Thursday, December 3, 2009

Lets get in the Water: Snorkeling!

We had a great time snorkeling while at CELP. We learned how to put on, take off and put away all the snorkeling gear then we got into our wetsuits.

The water at the west end of Catalina is really clear and there's tons of creatures to see swimming or crawling around.

Here's a few snapshots of us snorkeling at Howland's landing. This one's a shot of Tyler about half way out to the point... I wonder if he's starting to get cold about right now?

Here's Jennifer obviously having a great time.

Rachel looks like she's having fun too!

Here's a shot of Pamela and Miss Doyle, another one of our chaperones.

Monday, November 30, 2009

CELP Day 1 Continued: Moving In and Getting ready to Snorkel

After a quick run across the channel (it was beautiful, Santa Ana conditions with flat water and blue skies) we arrived at Howland's Landing, home of the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program also known as C.E.L.P..

Once you're off the boat, you help to unload luggage and then you move into your cabins. Boys were sent up to "Boy's Camp" and the ladies were sent to "Girl's Camp".

This was one of the cabins that we were assigned to, nice door!

Mr. Crawford was our fearless leader on up into Boy's Camp.

Once we moved in and had lunch it was time for our afternoon program, snorkeling!

Wetsuits are so fun to wear, especially the "happy strap" that holds the jacket to the pants.

Here's Thomas modeling the latest Fall wetsuit fashion. Sweet purple knees!

Then again, all the cool kids wear yellow kneed wetsuits... right?

Sherman's all suited up and ready to go explore the kelp forests of Catalina Island.

Some of us were given three wetsuits- the more layers, the warmer you were. The only problem was that if you put on multiple suits you also bobbed around like a rubber duck.

When you were suited up, it was time to go into the Dive Shack and get fitted for a mask and snorkel. This part was easy, put the mask on your face and inhale- if it sticks, you're set.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Off to the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program

Once a year we get to run out to Catalina Island to participate in the Catalina Environmental Leadership Program. Here are a few photos of our trip:

Day 1: We leave from Imperial Beach at 6:45 in the morning.

Early morning boat rides... oh joy.

Pack light, because you've got to carry your own gear! Sherman might still be asleep.

Here's Monique and Priscilla lounging in the bow cabin of the Catalina Express... we're off to Catalina!

Erica's excited about what lies ahead at Howland's Landing... she had a couple of surprises waiting for her... can you say "stomach flu"?

Check back for more of Day 1!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sand Crab Monitoring Project Day 1

Here's a quick overview of our Sand Crab Monitoring Project. This is the second major project of the year. We're still working on getting our Seashore Guide to press... don't worry, it'll happen sooner or later!

This is what we're after: Emerita analoga. These creatures are also known as the Pacific Mole Crab or, even more commonly, the sand crab. These are late season females that Carson Burns showed us how to capture using our hands.

Carson was definitely the "Crab Master" today. Interestingly, we found more sand crabs around the pier than anywhere else....

Christina and TPS are excited by the crabs. In class, we learned how to sex the crabs (determine if they are boys or girls) and how to measure them. We also learned about crab anatomy; anybody know what a pleopod is?

Catching mole crabs involves getting wet. We learned that the crabs live in an area of the intertidal called the swash zone. This is the area from the farthest reach of the wave-water to the lowest reach of the receding wave. Believe me, if you're doing it right, you're getting splashed and wet.

All kinds of beach visitors and tourists came up to us to ask about what we were doing. It was our chance to be "science ambassadors" on the beach. It was interesting to learn that very few people had any idea about mole crabs- most of them were amazed by them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Assignment due Late???

Hey, it's Sherman again! Well, it's been a while since I've posted a blog. As a matter of a fact, it's been a while since anyone has posted a blog. There's been a lot going on in Project Science the last two weeks. For one thing, there was a handful of people that needed extensions typing up their work, including me. There was also a few people who flaked out on the assignment, hmph! We've also moved on to another unit in Project Science, which means we can't do work on the guide during class anymore. Also, the whole story on Mr. Ashley's jury duty incident slowed things down a bit (That was a radical story of what happened, by the way.). At least the typists were able to get some things done and we were able to move forward with the project. Unfortunately, Mr. Ashley's goal of finishing the guide was pushed further down the calendar because of all this that was going on. Well, hopefully nothing bad like this happens so we can keep moving forward on this project!

That's all I got to say for now so see you guys later!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Assignment due date!

Hey guys!
This is Priscilla McCullough!

Today in class we turned in our organism assignments and Mr. Ashley revised and read them out loud to us. Our next step is to give the papers to the "typists" and "editors" they will make any changes that need to be done.

Last class, we chose jobs for our book. We have translators, typists, editors, and people to do layouts. Each job is important, this book can't be done without any of those. So until then we will be translating in English and Spanish as well as making our page layouts and picking the perfect pictures. In addition, we will be checking for grammar in people's essays and typing them all up.

And that's all for now!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's Time to Research!

