Alaska Coastal Ecology
ALASKA COASTAL ECOLOGY
The Alaska Coastal Ecology program offers the option of a daytrip or residential 2 or 3-day program across Kachemak Bay from Homer. Grades 4-12. April-May or SeptemberThe Alaska Coastal Ecology day or residential program for grades 4-12 is based out of Peterson Bay Field Station or the UAF-NOAA Kasitsna Bay Lab on the south side of Kachemak Bay. CACS naturalists lead beach and forest field trips and environmental science and education activities related to plant and animal adaptations, ecological interrelationships, and art from nature. Teaching activities are aligned with the Alaska State Science Standards and best teaching practices for effective science and environmental education.
Planning a Coastal Ecology Field Trip
Field trips for school groups in grades 4-12 are scheduled during April and May. Field trips may also be arranged for homeschool, charter school, or other youth groups after Memorial Day until early October.
Classes spend one to three days at the Peterson Bay Field Station or Kasitsna Bay Lab. CACS naturalists work with teachers and group leaders to plan field trip activities and to accommodate the teacher's learning objectives for the field trip. For details on the program options, logisitcs, and facilities please download our planning guides below.
A minimum of 25 (students + adults) is required for trips before Memorial Day. It is more difficult to provide a quality education program around the logistics of groups larger than 40, so larger groups require additional planning time between CACS staff and the teacher and chaperones. CACS requires one adult chaperone per six students, plus teacher.
Teachers or group leaders may download curriculum materials before the field trip, including the Teacher Background Guide to the Alaska Coastal Ecology Program, and the Atlas to Marine Invertebrates that provides information on the species that students are likely to observe during beach field trips.
Download a pdf-version of The Peterson Bay Field Station Teacher's Planning Guide to the Alaska Coastal Ecology Program.
Download a pdf-version of The Kasitsna Bay Lab Teacher's Planning Guide for the Alaska Coastal Ecology Program.
Download a pdf-version of the Teacher Background Guide for the Alaska Coastal Ecology Program.
Click here to find additional teaching materials for your trip.
Students travel to thier Alaska Coastal Ecology experience onboard the 67' vessel, the M/V Rainbow Connection. The Peterson Bay Field Station is approximately a 30-minute boat ride from Homer, and the ride to Kasitsna Bay Lab is about an hour long. A stop to observe the Gull Island seabird rookery is included in the field trip when the birds are present on the island. Departures and returns from Peterson Bay are usually in mid to late afternoon.
We will begin to accept reservations for the spring season by mail, email or fax on September 8th at 7:30 a.m. (This date was changed from September 15th on August 27th. Unfortunately, this date was missed when the site was updated. We apologize for any inconveniences. Please submit and reservation request form to the office as soon as possible if you would like to book a spring trip.)
Due to the demand for field trips during the limited minus tide periods in April and May, we have a "first come-first served" policy, but will try to place you during your first or second choice of minus tide series. Please consider including weekend days to take advantage of extreme low tides and consider September or early October field trips. For reservations received in September or October, we will notify you of the dates we have reserved for you by November 1. The boat schedule will be confirmed at a later date.
Full payment for the trip is due within 10 days after completion of the program. The minimum payment for 25 people will be charged even if actual participation drops below this minimum.
You may contact us anytime during the school year to find out if there are still openings.
CACS is a non-profit organization with youth as our primary audience for environmental education. We try very hard to keep our fees reasonable for school groups. Prices include round trip boat transportation, lodging, instruction and use of microscope and touch tank labs. Prices are per participant, and include both adults and students. One teacher for each class is not required to pay fees.
We often have scholarships available for classes demonstrating financial need. Please call 907-235-6667 ext. 3 or email info@akcoastalstudies for information on scholarship availability.