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Introduction to Oceanography (year round)
Participants will haul a trawl and plankton net and examine its contents. A discussion of marine habitats and research study techniques will be related to basic concepts, principles and theories of biology, chemistry, physics and earth sciences. This inquiry-based activity can be combined with one of the following topics in a 2 1/2 hour program:

 

 

Lobster Study: provides an overview of the Long Island Sound lobster population, its habitat, diseases and scientific studies. A comparison of fisheries - lobster trapping vs. active gear fishing with trawl nets will be examined.
Thames River Estuary Study: focuses on the Thames River, its marine populations diversity and abundance.
Navigational Aids in Long Island Sound: provides an opportunity to go inside New London Ledge Lighthouse and climb through the light. Participants will reflect on the role lighthouses and other navigational aids play in an active, working harbor.
Sewage Pollution Study: focuses on the effects of pollution on marine habitats, water chemistry and overall ecology of Long Island Sound. Nutrients, fecal coliform and a chlorophyll analysis can be conducted.

Seal Field Study Program (mid-October through mid-April only)
Methods of population counting determine the seal count in Long Island Sound and will be used to compare data from other classes. Behavioral studies of annual migrations and long-term population data will be graphed and subject to a mathematical analysis of data. Hauled-out seals will be counted and compared to the seals in the water. Environmental factors such as weather, tides, wind and waves influence the accuracy of population count.

Gull Rookeries Field Study (late April through June only)
Participants will venture to gull nesting places in Long Island Sound and compare population numbers with data from previous years. Using graphs and mathematical techniques, participants will understand the influence of environmental factors such as weather and waves on populations counts.

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