Science for the People
SCIENCE FOR THE PEOPLE
UPCOMING ENHANCED WHALE-WATCHING CRUISES WILL ALLOW MORE PEOPLE TO PARTICIPATE IN HAND-ON CITIZEN SCIENCE
CCA’s Citizen Science Cruises continue to grow, focusing on gathering meaningful data for scientists and resource managers. This year, the program will expand in an exciting direction—in addition to school cruises, CCA is planning to bring the science to general whale watching boats. The nonprofit will work with Newport Landing Sportfishing, an important partner, pilot new hand’s on citizen science exhibits and exploration backpacks onboard cruises between February and June.
The program will begin testing on the Western Pride in February, allowing students to become citizen scientists and help with scientific monitoring projects. The enhanced whale-watching cruise is currently directed at fourth- and fifth-graders, anda trained marine educator will facilitate the data collection for five different self-guided stations. Students will count and record behaviors of marine mammals (whales, dolphins and sea lions) and birds; participate in a debate about the sea lion abundance along the coast; learn about gray whales; and collect and study plankton using handheld microscopes.
What’s more, CCA will be able to take what’s learned from this program and, perhaps, help to increase the educational experience for over 100,000 public whale watchers that depart from Newport Landing each year.