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Frequently Asked Questions- Field Trips to The Center

     

Before you fill out a Reservation Request Form

What is The Marine Mammal Center?

What educational programs do you offer?When are they available?

How much do Field Trips to the Center cost?

How many students can participate in each program?

How many chaperones can participate in each program?

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 visit to the Center

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

What information should I review with my students?

What information should I review with my chaperones/ or bus driver?

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 visit to the Center

Where can I find directions to The Marine Mammal Center?

When should I arrive for my scheduled programs?

What should I do if we are running late for our scheduled program?

Where can buses park?

Where can chaperones park?

Where is accessible parking? Is the Center ADA accessible?

Where should I check in for my scheduled program?

Where are the restrooms and the drinking fountains located at your facility?

Where can we eat lunch?

May my students visit the Gift Shop?

May we stay at the Center after our scheduled programs?


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 educational programs do you offer? When are they available?

We offer Classroom Programs and Guided Tours of the Center Monday - Friday. Programs change seasonally (School Year/ Summer) and are offered year round so, please visit our Field Trips web page at: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/education/

We can accommodate two groups participating in programs at the same time. We recommend the Tour/Class Combo for both groups at the same time: during the first hour, one group participates in a classroom program while the other group is on the tour; during the second hour the groups switch.

Below is an example of the Tour/Class Combo for two fourth or fifth grade classes:

  • 10:00 – 10:45 a.m.
    • Group A is in our classroom for a program called Moving Up the Food Chainand
    • Group B is on a Tour called Ocean Explorers
  • 11:00 – 11:45 a.m.
    • Group B is in our classroom for Moving Up the Food Chain and
    • Group A is on a Ocean Explorers Tour

We are also able to lead two Tours at the same time.

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How much do Field Trips to the Center cost?

  • Current program fees are $160 per program, or $300 for a Classroom Program/Guided Tour combo for the same group on the same day. Each program is 45 minutes in length.

  • $420 for the 3 hour Reserach Discovery Day program.

  • The fees are per program- not per person.

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How many students can participate in each program?

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

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

  • For the Research and Discovery Day program - maximum of 20 participants (including chaperones)

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How many Chaperones can participate in each program?

We request that you provide no more than five chaperones (including teachers) per group. For High School students, only one chaperone (or the Teacher) is required per group.

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How do I make a reservation?

Please continue reading the FAQ and the program descriptions on our Field Trip page of our webs site 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.

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. Classroom Programs do not include a visit to the animal pens, however; Guided Tours do. If you have scheduled only a Classroom Program, you are more than welcome to visit the animal pens after your scheduled program.

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

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 program participants and our Educators to schedule an additional program where necessary. If you do not give notice of extra participants, our Educators may choose to cancel the program on the day of, if no other arrangements can be made. Refunds are not given for program cancellations within two weeks of the scheduled program.

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What information should I review with my students?

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

Please also review some of our basic visitation rules:

  • Be quiet around our patient pens.
  • Our patients are healing and need their rest.
  • No running or screaming around the Center.
  • Please stay with your chaperone/group.
  • Entrance to the Gift Shop is by permission and accompaniment of a chaperone only.
  • Lastly- Have fun!

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What information should I review with my chaperones/bus driver?

Please have all chaperones and bus drivers review the driving and parking directions for visiting the Center, as it is imperative that we start the programs on time.Please remind chaperones that they must be attentive and active (K/1 Classroom program) during the programs and tours. Chaperones need to help enforce some of the basic rules at the Center - such as, please keep your voices down while viewing the animal pens and no running or screaming around the Center. You can access driving directions to the Center here: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/visit

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

On our new Teacher Resources page of our web site: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/education/.

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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 program, or if you have not called to make special arrangements, your program may be canceled. If you are unable to make payment within the one month prior to program 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, MasterCard, and Discover. Credit Card payments must be made over the phone with the Scheduling Coordinator by calling (415) 289-7330.

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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 program and your most checked email address. A copy of your confirmation letter and invoice will be resent to you.

