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Field Trips at the Center

     

DIVE IN! Come explore with The Marine Mammal Center

The Marine Mammal Center is a wonderful field trip destination for students of all ages! Enhance your curriculum with an interactive program in our Marine Science Classroom and/or a Guided Tour of our hospital. All Classroom Programs and Guided Tours topics range from ocean trash and art to marine mammal ecology to the Center's rescue, rehabilitation and release techniques. All of our programs compliment CA Science Standards. Download our current Field Trip options flyer here!

Field Trip Details

Group size: 

  • 20 participants (including chaperones) for Preschool and Kindergarten age groups
  • 30 participants (including chaperones) for 1st grade and older groups 
  • 20 participants (including chaperones) for the Research Discovery Day program

Fees*/Length:  
(All prices are subject to change without notice.)

  • Classroom Programs and Guided Tours are $160 and 45 minutes in length each
  • A Tour/Class Combo is discounted to $300 when you book both a classroom program and tour for the same group on the same day.
  • Research Discovery Day is $420 and lasts three hours 
  • Payment is due one month before your scheduled field trip date

Available Days and Times:

  • Monday - Friday
  • Preschool - 5th Grade at 10am or 11am
  • 6th Grade - College at 12:30pm and 1:30pm
  • Reserach Discovery Day- 2nd Tuesdays and 4th Fridays on select months
  • The species and amount of patients we have on site change daily. Our busiest patient months are March - June and our slowest patient months are November - February. Please check the Current Patients page of our web site for the most up to date information about our patients. 

Download our current Schedule of Programs by clicking here!


  Field Trip Options by Grade

GRADE  

CLASSROOM PROGRAMS 

TOURS 

Preschool

Flippers, Flukes and Fur

Self-Guided Visit 

Grades Kindergarten to 1st

Comparing Mammals: Land and Sea Ocean Explorers 

Grades 2nd to 3rd

Elephant Seals: Pup to Adult

Ocean Explorers

Grades 4th to 5th

Moving Up the Food Chain

Ocean Explorers

Grades 6th and up

Marine Mammal Exploration 

Ocean Explorers
(6th Grade)

Vet Detective
(7th to 12th Grade)

High School and College

Research Discovery Day

Vet Detective 


Reservation Information

Please fill out the Reservation Request Form after reading the Description of the Guided Tours and Classroom Programs by Grade below.  Download our current Field Trip options flyer here!

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Reservation Request Form  


Preschool

Flippers, Flukes and Fur

Classroom Program

Using stories, puppets and dress-up; students learn what it is like to be a sea otter, dolphin, whale, seal and sea lion. With real marine mammal specimens students will be able to feel fur and baleen. Stories about past patients show students that human actions can both harm and help marine mammals. Students will leave knowing how they can help ocean life and keep our oceans clean.

Self-Guided Visit

Tour

Lead your own group on a self-guided visit through The Marine Mammal Center's public areas. Exhibits throughout the facility inform your group about our work.  Docents stationed at the Info Desk and Upper Viewing Area are available to answer questions. Enjoy watching seal and sea lion patients. Look into key areas such as the fish kitchen, chart room and laboratory. Depending on patient care activities, you may be able to watch animal care crews in action preparing food, feeding animals, cleaning pens, and working on medical charts; and you may see technicians doing laboratory analyses.     

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Reservation Request Form 

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 Grades Kindergarten to 1st

Comparing Mammals: Land and Sea

Classroom Program

Using stories, puppets and dress-up; students learn what it is like to be a sea otter, dolphin, whale, seal and sea lion. With real marine mammal specimens students will be able to feel fur and baleen. Stories about past patients show students that human actions can both harm and help marine mammals. Students will leave knowing how they can help ocean life and keep our oceans clean.

Ocean Explorers 

Tour

From fish milkshakes to ocean trash, students learn about our current patients and how to help their ocean environment. Stories of our current patients, simulated tube feeding and rescue demonstrations bring the Center's animal care functions to life. Touching the furs and skulls, allows students to learn the differences between seals and sea lions. Seeing and hearing our animals, evokes compassion in the students. From this, we give them ways they can help with ocean environment.   

