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Frequently Asked Questions- Whale Bus Outreach

     

Before you fill out a Reservation Request Form

What is The Marine Mammal Center?

What is the Whale Bus?

What presentation topics do you offer with the Whale Bus? When is it available?

Where does the Whale Bus travel?

How much do the Whale Bus presentations cost? 

How many students can participate in each program?

How many chaperones can participate in each program?

How many Educators come for the presentation?

What do I need at my location to host the Whale Bus?

How do I make a reservation?

How will I know that my requested date is confirmed?

Do you bring live animals to the presentations?

In preparation for your Whale Bus presentations

What can I do to prepare for the Whale Bus presentations?

When should I arrive for my scheduled presentations?

What should I do if I have more than the maximum number of participants per presentation?

Where can I find pre and post activities for your programs?

What payment types do you accept and how do I pay?

I can't find my confirmation letter and invoice, how do I acquire another copy?

What should I do if I need to reschedule or cancel the program?

What is your refund policy?

On the day of your Whale Bus presentations

How should I set up the presentation room for the Educator?

What is considered acceptable unrestrcited parking for the Whale Bus?


What is The Marine Mammal Center?

The Marine Mammal Center is a marine mammal rescue and rehabilition non-profit hospital located in the Marin Headlands. Our mission is to expand knowledge about marine mammals- their health and that of their ocean environment- and to inspire their global conservation. Our core work is the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals, supported by state-of-the-art animal care and reserach facilities, a corps of dedicated volunteers, and an engaged community. Our hospital is open to the public seven days a week from 10am - 5pm. Admission is always free. 

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What is the Whale Bus?

The Whale Bus travels to your location with a van full of unique specimens and fun activities that engage students and encourage ocean conservation. Students cannot ride the Whale Bus.

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What presentation topics do you offer with the Whale Bus? When are they available?

We offer Whale Bus presentations Tuesday - Friday. Programs change seasonally (School Year/ Summer) and are offered year round so, please visit our Whale Bus Outreach web page at: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/education/ 

Presentations are available for Preschool aged students to High School. Presentations are 45 minutes in length for Preschool - 1st Grade and 1 hour for 2nd Grade and up.

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Where does the Whale Bus travel?

The Whale Bus will travel up to 65 miles from the Center in Sausalito. We currently serve the following Bay Area counties: Sonoma, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Napa, Solano, Contra Costa and Alameda.


How much do the Whale Bus presentations cost?

  • 2 presentations- $350
  • 3 presentations- $450
  • 4 presentations- $550
  • We currently do not offer a single presentation option.


How many students can participate in each presentation?

  • For Preschool and Kindergarten aged groups- maximum of 20 participants (including chaperones).

  • For 1st Grade - College aged groups- maximum of 30 participants (including chaperones).


How many Chaperones can participate in each presentation?

Because the Whale Bus travels to your location we do not require any chaperones to participate, however; at least one chaperone (preferably the teacher) needs to stay with the students during the entire presentation. If you would like to invite chaperones to the program, please have no more than three per presentation.

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How many Educators come for the presentation?

One Marine Science Eductor will do the presentations for the day. If you think your students will benefit from having two Marine Science Educators, please let the Scheduling Coordinator know by including it in the notes section of the reservation request form. A request does not guarantee a second Educator.

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What do I need at my location to host the Whale Bus?

  • Unrestricted (untimed) parking for the Whale Bus for the entire time we are on-site.
  • The same room for all presentations.
  • 4 to 5 4x6 foot tables in the presentation room for specimens.
  • Access to the presentation room 1 hour before and after the presentations, uninterrupted.
  • Assistance loading and unloading the Whale Bus
  • 15 minutes between presentations.

How do I make a reservation?

Please continue reading the FAQ and the program descriptions on our Whale Bus Outreach web page as reservations are no longer accepted by phone.

Make your reservation request at least one month in advance if possible, because all reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. March - June is the busiest time of the year, so plan ahead to secure these dates.

To Note: sending in your reservation request form does not guarantee that your program is confirmed. You must wait to hear back from us, and receive a confirmation letter and invoice from us.

You can fill out a reservation request form by clicking: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/education/

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How will I know that my requested date is confirmed?

We will email you that your date is confirmed, and usually within one week in a separate email we will send your confirmation packet and invoice.

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Do you bring live animals to the programs?

The Marine Mammal Center is a wildlife hospital; therefore we do not bring any of our patients to the programs. If you would like to view our current patients, please visit us during our regular hours of operations- open daily from 10am - 5pm. As always, admission is free!

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What can I do to prepare for the Whale Bus presentations?