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

Please contact the Scheduling Coordinator immediately at (415) 289-7330 or edu@tmmc.org to make arrangements. Note: the months of March - June are our busiest visitation time by school groups, if you have a reservation in one of those months it may not be possible to reschedule your program until after school is out for the summer. We prefer to reschedule programs 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 program will be charged 25% of your total original fee.

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

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

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

  • If extreme weather or related road closures prevent you from reaching our site we will do our best to reschedule your program/tour date. If there is no mutually agreeable date and time, you will be given a refund.


Where can I find directions to the Center?

You can access driving directions to the Center here: www.MarineMammalCenter.org/visit

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When should I arrive for my programs?

Please plan to arrive for your programs 15 minutes before your scheduled start time, especially if you plan to visit the restroom or have a light snack before your program. Program times cannot be rearranged due to other program reservations. If you arrive more than 20 minutes late for your scheduled programs, our Educators have the right to cancel your programs on the day of. Note: Refunds are not given for program cancellations within 2 weeks of the scheduled program date.

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What should I do if we are running late for our programs?

Please contact the Scheduling Coordinator at (415) 289-7330 immediately. Depending on the schedule for the day, we may be able to accommodate a later start time- if we are not able to accommodate the schedule change and you are more than 20 minutes late, our Educators have the right to cancel the program entirely. Note: Refunds are not given for program cancellations within 2 weeks of the scheduled program date.

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Where can buses park?

Buses may park at the bottom of the hill. We prefer that passengers unload at the bottom of the hill and walk up the sidewalk to the Center. If passengers cannot walk up the hill the bus can drive up to unload passengers at the front accessible entrance. The bus must then back up part of the way down the hill before it can turn around to be parked at the bottom of the hill for the entire visit.Carpooling is encouraged for environmental reasons, and because our parking lot is not very big. Priority is given to those with ADA needs.

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Where can chaperones park?

Chaperones may park at the bottom of the hill. We prefer that passengers unload at the bottom of the hill and walk up the sidewalk to the Center. If passengers cannot walk up the hill the bus can drive up to unload passengers at the front accessible entrance.Carpooling is encouraged for environmental reasons, and because our parking lot is not very big. Priority is given to those with ADA needs.

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Where is accessible parking? Is the Center ADA accessible?

Placard parking spaces are available directly in front of the Center at the top of the hill. Buses with passengers needing accessible parking, must drop off passengers at the level spaces at the top of the hill and return to the bottom of the hill to park for the duration of the prograsm.The entire facility is ADA accessible. There is an elevator in the Court Yard for accessible viewing our patient pens.

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When I arrive, where should I check in for my programs?

Please keep your students on the front patio (or walk them to the restrooms), and send one delegate from your group to check in at the Information Desk in our entryway. Our Docent at the Information Desk will contact your Educator, who will meet you out front on the patio shortly.

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Where are the restrooms and drinking fountains located at your facility?

When you arrive to the front patio, make an immediate left then a right. Follow the hallway about 20 feet and both the restrooms and the drinking fountains will be located on your left.

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Where may we eat lunch?

There are four outside picnic tables available on a first come first served basis at our Center. For groups larger than 30 people, we encourage you to enjoy your lunch at Rodeo Beach- just a short five-minute drive from the Center, due to limited picnicing space onsite. Snacks and cold drinks are the only food available for purchase in our Gift Shop. There are no restaurants in the Marin Headlands – you must drive to Sausalito for the nearest ones.

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May my students visit the Gift Shop?

Yes, they are welcome as long as there is one chaperone for every five children while in the Gift Shop. If you would like to visit the Gift Shop, please wait until your scheduled programs have ended for the day. Before you arrive please be sure that the students and chaperones are aware if they can visit the Gift Shop as part of your day. We ask that students who did not bring money do not enter the Gift Shop. It is not a “touch tank!”

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May we stay at the Center after our scheduled progams?

Yes, you are welcome to stay to eat lunch or a snack, or to return to the animal pens for no more than 45 minutes. If your students are roudy or loud, or we have a busy schedule of programs throughout the day, we reserve the right to ask you to take your activities to Rodeo Beach- just a short 5 minute drive from the Center.

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