Florida Marine Science (8th)

Dates: 3/29 – 4/4
Location: Florida
Price Range: $3,000 – $3,300
Theme: Science & Culture
Faculty Contact: Burton Barrager

MarineLab Environmental Education Center, is a non-profit organization founded in 1970 to promote ocean conservation through education, research, and collaboration in Key Largo, Florida. We are partnering with MarineLab to bring 8th grade students to experience the biology, geology, and biodiversity in this beautiful, amazing, and fragile sub-tropical marine ecosystem. Students will be swimming, snorkeling, performing marine science labs, researching seagrass, mangroves, coral, plankton, and reef fish, and taking field trips via foot and boat while staying in dormitories at MarineLab. After four days at MarineLab, we will have two days to explore more of the Florida Keys, as well as spend some time in the Everglades National Park. We will be staying one night in Marathon Key where students will kayak in the protected waters of the key (aka, ‘small island’) with the potential to see sea turtles, manatees, and dolphins. Students will also be able to choose to visit one of four unique options while in Marathon: Turtle Hospital, Dolphin Research Center, historic Pigeon Key, or Aquarium Encounters. The finale of our trip will be at Everglades National Park, where we will be able to go on a guided ‘wet walk’ with a park ranger and take an airboat to explore.

Itinerary:  (Please note that activities and days may adjust and change.)

  • Friday 3/29: red-eye flight from SeaTac International Airport to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Florida.
  • Saturday 3/30: arrive in Fort Lauderdale, breakfast, drive to Key Largo, lunch, check-in with MarineLab, orientation, swim test, lagoon snorkel, dinner, seagrass ecology discussion, and a zooplankton identification lab.
  • Sunday 3/31: breakfast, seagrass/mangrove ecology field trip, lunch, coral reef field trip and discussion, dinner, and microplastics and invertebrate diversity labs.
  • Monday 4/1: breakfast, Nest Key seine net field trip, lunch, Rodriquez Key zonation field trip, dinner, reef fish identification, and night lagoon snorkel.
  • Tuesday 4/2: breakfast, coral reef field trip #2, lunch, check out of MarineLab, drive to Marathon Key, kayak, dinner, hotel in Marathon.
  • Wednesday 4/3: breakfast, student choices of the Turtle Hospital, Dolphin Research Center, historic Pigeon Key, or Aquarium Encounters, lunch, drive to Everglades National Park for a 2-3 hour ranger-guided “Wet Walk,” dinner, hotel in Homestead.
  • Thursday 4/4: breakfast, Everglades airboat adventure, lunch, beach, fly home from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to SeaTac International Airport.

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