Posts Tagged ‘Race Rocks’

Northern elephant seals at Race Rocks

May 15, 2017

During the first year field exam at Race Rocks on Friday 12 May (post to follow…), there were 11 northern elephant seals (Mirounga angustirostris) that provided both entertainment and answers to the students writing the exam.

One of the questions on the field exam involved observing elephant seals and the seals seemed happy to oblige.

Over the course of the morning, many of the elephant seals made their way to the water.

Once in the water, one elephant seal was frolicking in the bull kelp and blowing bubbles.

In the water

Some students even tried behaving like elephant seals:

Elephant seals

Sea lions, seals and orcas, oh my!

September 28, 2016

First year marine scientists had a wonderful experience at Race Rocks on Friday 23 September. We went to explore this amazing ecosystem and to observe marine mammals and birds.

house-and-tower

We brought Felix Butschek (yr 36, Austria) along:

felix-photographing

More details to follow on his visit later…

We did see (and hear and smell!) many, many sea lions:

We were also lucky to observe five Northern elephant seals:

As an added bonus one group of students also saw orcas:

For more photos see Flickr album here. And for Anne’s summary of the day and some better orca photos, see the Race Rocks blog.

Field exam 2016

May 10, 2016

On Monday 9 May, 26 Marine Science students travelled to Race Rocks on Hyaku or the Discovery Shuttle (chartered from Ocean River Sports since ‘Second Nature’ is still in the shop) to write their first year field exam.

Upon arriving at Race Rocks, students received their exam papers and instructions to travel to six stations around the island of Great Race Rock.

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Only two significant challenges on this morning:

  1. The flies

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    Ilana and flies

  2. Being charged by an elephant seal while collecting data

    Elephant seal.jpg

    Ploypailin, Lauren, Xue Meng and Jill were all frightened from collecting data on the jetty by an elephant seal making its way to the water

All in all though a very successful morning. Thanks to Johannah, Malou and Steph for photos and invigilation! – see this link for more wonderful photos.  Thanks to Chris, Reuben (from Ocean River Sports) and Guy for transport to and from Race Rocks. And thanks to Riley and the elephant seals for their hospitality – see this link for Riley’s post on the Race Rocks log about the Marine Science field exam.

What a day for mammals!

September 30, 2015

During a second year Marine Science class discussion of human impacts on the mudflats, a student shouted “there’s a bear!”Bears3 Bears

So much for the mudflats… all the students rushed down on to the dock to watch the TWO bears run towards the spiritual centre.

Later in the day, a first year class was welcomed ashore at Great Race Island by the usual suspects, California sea lions, Stellar sea lions and a Northern elephant seal.Pinnipeds

The two highlights of the trip to Race Rocks for me (and the students) though were the humpback whale that was feeding just west of reserve and the sea otter that was frolicking in the kelp on the east side of the island. I took a few terrible photos (worse than the bear photos above), but please see Anne’s photos on the Race Rocks blog (humpback fluke and sea otter).

Kate watching humpback

Race Rocks visits with Year 41 students

September 26, 2014

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Three great afternoons at Race Rocks with the three blocks of first year Marine Science students – Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

We observed and photographed many sea lions, both California (Zalophus californianus) and Stellar or Northern sea lions (Eumetopias jubatus).IMG_1492

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We also saw Harbour seals, Elephant seals, Black oystercatchers, Black turnstones, gulls, cormorants, Greater white-fronted geese and Canada geese.

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The weather was variable among the three trips – fog, sunshine and rain at various times.  The boat ride back today was particularly wet!

P1030538P1030513Seems as though everyone had a wonderful time overall though!IMG_1477Thanks to Kohtaro & Adva for photos!

And thanks to Anne for her warm (and wise!) hospitality. See http://www.racerocks.ca/wp/2014/09/24/real-rain/ for more details and more photos.

Field Exam 2014 – A block

May 19, 2014

Better late than never, right?  On 16 May 2014, the other class of first year marine scientists (A block) wrote their field exam at Race Rocks.  Here are a few photos of their experience.

Chloe at the PC docks before departing for Race Rocks.

