forget that this planet is our home and it will only remain a healthy and beautiful place if we all take steps to conserve and foster conservation and environmental concern in those around us. Take the time to make a difference and be conscious of the choices you make today knowing they do have an impact on all of us and other organisms that call this blue planet home.


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How MSA’s Summer Camp Program Imparts A Love For Environmental Science

Mountain and Sea Adventures hosts the most educational, fun and adventurous summer programs for kids in California. From our amazing shipboard summer camp exploring the various coves of Catalian Island, to our marine science day camps in San Pedro and the Newport Back Bay. MSA offers something for everyone and is bound to be the highlight of your child’s summer!

Catalina Island Kids and Teen Shipboard Camp

This program is unlike any other summer camp on Catalina Island. Your child lives aboard a marine research vessel for a full week of snorkeling, kayaking and exploring the beaches, coves and trails of Catalina Island. Summer camp for kids and teens is not only fun and exciting at every activity, but imparts high self-esteem, social skills, and other altruistic character traits.

One day might include snorkeling at a premiere island location, then going to shore for games and recreational activities, fishing, kayaking, and exploring trails, sea caves and tide pools.

Students get the opportunity to do hands-on field biology research, and learn how to keep a field journal and use the scientific method to think like an actual marine biologist. This makes doing certain activities such as snorkeling at the oldest marine preserve on the island, at the USC Wrigley Marine Institute’s cove nearby the isthmus, even more exciting.

The week always seems to fly by so fast, like they say: Time flies when you’re having fun! A whole week of surfing, camping, meeting new friends and playing in the ocean together is just never enough! Perhaps this is why our campers always end up coming back year after year, to let the adventure continue!

Catalina Island Family Camp

MSA has now made it possible for families to enjoy a few days spending valuable time together on Catalina Island. Families live aboard a fully stocked and equipped marine research vessel and have the chance to visit many various coves and beaches, including a fireworks show at either Avalon or Two Harbors for our fourth of July family camps.

Cabrillo Day Camp

Located at Cabrillo Beach in San Pedro is our summer day camp program. Campers enjoy educational and fun activities about marine biology and environmental science, as well as visiting the nearby beaches and tide pools, kayaking, beach and pool play time, arts and crafts and lots of fun group games and activities. This camp focuses on imparting environmental stewardship skills, leadership and team building skills and building character in youth.

Newport Day Camp

The Back Bay in Newport Beach is an incredible resource with an endless potential for education and imparting an appreciation for environmental science. MSA’s youth camp is set at the Back Bay Science Center, and has kayaks and canoes for exploring the back bay, as well as touch tanks, microscope labs and lots of fun and educational equipment and materials.

Every day campers play fun games, learn about one of their marine animals, and express their creativity through arts and crafts, games and group activities.

Mountain and Sea Adventures is dedicated to uplifting youth and teaching students to be aware of their environment and contribute productively to reduce negative impact, cleanup and help correct any damage, and take ownership in their surroundings.

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Outdoor Education Science Camp on Catalina Island

There is no better place than Emerald Bay for your outdoor education science camp on Catalina Island. Located on the far west end of the island, Emerald Bay may be the most remote camp on the island, but it’s facilities are among the most elite. With the most sophisticated salt water aquariums and touch tanks, on the island, the Pennington Marine Science Center is an amazing educational resource unto itself, not to mention the four marine ecosystems available to snorkelers in the cove itself.

The Best School Field Trip to Catalina Island

Emerald Bay is easily accessed by boat from Long Beach, the crossing gives students the opportunity to see dolphins, seals and sea lions, and quite frequently even grey and blue whales. There is no better choice for your school field trip. Catalina Island is a magical destination, one of the largest privately operated nature preserves in the world, affording your students the rare opportunity to see an abundance of wildlife such as Island Fox, bison, golden and bald eagles, deer, and other rare plants and animals.

MAS’s science camp program each involves a short lecture, in-depth hands-on activities and then journaling time for developing a conclusion and gradually working on a hypothesis. Campers are taught how to think like field biologist, how to use a field journal and how to understand the scientific process and use it in their own research projects.

Catalina Island Marine Life

Catalina Island has an abundance or marine life, and has been an ecological conservation since 1972. Catalina Island has been preserved in its natural state with great success. In recent years a number of marine protected areas have been designated, limiting the fishing and gathering of sea life in those areas.

Examples of Catalina Island marine life would include the California state marine fish, the Garibaldi, as well as Sheepshead, kelp bass, lobster and other invertabrates, sharks, rays and marine mammals such as seals, sea lions, dolphins and even the occasional California grey whale, which like to visit the island coastline during their migrations between Alaska and Baja.