Hello, I'm Sherman, and I'm in Mr. Ashley's Project Science class. This is the first time I've blogged for the I.B. Seashore Guide we've been working on. Well, last time we met in class, we took a look at some of the guides already in existence, and we as a class talked about what was good in them and what was not. We were also assigned an organism to research on for the actual guide. For me, I got assigned the limpet. We have until Wednesday to find out information about our organism. Until then!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Done with the beach and back to the Class!

Hello this is Priscilla McCullough reporting on what we did in class today.

It's time to start working on our class book!

Today we chose the creatures we are going to write about.
We chose numbers out of the fishbowl. The numbers are coordinated to a picture of an organism that we will be writing about. Christina is choosing her number, she selected number seven which turned out to be Ulva.

Here are some pictures of students' selected photos. All of our photo assignments will be published in our seashore guide along with information about the organism. Information will contain common and scientific name, size and range as well as interesting facts.

Now that they have their assignment they must find the scientific name for their sea life as well as write a short paragraph on what their sea life is like.

The picture to the right is a picture of a seagull and the one to the left are snails.

These girls are putting their minds together to come up with some great ideas for our book!

After we chose our sea life, we went through books and wrote down things we liked and disliked about the layouts of the books.

We took into consideration the amount of information, lighting on pictures, and how big or small the pictures were.

We liked that the information was easy to read and right next to the picture.
Mr. Ashley gave us some advice on how we should create the book too.
When you make a book you have to take into thought your own experiences on when you you've looked at in previous books and if you had to change some things what would they be?
Also, how long your information is, you don't want it too long.

They are showing off the cover and explaining their ideas. We decided as a class that an interesting cover would be ideal.

It's their turn to tell the class what they think of the book.

In our class assignments we don't want our book to be completly boring so Mr. Ashley thought of a fun way to make things more exciting. We could name the phyllum our creatures are in. Also, research and find myths or folk songs about them. In additon to the two above, we could use personal experiences on the sea life we chose. Finally we could tie our short essay together by taking a picture of our sea life.

Monday, August 24, 2009

The day on the beach: Our second photo walk- last chance!

Hello! My name is Priscilla McCullough, I am a junior in Mr. Ashley's Project Science class and this is my first time blogging, I'm going to talk a little bit about things we have done on the jetty.

We learned in class that taking good photos is a lot of work. For example, you need to consider lighting and the position of the photo as well making sure that the photo is focused and not too cluttered.

Mr. Ashley gives students one of his "lectures" while on the jetty.

LOOK! He found something! What's under there?
Many things are found under the jetty like crabs and little organisms that wash up and stick to the rocks.

Here are some students preparing kelp for a photo.

One student hands the other a ruler so she can measure the length of the wreck.

The students make sure that the wreck is clean and will remove a piece of it so that the photo isn't too crowded.

Hmmm, looks like we found something!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo Analysis: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Today we spent time reviewing the photos that we snapped on our beach walk. We learned that not all photos are good photos. In fact, Mr. Ashley had us apply a whole set of criteria to each photo to determine if we could use it in our guide. Here's a few of the good, the bad and the ugly.

We all liked this photo
; good detail, great color and a straightforward focal point. We'll call this one, "The Good".

This photo will be filed under, "The Bad". There are just so many things wrong with it. Here's a couple weaknesses: The background for the fish is really busy, the angle is bad too- you can't see any identifying markings on the fish. And don't get me started on scale... how big is that thing anyway?

The "Seagull eating the pigeon" was a huge hit. There must have been five versions of this photo. This one falls easily into, "The Ugly" catagory. We don't want to scare any small children away from our guide book so we'll try to leave out the ugly photos.

Here's our class holding up all of the points that Mr. Ashley typed up about good and bad photos. And the, "If you ever do this with the cameras you'll never use one again" guidelines... sheesh!

Some of us are so into it
we're going to meet Mr. Ashley at 5:30am on Sunday to try to snap some additional photos... and it's not even a school day. Are you kidding me!

Here we are in class reviewing all of the photos. If you decided it was a bad photo you had to explain why using the critiques that Mr. Ashley gave us. This photo was bad because it needed something in it to give the viewer an idea of scale. Next time we'll put a ruler in the photo or a pencil so that you can get an idea of how big the object is.

Here's another really good photo- it kind of breaks the "Busy" rule but it's an interesting angle on the pier and it's got cool colors in it.

And this was a great bird photo it's close enough so that you can easily see the bird's markings- important for an identification guide. This is definitely a keeper.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Photo Walk Day 1: Period 6 takes their turn at the beach...

Today it was period 6's turn to head down and capture some photos of Imperial Beach's sea life.

Here, the girls take a close up shot of a piece of green algae. We'll take that photo back to class, identify the algae and add it to our seashore guide.

No, JR's not taking a rock photo. He's found a piece of dried red algae and he's trying to get just the right angle on it.

Reyna got to use the City of Imperial Beach's
beach wheel chair....STOKED! Here Lifeguard Art Ayala sets it up for her. A big thanks to the City of Imperial Beach and the I.B. Lifeguards for taking care of us.... you made Reyna's day!

We're going to call her "Hot Rod" from now on... she was zipping all over the beach on that thing!

Tomorrow: Back to the class to identify the organisms and begin our research.... also.... time to brainstorm our Sea Shore Guide: What should it look like?