Chloe

Students working hard:

Meybis

Sisa

Alfredo

Buzurg

Measuring the change in the height of the tide over 30 minutes…

Camille2

Anna

Elliot

Courtney, Ivan & Sophia watching the whale watchers.

Courtney Ivan Sophia

Caroline

Happy students!!

Jessica2

 

Buzurg & Awa measuring the dimensions of the Race Rocks jetty.

Buzurg Awa

 

Elephant seals (?!) on the jetty.

Elephant seals

 

Exam is over – time to return to the College.

Departure

 

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Awa on boat

Buzurg3

Riikka on boat

Jessica

 

Thanks to Sophia for taking photos!

Sophia

Field Exam 2014 – D block

May 16, 2014

RR2 It was a stunningly beautiful Thursday morning when eight D block marine scientists travelled to Race Rocks to complete their field exam. Kami Students measured, Hanne2 and measured, Erika Laura Zeena and wrote, Erika Tyleisha and wrote, Killaq and wrote. Hanne A very successful morning for the students and for the island wildlife: Anemone eating A giant green anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) feasting on what appeared to be a sea cucumber. There were also many, many elephant seals: Elephant seal flies Elephant seals Elephant seal2 Elephant seal   Special thanks to Anne Stewart for preparing the students so well: AnneAnne2 and to Elliot (PC 39) for the photos. Elliot

Marine science learning adventures at Pearson College

April 30, 2014

 Marine Science students aboard MV Second Nature, head out to Race Rocks Marine Protected Area to do a quantitative, rocky shore study.

Marine Science students aboard MV Second Nature, head out to Race Rocks Marine Protected Areas to do a quantitative, rocky shore study.

Tidal currents boil and swirl around the study site and safety is top priority. A sharp look out for sneaker waves keeps everyone dry.

Tidal currents boil and swirl around the study site and safety is the top priority. A sharp look out for sneaker waves keeps everyone dry.

The first job is to stretch out a reference tape measure.

The first job is to stretch out a reference tape measure.

Using ancient but precise, Egyptian technology, the students carefully measure vertical height using a water level and record the abundance of different species as they work their way up the shore.

Using ancient but precise, Egyptian technology, the students carefully measure vertical height using a water level and record the abundance of different species as they work their way up the shore.

The students are learning about marine ecology by doing it.

The students are learning about marine ecology by doing it.

Getting up close and personal with limpets and periwinkles is the best way to make observations.

Getting up close and personal with limpets and periwinkles is the best way to make observations.

Direct observations help the students understand broader topics in marine science.

Direct observations help the students understand broader topics in marine science.

These little brooding anemones may not have a brain but they are sensible enough to "hang on" to their offspring and give them a head start over their 'cousins' with planktonic larvae.

These little brooding anemones may not have a brain but they are sensible enough to “hang on” to their offspring and give them a head start over their ‘cousins’ with planktonic larvae.

These ancient mollusks haven't changed much in several hundred millions years. That is because they are well adapted to hang on to the rock and scrape off the algae using a metal scraper (aka a radula with iron in it).

These ancient mollusks haven’t changed much in several hundred millions years. That is because they are well adapted to hang on to the rock and scrape off the algae using a metal scraper (aka a radula with iron in it).

These little aggregating anemones host algae in their skin, akin to the corals but soft. That is cooperation at its best.

These little aggregation anemones host algae in their skin, akin to the corals but soft.

Students work together to try and figure out the biotic and abiotic interactions that are shaping the the distribution of organisms.

Students work together to try and figure out the biotic and abiotic interactions that are shaping the the distribution of organisms.

Measurements of mussels and barnacles helps make sense of the abundance data.

Measurements of mussels and barnacles helps make sense of the abundance data.

Now comes the hard part of processing the raw data, pooling data and making sense out of the findings.

Now comes the hard part of processing the raw data, pooling data and making sense out of the findings.

Window into a sea urchin

May 13, 2013

Window into a sea urchin

Students writing their first year field exam at Race Rocks on Saturday 11 May spotted this green sea urchin with a window to its Aristotle’s lantern. More details about the field exam to come…

Four-armed blood star

April 22, 2013

Henricia tidepool

Henricia aboral

Henricia oral

With no evidence of a fifth arm.

Observed on 17 April 2013 at Race Rocks – East side of Great Race Rock.