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Why Bringing Your Students To Camp On Catalina Island Will Change Their Life

Bringing your students to camp on Catalina Island is bound to enrich their lives (not only academically, but personally, as well). Coming to camp on Catalina places each student outside of their comfort zone, where they have to try new things and explore untapped potential, talent and interests.

Camp is a safe place where each child can learn and grow freely, without the pressures of needing to perform and compare their results to their peers. This leads to the opportunity for profound self development and breakthrough, as students see there is more to life than what they have been shown in their home towns, and that they can achieve anything they set their minds on.

A New Perspective On What is Possible For Them

Coming to science camp on Catalina Island gives each student the chance to see that there are endless opportunities and directions they can take their lives. Activites such as snorkeling and kayaking, which place students completely outside of anything they have ever experienced before, proves to themselves that they are capable of greatness, and truly can be what ever they set out to be.

This kind of experience can be enough to spark hope in the heart of a child whom may not have much else going for them, but who can now hold onto a dream and begin working towards achieving it.

The Opportunity To Develop Themselves Academically

Outdoor education shows students that learning is not only fun, but can be one of the most exciting parts of their lives if they approach it right. Learning enriches such activities as snorkeling, hiking and kayaking; having a chance to learn about the animals you will encounter in the activity gives the students the opportunity to get more interested in seeing the actual animal in the wild. When they do see the animal during the activity, they are infinitely more excited because of the facts they have learned about it during the lecture.

Before long, students are seeing themselves becoming marine biologists, or pursuing other higher education goals because of how much fun they have seen learning can be.

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A One Of A Kind Marine Biology Science Camp on Catalina Island

Mountain and Sea Adventures marine biology camp on Catalina Island is a one-of-a-kind, once in a lifetime educational experience that inspires students to dream big, break their fears and change their world.
250354_155784427831926_7442142_nThis program brings together hands-on field biology activities with character building, team work and imparting a deep personal understanding, love and appreciation for the awe-inspiring world of natural science.
Students, teachers and chaperons all benefit greatly from participating in MSA’s fun and highly educational activities beginning the moment you step off the boat to the beautiful and enchanting premier location of Emerald Bay, which hosts 4 marine ecosystems,world class salt water aquariums and touch tanks, and scenic outdoor classrooms set in the beauty of Santa Catalina Island, one of the largest privately operated nature preserve islands in the world.
You enjoy activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, squid dissection, hiking, plankton trawls, microscope labs, shark touch tanks and a wide diversity of both terrestrial and marine wildlife.
Each of MSA’s activities involves hands-on learning opportunities and the opportunity to build character traits such as courage, perseverance, stewardship and leadership. Your students learn how to keep a field journal and utilize the scientific method to develop and refine their own hypothesis, thus learning how to think and perceive the natural world around them through the eyes of a field biologist.
Coming to camp on Catalina Island is the opportunity of a life time and guaranteed to be the highlight of your school year, and bound to touch the lives of each and every person whom attends.
It’s now easier than ever to bring your class or group to Catalina Island for an educational experience that they will cherish for a life time!

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5 Tips To Spark A Love For Natural Science In Your Students

  1. Encourage students to keep a field journal.

credit-AnneFMaben82Good science begins with learning how to observe your surroundings methodically, as to notice patterns, ask questions and form theories about what you are researching. Keeping a personal field journal can really empower each student to develop their thoughts and learn how to really think like a scientist.

Once students learn the scientific method, they should begin keeping a field journal immediately. This way they can apply the theoretical side of what they just learned to the practical in-field side, where their ability to interaction with the natural world is greatly enriched.

A field journal is a place where a field scientist can enter data in an organized manner, allowing them to look back over it later to notice patterns and correlations between various elements.

  1. Conduct actual field research on your campus

As a teacher you can very easily set the criteria for conducting a real on-going research project, where you can monitor some area of campus, or something in the class room for a certain period of time every week. Students can enjoy the fresh air and excitement of going outdoors, even if just to an area of their school campus, and learn how to view their surroundings through the eyes of a scientist, how to collect data, and then how to look at it upon leaving the field.

  1. Offer award celebrations, pizza parties, etc. for scientific class achievements.

Offer incentives for participation and excellence in the form of an award system. You can give awards for keeping the most detailed and well organized field journal, the most used and soiled field journal, the most well thought out hypothesis, etc. The sky is the limit for honoring the efforts and achievements of your science students.

