Bolus Education Resources

Albatross parent feeds his chick.

Welcome to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Bolus Education Program! You can you this page to learn more about how the program works and ways you can participate.


Further reading and resources:


Papahānaumokuākea Cultural Briefing

Learn about the cultural significance of Papahānaumokuākea (Northwest Hawaiian Islands)

Winged Ambassadors 

You can do a bolus lesson with your students using the Winged Ambassadors - Ocean Literacy through the Eyes of Albatross curriculum from Oikonos. Lesson 4 is a "virtual bolus dissection" using detailed professional images is available in both printable and projectable formats:

* Aligned with Next Generation Science & Common Core Standards

* New Videos: Albatross Barfing Plastic & Nesting Albatross

* Improved Albatross Bolus and Mapping activity worksheets

* Tracking data provided for Google Earth mapping

Kaua’i Live Stream

A live-stream viewing of the rearing of a couple Laysan albatross chicks lets your class follow their development on the Island of Kaua’i through the Cornell University albatross camera. A few Laysan albatross pairs nested on private yards as they were being monitored by a remote 24/7 camera so the action was shared live with the world. This is a great alternative to a class pet and a way to follow the life of a chick throughout the upcoming school year. 

All About Birds Live Cam

Kaua’i Albatross Network

The Kaua‘i Albatross Network is dedicated to helping preserve the vitality of the Laysan albatross and promoting the safe habitats this magnificent bird depends upon. 


The University of Hawaii’s C-MORE education and outreach program is a fabulous resource with online lessons for teachers. Check out the marine debris 3-part lesson plan where students critically examine data and samples, and take part in activities that explore the causes, geographical distribution, and biological impacts of marine debris. Actual kits, which include a binder of all the lessons as well as various pieces of equipment to be used with the lessons, are available for loan in Hawai’i, California, and Oregon via an online reservation form (it is not delivered: you will need to arrange for pickup & return) There is a bolus encased in resin, as well as resin mounts of various items from dissected boluses.

Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators

The Marine Debris Monitoring Toolkit for Educators was created through a collaboration between the NOAA Marine Debris Program (MDP) and the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries. This toolkit provides many useful marine debris resources and adapts the MDP's Marine Debris Monitoring and Assessment Project - a robust citizen science monitoring initiative - for classroom use. The toolkit is designed to assist teachers in educating their students about marine debris and involving them in marine debris research and outreach. Using the toolkit, students conduct marine debris surveys which can help to provide valuable information on where, when, and what kind of debris is showing up. Students can enter their data into a national database, analyze monitoring results, and become involved in marine debris stewardship within their communities.

Marine Debris Skimmer

Facts, figures and background about marine debris and its global prevalence consolidated in to one place by Marine Ecosystems and Management (MEAM) 

National Geographic Laysan Albatross Virtual Bolus Dissection

Students use online videos and photo galleries to conduct a virtual bolus dissection for the laysan albatross. They investigate how marine debris can be mistaken for food and harm marine organisms. 

Video Links:

* UC Santa Barbara produced video styrofoam and the detrimental impact on our oceans

* Polynesian Voyaging Society's production of the Journey of Wisdom

Check out Cool Photos and Videos

Bolus Education Program Flickr Album: Click here for a photo collection of different boluses collected from Midway, as well as individual items that are commonly found in boluses. 

To stay in the loop with projects associated with marine debris and albatross in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, consider following these Facebook and Website pages:

* Oikonos: 

* Kure Atoll Conservancy: 

* Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge: 

* Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge: 

* Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: 

* Papahānaumokuākea Facebook: