Prior to the dissection, students are prepped by the instructor and given a general introduction to the shark group and vertebrates. This will be followed by a discussion of shark myths. The anatomy and physiology of the shark is then explored with each student encouraged to participate in the actual dissection of the spiny dogfish.
Captain Paul Quintal welcomes students aboard his forty foot lobster boat for an educational tour of Plymouth Harbor. This unique hands-on excursion will offer students the rare opportunity to see how lobsters are harvested from their natural environment. This cruise encourages passengers to roll up their sleeves to help haul in lobster traps. As they closely observe the lobsters and various species of marine life that live in harbor, they will gain a new perspective and understanding of the many creatures that live in the ocean and particularly in the protected waters of Plymouth Harbor.
Coastal Ecology introduces students to a variety of ecosystems found at Ellisville Harbor State Park. Upland fields, a deciduous forest, a salt marsh and a barrier beach are explored during this class. Students will experience the sights, sounds and smells of these different habitats. A scavenger hunt on the beach gives students an opportunity to become familiar with the plants and animals found in the intertidal area. Additionally, students are introduced to the unique geological history of the area; a continuous theme woven into the discussion of each of these ecosystems.