  1. Look for opportunities to enter your school or class into local, state-wide and national competitions.

Science fairs and competitions are a great way to boost the morale and engagement in your class, bringing out the natural and healthy competitiveness of children to advance them selves, building high self-esteem and altruistic character. These are the sort of experiences that create life long passion and interest in the incredible world of science.

  1. Bring your students to an overnight outdoor education class trip.

IMG_2387_zps5727e4f8A class trip, such as marine biology camp on Catalina Island, is an awesome opportunity to expose and immerse your students in a life changing educational experience. Students who participate at one of MSA’s youth camps are given the chance to develop a personal love, understanding and passion for marine science through hands on involvement. Each activity also gives them the opportunity to develop an aspect of themselves, work on a new skill, overcome a fear or aversion, and build character traits that make them feel great about themselves before heading back home at the end of the program.

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The Most Affordable And Educational Catalina Sea Camp

MSA has been running their sea camp on Catalina for over 18 years, and excels in providing the highest quality yet most affordable outdoor education experience on Catalina.

When your students attend one of MSA’s Catalina sea camp programs, they are immediately immersed into the exciting world of natural science from the moment they step off the ferry! The camp environment is set in a marine conservation and island nature preserve, which gives your students the opportunity to develop a life long appreciation for the beauty of environment and the importance in preserving it.

MSA’s Catalina Marine Camp at Emerald Bay

10302054_682080205202343_289783729261922074_nMSA’s program focuses on conducting actual field research, as your students understand how to utilize the scientific method through using a field journal to record data, notice patters and develop hypotheses, and eventually a theory.

Each activity, such as snorkeling, hiking and kayaking, has a short lecture before hand to prepare the students for what they will see during the lab. That way they can use their field journals during the activity similar to a scientist using one during monitoring and conducting experiments in the field.

Every student who comes to Catalina sea camp gets to experience putting on a wetsuit, mask and snorkel and following the guidance of our well-trained instructors and lifeguards to see the spectacular beauty of the world beneath the oceans surface with their own eyes. Catalina sea camp is always a life changing experience that stays with every one of MSA’s participants long after their stay. These are the experiences that give birth to future marine biologists, and inspire all students towards a personal appreciation for marine biology. Catalina sea camp is a unique experience for all!

Catalina Island Camps Are An Unforgettable Experience

281818_155722767838092_7562355_nThe camp environment on Catalina is very special, the students feel as if they are on a different continent, yet they are only a few hours from the port of Los Angeles! The wonder and mystery in the air Catalina Island camps creates the perfect environment for children to explore themselves and their abilities, to try out new things, and consider new ideas.

MSA’s Catalina sea camp is a safe place for youth, where they are free from many of the pressures and challenges in their home environment, allowing them to discover their own talents, build altruistic character traits and make long lasting friendships with their peers.

A Fun and Educational Catalina Island Kids Summer Camp

Although most of the year MSA is catering to school groups at their premier location at Emerald Bay, we greatly look forward to the opportunity to play in the sun and ocean during summer time. Catalina island kids summer camp and teens summer camp is an adventurous program unlike any other in California. Come along for one or two weeks and enjoy all the very best that Catalina sea camp has to offer!

IMG_3990_zpse1492c4eLive aboard a 112’ long marine research vessel as we tour around the island and enjoy some of the best snorkeling spots in the world, remote beaches all to our selves, cliff jumping, leaping off the top deck of the ship, surfing on the back side of the island, and lots more!

The ship is fully outfitted with marine research equipment and supplies, making the activities even more fun and exciting, as the students learn how to experience their surroundings through the eyes of a natural scientist.

The Magic of Camping on Catalina Island

Mountain and Sea Adventures (MSA) offers many different packages for a wide range of groups, from schools to families and individual campers during overnight summer camp programs.

Camping on Catalina Island is always a unique opportunity to enjoy being in the peace and quiet of undisturbed nature. You will probably see various wildlife such as deer, bison and the endemic Catalina Island Fox, which can only be found on the island and no where else in the world.

Being constantly surrounded by such awe-inspiring natural beauty leaves a lasting impression, and allows for deep mental and physical peace and rejuvenation. In such an environment, one becomes eager to learn and explore the natural secrets of science all around them.

Enjoy Two Harbors Catalina Camping At The Isthum

10584078_689154487828248_2867922399694497054_nFor the smaller group, or for the group that wants to have a bit more access to amenities, the small village of Two Harbors is a perfect alternative to our more remote location at Emerald Bay.

MSA’s outdoor education program at Two Harbors allows schools to live inside a quaint and beautiful island village with a population of only 300 people. There is a general store, restaurant, coin-op laundry and showers, a large grassy park, and beautiful well maintained beaches. This feels more like a resort, island village and science camp all in one!

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