Last week SLI 9th graders visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The day-long field trip included a hands-on “Discovery Lab” seminar given specifically for our students, where students learned about the biodiversity of the kelp forrest

“The kelp forests of Monterey Bay are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on earth. What is biodiversity and why is it important? Through hands-on animal observations, students consider the important ecological roles played by myriad interconnected kelp forest organisms. Students also consider ways kelp forest biodiversity impacts people.” (

After the seminar, students explored the many wonderful exhibits at the aquarium, including:

  • ¡Viva Baja!, an exploration of the creatures that live off those coast of Baja California
  • Tentacles, which features octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish, all masters at blending in and surviving the ocean in fascinating ways
  • Open Sea, a place to find marine wildlife that can survive without the protection of the coast, massive tuna, mesmerizing jellyfish, placid sunfish, tranquil turtles, and more.
  • Kelp Forest, where students could see what Monterey Bay kelp forests look like from the ocean floor
  • Sandy Short & Aviary, where visitors can see shoreline birds and bat rays up close.

It was a fantastic day of discovering and appreciating marine wildlife, natural habitats, conservation, and ecology.

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