Human Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems Lab and Cruise
During our Human Impacts on Coastal Ecosystems Lab program students will investigate human effects on our local marine ecosystems. The lab includes a closer look at ocean imbalance with an emphasis of eutrophication in the ocean. Students will examine fouling plates to distinguish native, non-native and invasive species in the Dana Point harbor. Students will participant in a fish necropsy where they will study a specific organ. Students will use scientific tools including water quality probes, iPads, quadrats and microscopes to determine the magnitude of ecological disturbance on our coastline due to humans. During our Human Impacts of Coastal Ecosystems Cruise aboard our research vessel, the R/V Sea Explorer, students will be introduced to our local birds and marine mammals that live nearshore. Students will be able to make connection to what humans do on land and how it affects our coastal ecosystem. Students will use oceanographic equipment to take biological samples to study the effect of human impact on benthic or bottom dwelling organisms, chlorophyll productivity, and harmful plankton blooms.