There's a Marine Biologist in my Classroom

We'll bring the field trip to you!



Let us bring the world of dolphins and sharks to your classroom. Our team of marine educators will pack up their artifacts, equipment, and specimens to deliver a hands-on learning experience so every student feels like a marine biologist.

Sharks:
You can make your own Shark Week!

Sharks and Their Role as Apex Predators
Our professional marine educators have carefully designed this session to provide students with a rich educational experience and a deeper understanding of the role of apex predators in food webs and how sharks use their "sharky" senses to locate and ambush prey. Students will learn how different types of sharks have adaptations, providing advantages for hunting specific prey types in different marine environments. Our staff designed two creative, fun and engaging "out of their seat" experiential activities to incorporate the cognitive, emotional and physical aspects of learning about sharks as apex predators. FUN, FUN, FUN!

Shark Anatomy and Dissection
Here is a marine biology class on steroids.The Marine Education Center staff delivers 2-3 foot long preserved sharks to the classroom, along with all the supplies required to have your choice of a dissection demonstration or a hands-on dissection experience for groups of 4-5 students per specimen. Maximum thirty students to classroom.Students will work with spiny dogfish to learn about the external and internal anatomy, along with what makes the spiny dogfish different from other shark species. Get in there...and get your gloves dirty!

Conservation Measures for Shark Populations on a Global Scale
Sharks get a bad wrap, but they are important members of the marine food web. These creatures are under pressure because people see them as a threat; humans in turn seek to diminish their populations, as well as use them in unethical means such as for exotic trade, selling just the fin for shark fin soup. This all adds up to species vulnerability. Our marine educators engage participants in learning about different types of sharks and the interdependent relationships between their species and other marine animals in the watery world. The education specialists have created a curriculum that includes engaging the class in fun exercises to teach and reinforce the principals of sustainability and the threat of extinction for sharks. Long live the sharks!

University Whale Shark Tagging and Recapture Data - What do we Learn?
Very little is known about the life of a whale shark in the world's oceans. Our staff, working closely with our marine scientists, take the current research and tagging data from our university whale shark studies and bring them to your classroom. Students will learn about the different technologies utilized for tagging these sharks and recording how whale sharks move from one place in the ocean to another. Students will graph research information from specific whale shark individuals and form their own hypotheses about whale shark behavior. You be the scientist! 

Dolphins:

Dolphins of the World
There are forty-four species of both oceanic and freshwater dolphins around the globe! Students will dive into a world of fun while learning all about these cetaceans and their exceptional uniqueness to their individual part of the world, as well as which species lives in our own backyard. The Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin is the most common dolphin species in the Northern Gulf of Mexico. Our educators will not only lecture on multiple species types, but also on photo identification data collection particularly with the bottlenose!

Dolphin Anatomy and Physiology
Learn how dolphins are exclusively modified to fit their various aquatic environments. Students will have the opportunity to handle and examine a number of authentic dolphin artifacts to get up close and personal with what makes a dolphin a dolphin. Both internal and external anatomy will be discussed, as well as all of their amazing adaptations!

Echolocation and Adaptation
Dolphins can hear a frequency range ten times broader than a human’s. Hold a dolphin skull and study where the melon organ used to emit sound waves used for echolocation. As an apex predator, this isn’t the dolphin’s only mind-blowing adaptation! Marine educators will supply all materials needed to show students first hand just how dolphins are capable of echolocation, and other extraordinary sensory acts.

Dolphin Behavior
Dolphins are highly intelligent and curious creatures. This lesson will help students plunge even deeper into the actions and cognitive capacity of these species. Explore social group types, daily dolphin behaviors, and communication skills shared across all cetacean species. Receive hands-on experience with scientific equipment used to record dolphin conduct, while participating in a behavior-matching activity. Come join our pod!

Sessions are 45 minutes each, with a minimum of 20 students per session.

Education Standards: There's a Marine Biologist in my Classroom

Registration and Information

For more information, call 228.818.8890 or email marine.education@usm.edu.

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