Field Trips for Students
Turtle Cove is pleased to offer exciting and educational field experiences for schools and other groups interested in wetland and aquatic sciences as well as the environmental history and issues related to Louisiana's coastal wetland loss. Field trips are available year-round (dependent on good weather), on certains of the week depending on time of school year and availability of staff, and they feature demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on exploration of the Manchac wetlands, all facilitated by professional scientists.
Turtle Cove Graduate Students (from the Department of Biological Sciences) assist the Boat Captain in leading visiting groups, lending a different perspective each time to these already unique outings. Trips are held on weekdays only, and are dependent on when Turtle Cove graduate and undergraduate students are availble to lead the trips. For Spring and Fall semesters this will one or two days per week on M-F, and during summer months, M-Th. There is no charge for trips, but we gladly accept donations to help cover the cost of gas and other expenses (see below for more info on making a donation to Turtle Cove).
Turtle Cove recently updated its field trips with funding from both NOAA and GOMA for the Young Scientists Field Training Programs under each grant (see previous pages). These programs are appropriate for middle and high school students (and related community-based groups) seeking more advanced skills in wetland science. Check out our new Self-Guided Boardwalk Tour complete with outlines of each educational station on the boardwalk and a printable copy of our Visitor's Guide.
Field Trip Information, Scheduling Options and Registration Form (to schedule a trip)
For more information on what takes place during a field trip and when trips are scheduled, read thru the linked 5-page Field Trip Information Guide and Registration Form (to schedule a trip, fill out page 5 of the form and email back to firstname.lastname@example.org). You can also contact Rob Moreau for more information on field trips via email or phone (Office: 985-549-5008 and Cell: 504-231-1067).
NOTE: Prior to your field trip,all participants MUSTcomplete the appropriate forms (which includes the important waiver, or "Hold Harmless" form).
What the Field Trip Includes
A typical field trip involves meeting at the boat dock/classroom at Galva Canal in Manchac (Akers, LA) for a short lecture/discussion of wetlands ecosystems, environmental issues, and exploration of various physical and biological aspects of the Manchac wetlands. The group will then dipnet for collect various wetland critters. After that collection, the group boards a 40-foot pontoon boat for a trip to the wetlands surrounding theresearch station.Canoes are also available for field trips. We can trail up to 10 canoes for a trip anywhere around the basin, and we have canoes stationed at Galva Canal and at the main research station.
During the remainder of the field trip, various aspects of wetlands ecology and environmental science are discussed, including wetlands ecology, baldcypress and marsh restoration, plant and animal adaptations to the wetland environment, and the many environmental problems (and their solutions) of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. These discussions are reinforced through educational games and activities, including biological and environmental sampling.
Students may expect to see a variety of wildlife, including alligators, birds, nutria, snakes, and fish as well as the various wetland plants that support these animals. Tour leaders are very accommodating and willing to tailor each field trip to meet any particular thematic units or learning objectives teachers may be covering in class.
Donations Accepted for Field Trips
We do not charge for field trips, but donations are gladly accepted to help support our programs. On average, groups donate approximately $10 per participant. Checks should be made payable to Southeastern Foundation--Turtle Cove. Donations can also be made on-line here.