Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops  

Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops

    Beginning Monday, November 28 2021 in accordance with LA City ordinance #187219, anyone 12 and older participating in indoor programs at or entering Cabrillo Marine Aquarium must show proof of full vaccination. There are no religious or medical exemptions and proof of a negative COVID test will not be allowed. Proof of vaccination will be required to be shown for all students 12 and up, all teachers and all chaperones.

Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops provide interactive and engaging experiences that focus on a wide range of marine biology topics.

Topics offered include:
    1-What Lives on the Sandy Beach,
    2-Life on the Rocky Shores*,
    3-Salt Marsh and Plankton,
    4-Habitat Comparison, and

Each class includes an introduction with a presentation specifically designed for that topic, in addition to interactions with the live animals at the Aquarium. Conservation issues are incorporated in all classes.

  • Days offered: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday
  • Dates offered: October - June
  • Length of program: 3 hours
  • Times offered:
  • Fee**: $350 for up to 35 students, $10 for each additional student. Scholarships available
  • Maximum number of participants: 40

Programs are adaptable to grade-specific Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS).

Reservation Symbol
To schedule a visit, please submit your reservation request here.

* Life on the Rocky Shores is only available on low tide dates; please see specific options on the Reservation Form.
** Grant-funded support & scholarships are available for financial assistance. Please call Our Reservation Team for more information (310) 548-7562

Life on the Rocky Shores

Program Length: 3 hours

Day/Time Offered: Tuesday - Friday

Grades: K - 12

Location: Outdoor - Cabrillo Marine Aquarium / Cabrillo Coastal Park

Program Cost: $350 for up to 35 students, $10 for each additional student.*

Month(s) Offered: October - June

Explore the exposed rocky shore of the Point Fermin Tidepools and the ecosystems that lie in the different tidal zones. Live specimens are used to examine the challenges that many of tidepool inhabitants have to face during high and low tides. Explore the unique adaptations many of the animals have to the constantly changing environments.

The Rocky Shore habitat is a distinctive habitat that can be found locally along the Southern California coast. With so many organisms living in concentrated zones, all dependent on a shifting supply of resources and shelter to survive the changing tides, we see zonation, climate, and population density playing a role in the success or failure of many organisms.

As an accessible dividing line between land and sea, this habitat historically has supported an abundance of marine life including: crustaceans, mollusks, fishes and algae. For thousands of years the rocky shore has provided a wide range of food resources and tool materials to the Gabrielino-Tongva, the indigenous peoples of the Los Angeles coastal region.

Today interest in this habitat ranges from wildlife observation, scientific research, culturally significant resources, recreational activities, and foraging for food. The accessibility of the rocky shore habitats in Southern California, and their proximity to densely populated urban centers, imposes many human induced pressures on the ecosystem. However, this same accessibility, diversity of organisms, and human curiosity has propelled many people, groups, and organizations to conserve, protect, study and educate others about this fascinating environment.

The Life on the Rocky Shore virtual Sea Search class examines; rock intertidal ecology, adaptations of organisms to the habitat, tidal zonations, life cycles, and the rich variety of life found in our coastal Southern California Rocky Shore Tidepools. We use our live and virtual (pre-recorded) resources to examine the challenges that many tidepool animals face during high and low tides as well as the specialized evolutionary adaptations and behaviors that have allowed many organisms to survive and thrive.

Class components may include; observation of live animals and dry specimen for adaptations, feeding strategies, behaviors, and life cycle connections; discussion and observations of pre-recorded video or photos; live discussion and observations of tanks and animals in order to present a holistic understanding of the topics.

This interactive class relates ocean ecology and scientific understanding to observable phenomena through a process of live inquiry based learning.


Class includes access to interactive CMA Padlet web page accessible to participating teachers and students to provide extensive virtual learning resources as additional pre or post class activities.

* Financial assistance is available for the Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops.

Our programs can be made accessible to all audiences. Persons with disabilities are welcome to participate. Reasonable accommodations will be made with prior arrangements.

Reservation Symbol
To schedule a visit, please submit your reservation request here.

Want your kids to take home some souvenirs but don't want to hassle going to the Gift Shop? Pre-order Aquarium treasure bags before your field trip with this handy Treasure Bag order form. Treasure bags are economical and convenient and will be ready for pick up on the day of your field trip.


Have a question? Please call 310-548-7562 or send us an email.

Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops are L.A. City Board of Education-approved and follow guidelines of the Science Framework, the National Science Benchmarks, and California State Board Science Content Standards.