Life’s a Beach

Blogger volunteer with young women in science

MLML bloggers Michelle, Diane, and Catherine volunteer with Young Women In Science

By Catherine Drake and Michelle Marraffini, Invertebrate Zoology and Molecular Ecology Lab

Photos by: Diane Wyse, Physical Oceanography Lab

Summer is here on the Central Coast and MLML students as well as a few MBARI interns took some time off to play hooky for a cause.    We volunteered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Young Women in Science (YWS) program to help middle school girls in this summer camp monitor the beach for sand crabs and learn how to boogie board.    The camp’s aim is help empower young girls interested in science to be guardians of the ocean.   Many of these girls have never been swimming in the ocean before and fellow bloggers Diane, Catherine, and myself showed the girls the joys of splashing in the surf.

Lifeguards explaining some water safety ideas before we head into the water

Lifeguards explaining some water safety ideas before we head into the water

YWS Catherine

Catherine catching a wave with the girls of YWS

We spent half of the day using the scientific method and sampling along a transect to look for sand crabs.  The campers were encouraged to form hypotheses about where the crabs were living and use results to think about larger food webs and ecosystem processes.   After lunch and a safety lesson on currents and waves from the lifeguards, girls rushed towards the ocean with boogie boards in tow ready to conquer this new frontier.  We ran in after them and helped them learn to catch a wave and dive under ones that were too big.   This was the first time being in the ocean for many of these young ladies, and they were so brave as they dominated the large waves.  When it was time to go, many of the girls had enjoyed their time in the water so much that they insisted on catching one final wave.  It was inspirational to see the girls having so much fun making observations about sand crabs and trying to catch every wave they could.  We had a great time volunteering for this essential program, and can’t wait to help out again!

YWS Michelle

Michelle riding a wave and showing the girls of YWS how much fun boogie boarding is

YWS catherine kelp

Never a dull day for a Marine Biologist in Monterey Bay, Catherine models some giant kelp, Macrocystis pyrifera, while boogie boarding

 

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This entry was posted in Catherine Drake, Diane Wyse, Just for Fun, Michelle Marraffini, Oh, the Places We Go!, Why Science Generally Rocks and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Life’s a Beach

  1. Pingback: Monitoring and Mentoring in Monterey: Intern Outreach Volunteering with Young Women in Science « MBARI Interns – Summer of 2012

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