From Crystal Cove to the Sub-Sahara
The science behind properly managing Parks and open spaces is important at Crystal Cove and around the world. For ten elite Dana High School students, they will have a chance to learn wildlife research techniques in Crystal Cove’s backcountry and apply what they learn on an expedition to South Africa this summer.
Last October, these ten students were selected to be part of the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation’s Global Sustainability Project, which partnered with CCA in an innovative program that prepares students to address the great environmental challenges facing their generation.
Since then, the Dana Hills High School team has been working with Crystal Cove Alliance on local sustainability projects, analyzing plankton collected from Crystal Cove’s Underwater Park and using trap cameras to monitor bobcats and other wildlife commonly found around the Berns Environmental Study Loop in Moro Canyon.
The students’ monitoring work has already been successful. In March, they were able to document photographically a bobcat that frequents the Berns Environmental Study Loop’s amphitheater at night.
“I feel like the work we’re doing is an exciting opportunity” says Catherine Takata, one of the ten students. “I’ve always wanted to work in science and this is a step in the right direction.”
In August, the team will travel to South Africa for 12 days participating in Citizen Science projects with the Earthwatch Institute, working with wildlife biologists to monitor brown hyenas and other scavenger species in Pilanesberg National Park.
For Jack Zhang, this opportunity is a way to connect with others. “Studying plankton and setting up trap cameras may not seem like much in the global scale,” says Jack, “but what we do contributes to not only the study of the local community, but also inspires and teaches others.”