I was delighted to be invited to speak to Mr. Anderson’s 3rd grade class from the Robert Down School in Pacific Grove on May 20th as part of “Classroom on the Bay - Squid Kid Day”. Abalonetti Seafood on Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey hosted the field trip. The presentation “The Squid Eaters”, whales and dolphins that love to eat squid, was engaging and fun. It kicked off our new project, Marine Life Studies Junior Research Scientist Program. Students learned how scientists use the unique markings on flukes and dorsals to identify individual animals.
Adela Turlington, one of the students from Robert Down School, wrote an article for the local paper. Here is an excerpt from the 6-2-10 issue of the PG Bulletin:
“First we listened to Peggy Stap, the Executive Director of Marine Life Studies. She showed us pictures of squid laying eggs; pictures of lots of whales and dolphins, the squid eaters; and photos explaining how to tell the age of a whale or dolphin from the scratches on their backs. She also explained the differences between dolphin and whale fins so you can identify them in the ocean. Her biggest marine helper is her dog, which barks while on the boat with her researching, to let her know there are whales or dolphins close by before she can see them on the surface.”
Mr. Anderson, the teacher of the students from the Robert Down School, wrote:
A big thank you to Chuck Davis, a local resident of Pacific Grove, who gave us some of his incredible underwater photos of squid shot in Monterey Bay and the squid fishing boats often seen off of Cannery Row for my presentation. Chuck is a world-renowned specialist in marine and underwater photography and cinematography.
The program was made possible by Marine Life Studies “Joey Jones Scholarship and Educational Fund” created to teach and inspire the next generation to protect marine wildlife.
Photo above: Students raise hands to answer question about “Squid Eaters”. Marc Paulhus from Abalonetti’s on left and Steve Vogel, center, is Curator from Monterey Bay Aquarium.