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US Fish & Wildlife Service FieldNotes
CARLSBAD FWO: Jolla High School Students Contribute To Census of Marine Life
Region 8, February 19, 2010

By Jane Hendron, Carlsbad FWO
Early this spring, students from La Jolla High School in San Diego County, California, surveyed intertidal areas at the Bird Rock area near La Jolla, California identifying local marine flora and fauna. 

The students’ activities were supervised and guided by David James, an instructor at La Jolla High School, Dr. Matt Edwards a marine biologist at San Diego State University (SDSU), Guillermo Torres a marine biology doctoral candidate at SDSU, and Kathleen Pollett a Fish and Wildlife biologist at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Carlsbad Office.

Data collected by the students will be used as part of a larger effort to inventory all organisms living in and around the world’s oceans as part of the Census of Marine Life (http://www.coml.org/).  Included in the massive census effort is the Natural Geography in Shore Areas Project (http://news.coml.org/descrip/nagisa.htm), which zeros in on coastal zones teeming with life, such as Bird Rock. Researchers, volunteers and students are surveying 128 sampling sites along the shores of 51 countries.

The tide pools of Bird Rock contain some of the most diverse assemblages of algae species and invertebrates in San Diego County.  Prior to heading out to the field, the students first learned data collection methods, and studied identification of macro-algae species, seaweed, mollusks and other invertebrates in the classroom with their instructor David James.  

“I think these students found the experience interesting and rewarding, said Kathleen Pollett, since their work will be used by scientists all over the world.”

The assessment of the data collected by these students will support scientists researching and monitoring changes in sea life and tracking environmental conditions now and into the future.

 

Contact Info: Scott Flaherty, , Scott_Flaherty@fws.gov