Cabrillo Marine Aquarium
  Sea Search Workshops  

Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops

    Sea Search Marine Biology Workshops provide hands-on laboratory and field experiences on a wide range of marine biology topics. Students receive an introductory lecture/slide show. Laboratory activities include use of microscopes and examination of live marine animals and other specimens. Students experience first-hand the animals and plants of the tidepools, salt marsh and sandy beaches adjacent to the aquarium. Conservation issues are incorporated in all classes.
  Choose a listed class or arrange for a custom lab just for your group! Custom workshops are flexible and can provide a variety of in-depth laboratory activities and/or field experiences in the adjacent coastal habitats.

Reservations are required. Please call 310-548-7562, Monday - Friday, 8 am - 5 pm.

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.

School Programs

Just for Preschoolers: Grades PreK
Through inquiry, stories, and exploration, preschoolers spend 1 1/2 hours examining ocean animals, plants, and homes in the marine laboratory and exhibit hall. Select a theme: fish, snails, crabs, whales, birds, or sharks.

Habitat Comparison: Grades K - 12
Compare the characteristics of two or more surrounding habitats. Examine the inhabitants and their adaptations for survival both in the lab and in the field. Habitat preservation and coastal ecology is addressed. Select from field experiences where your students make hands-on observations in the tidepools, sandy beach and/or salt marsh habitats.

What Lives on the Sandy Beach?: Grades K - 12
At nearby sandy beaches, students sift through sand for such fast-burrowing animals as olive snails and sand crabs. The specialized structures of animals that thrive in a shifting sand habitat are the focus of the marine lab microscope stations.

Life on the Rocky Shores: Grades K - 12
We explore the exposed tidepool ecosystem of the Point Fermin Marine Life Refuge.  In the lab, microscopes are used to examine many living tidepool inhabitants.  (This program must be scheduled during low tide.)

Ichthyology: Grades 3 - 12
The form, function, and ecology of many types of fish is discussed.  Investigate the internal and external anatomy of fish through dissection and fish printing.  Examine the myths about sharks and record observations of our aquarium fish.

Salt Marsh and Plankton: Grades 3 - 12
Examine wetland ecology using binoculars to observe migratory and resident birds, study native plants, and test the water temperature, pH level, salinity and clarity.  The effects of water quality on the food chain is discussed as students tow for plankton and then observe the live plankton under compound microscopes in our marine laboratory.

Environmental Stewardship: Grades 5 - 12
Learn about coastal ecosystems and the connections we have with each of these habitat areas.  Students learn about research techniques and environmental monitoring, and then provide environmental service through their field experience.  CMA Education staff work with you to custom tailor this program to your students needs.

Animal Behavior - Prey or Prowl?: Grades 5 - 12
A laboratory study of the physical and behavioral adaptations used by various marine animals to feed and to avoid being eaten.  Students elicit behaviors and record responses in stinging sea anemones, "galloping" snails, clinging sea stars and other local marine life. Discussion of group observations reveals survival strategies used in many marine communities.