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Reservation Request Form 

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Grades 2nd and 3rd

Elephant Seals: Pup to Adult 

Classroom Program  

Through an engaging series of discussions, video clips, short activities, and examination of specimens, students track the life cycle of the elephant seal throughout the year. They learn when the animals come ashore for breeding and molting and how the seals live and hunt in the open ocean for months at a time. Special attention is paid to pups and weaners, and students try to "beat the odds" as they act out elephant seal pups facing the challenges of their first year on land and at sea.

Ocean Explorers 

Tour

From fish milkshakes to ocean trash, students learn about our current patients and how to help their ocean environment. Stories of our current patients, simulated tube feeding and rescue demonstrations bring the Center's animal care functions to life. Touching the furs and skulls, allows students to learn the differences between seals and sea lions. Seeing and hearing our animals, evokes compassion in the students. From this, we give them ways they can help with ocean environment.   

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Reservation Request Form 

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Grades 4th and 5th

Moving Up the Food Chain

Classroom Program  

Students explore the ocean food web and review the roles of producers and consumers. They participate in a simulation that demonstrates how toxins introduced into the food system can become magnified in species further up the food chain (which they relate to domoic acid poisoning, a natural toxin afflicting sea lions). During a second simulation activity, students analyze the effects on animals of ingesting trash (which often looks like food to marine mammals). Stories of successfully rehabilitated patients enhance students' understanding that human actions can both harm and help marine mammals.

Ocean Explorers 

Tour

From fish milkshakes to ocean trash, students learn about our current patients and how to help their ocean environment. Stories of our current patients, simulated tube feeding and rescue demonstrations bring the Center's animal care functions to life. Touching the furs and skulls, allows students to learn the differences between seals and sea lions. Seeing and hearing our animals, evokes compassion in the students. From this, we give them ways they can help with ocean environment.   

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Reservation Request Form 

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Grades 6th - 12th

Marine Mammal Exploration 

Classroom Program 

Students rotate through five stations, working together to explore the adaptations and features of different marine mammals and formulate ways to reduce threats to marine environments. Students compare pelts and skulls, plus examine baleen and teeth. They study structures and behaviors that help mammals keep warm in the cold ocean and assess common reasons that seals and sea lions are admitted to The Marine Mammal Center.   

Ocean Explorers (6th Grade)

Tour

From fish milkshakes to ocean trash, students learn about our current patients and how to help their ocean environment. Stories of our current patients, simulated tube feeding and rescue demonstrations bring the Center's animal care functions to life. Touching the furs and skulls, allows students to learn the differences between seals and sea lions. Seeing and hearing our animals, evokes compassion in the students. From this, we give them ways they can help with ocean environment.   

Vet Detective | Marine Mammal Case Studies and Observations (7th to 12th Grade)

Tour

This tour gives older students a hands-on approach to learning about our rescue techniques, rehabilitation process and research projects. Using case studies, students learn how to diagnose patients based on lab results and observations. They will discover the common problems and diseases found in our seal and sea lion patients.  

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Reservation Request Form  

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 High School and College

Research Discovery Day

Classroom Program and Tour

This program gives older students an in-depth look at The Marine Mammal Center's research and veterinary science techniques. Students receive a comprehensive tour of our state-of-the-art hospital facility, discovering how the pools are designed to accommodate animals' different structures, and see where thousands of gallons of salt water is cleaned and circulates from filtration tanks via pumps back to patients' pools.  They learn how volunteers prepare food for the animals and feed them.  In the post-mortem and clinical lab, they see where we collect and examine samples, exploring the causes of illness and injury of our patients.  Video clips enhance their understanding of animal husbandry procedures.  Students rotate through five research stations: skull morphology, telemetry, radiology, hematology, and parasitology. Students have the opportunity to examine skulls and x-rays and practice using tracking technology to get a better understanding of the work of a marine biologist. This program is 3 hours in length.  

Vet Detective | Marine Mammal Case Studies and Observations

Tour

This tour gives older students a hands-on approach to learning about our rescue techniques, rehabilitation process and research projects. Using case studies, students learn how to diagnose patients based on lab results and observations. They will discover the common problems and diseases found in our seal and sea lion patients.  

Frequently Asked Questions  |  Reservation Request Form 


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