Here are a few helpful tips to help you prepare for the Whale Bus

  • Review these FAQ and share our pre program resources with your students. You can locate our Teacher Resources on our web site at: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/education/teacher-resources
  • Review the schedule of presentations for the day- make sure that all the start and end times are still correct and do not conflict with recesses or lunch breaks.
  • Double check that the presentation room will be available for the Whale Bus Educator uninterrupted at least 1 hour before the first presentation and 1 hour after the presentation.
  • Connect with all Teachers involved with the presentations, remind them of their presentation start times and to be on time for the presentations.
  • Designate a restriction free, untimed parking space for the Whale Bus.
  • Designate a meeting time and location for your Whale Bus Educator when he/she arrives for set up.
  • Designate/ recruit 1 or 2 Teachers or Chaperones to help load and unload the Whale Bus.
  • Locate and set up four to five 4x6 foot tables in a U shape in the presentation classroom.
  • Arrange payment your scheduled presentations in full one month in advance.
  • Contact the Scheduling Coordinator if you need to make any timing, room or logistical changes to the presentations at (415) 289-7330 or edu@tmmc.org.

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When should I arrive for my scheduled presentations?

Please plan to arrive for your programs at least 5 minutes before your scheduled start time, especially if you are coming from a recess or lunch break. Presentations times cannot be rearranged on the day of the presentations. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late for your scheduled presentation, our Educators have the right to cancel your presentation on the day of. To Note: Refunds are not given for presentation cancellations within 2 weeks of the scheduled presentation date.

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What should I do if I have more than the maximum number of participants per presentation?

Please contact the Scheduling Coordinator immediately at (415) 289-7330 or edu@tmmc.org to make other arrangements. The Center will no longer accept a pay per extra person fee. It is in the best interest of the presentation participants and our Educators to schedule an additional presentation where necessary. If you do not give notice of extra participants, our Educators may choose to cancel the presentation on the day of, if no other arrangements can be made. Refunds are not given for presentation cancellations within two weeks of the scheduled presentation.

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Where can I find pre and post activities for your programs?

Our pre and post activities on our Teacher Resources page of our web site: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/education/teacher-rescources/

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What payment types do you accept and how do I pay?

Payment is due by one month prior to the date of your program. If payment is not received by one month before your presentation, or if you have not called to make special arrangements, your presentation may be canceled. If you are unable to make payment within the one month prior to presentation deadline, please contact the Scheduling Coordinator at (415) 289-7330 immediately to make special arrangements. 

The Marine Mammal Center accepts the following forms of payment: Cash, Checks (made out to The Marine Mammal Center), Visa, Master Card and Discover. Credit Card payments must be made over the phone with the Scheduling Coordinator by calling (415) 289-7330. Please include your five digit invoice number with your payment.

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I can't find my confirmation letter and invoice, how do I acquire another copy?

Contact the Scheduling Coordinator at edu@tmmc.org. Please include the date of your scheduled presentation and your most checked email address. A copy of your confirmation letter and invoice will be emailed to you.

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What should I do if I need to reschedule or cancel the presentations?

Please contact the Scheduling Coordinator immediately at (415) 289-7330 or edu@tmmc.org to make arrangements. To Note: the months of March - June are our busiest, if you have a reservation in one of those months it may not be possible to reschedule your presentations until after school is out for the summer. We prefer to reschedule presentations before canceling them. Please review our refund policy below for more information.

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What is your refund policy?

  • Refunds or rescheduling (time and space permitting) are available if we receive your cancellation four weeks before the date of your visit.

  • Cancellations received between 15 and 29 days before the date of your presentation will be charged 25% of your total original fee. 

  • Cancellations less than two weeks before the date of your presentation will be charged 100% of your total original fee.

  • Refunds are not given for groups that arrive more than 20 minutes late for their presentations.

  • If a fee remains unpaid six months after the due date, groups will not be allowed to schedule a future presentations with The Marine Mammal Center until payment is made.


How should I set up the presentation room for the Educator?

Please set up the presentation room with four or five 4x6 foot tables in a U shape. The students will sit in the middle of the U. We will need all of the tables for our specimens. No chairs are needed for students in grades Preschool - 5th. For older students (6th and up), please make sure there is ample floor space for our pgymy sperm whale skeleton.

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What is considered acceptable unrestricted parking for the Whale Bus?

Ideally, this would be a parking space with not time restrictions next to the presentation room. We know that is not always possible which is why we request assistance unloading/ loading the Whale Bus before and after the presentations.

If your location has metered parking, please plan to have someone from your school feed the meter while the Whale Bus is onsite. If that is not possible, please plan to cone off a space for the Whale Bus where there are no timed restrictions.

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