Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Afterschool Marine Science Program: Rookery Bay Trawl

Yesterday we wrapped up the second field trip of afterschool marine science program with migrant students from Marco Island Charter School. We went out in Rookery Bay to do a trawl. The students seemed to have a blast as they got to see and hold several cool marine critters. The tide was ripping, which hindered the trawling a bit, but we still managed to bring in a decent hall. The catch of the day was a cow-nosed ray. It was a first for most of the students. Besides that, the catch was dominated by invertebrates. The students didn't seem to mind as they got to examine several sea stars, brittle stars, tunicates, comb jellies, moon jellies, crabs, and a sea hare up close. Although we didn't get many other fish, we did get a hogchoker, which I haven't seen in awhile. We also caught several spot, and I was so happy that my students remembered what it was from last week's field trip.  To see their expressions, and hear their comments made me realize how important these field-based hands-on learning experiences are no matter one's age or economic status. It was a profound reminder of why I'm in this field. Well, enough chatting, I thought I'd let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

My first ray caught in the trawl

I let the students feel the ray's skin, which they though was very cool!

comb jelly anyone?

What does a sea star feel like?

Sea stars made up the largest portion of our catch.

The kids really enjoyed watching the sea star's tube feet move.

Her smile says it all!

Showing the group the remains of  a couple moon jellies.

A very small sea hare

The students enjoyed watching the sea hare move in my hand

A student taking a picture of one of the spot we caught

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