Sky-blue waters invite learners

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Sky-blue waters invite learners

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Read the original story at Calaveras Enterprise. 

Local high school students with an interest in ecology have the opportunity to travel to Baja, Mexico and the Sea of Cortez in April 2017.

In conjunction with Ecology Project International (EPI), Bret Harte High School science teacher Jerre Maurer will lead a group of students on a nine-day journey to Mexico. The trip is open to students from all area high schools.

As part of the program, students participate in a marine invertebrate census project, while completing 40 hours of classwork in marine invertebrate biology and ecology, ecology of ecosystems, the scientific process, identifying environmental issues, conservation and protected-area management and minimum impact camping techniques

“It’s hands-on science in an amazing place!” said Maurer, who took students to Belize in 2015 and Costa Rica in 2013. “We work with the leatherback sea turtles, snorkel with all the marine creatures, including barracuda, rays, tropical fish and eels, and collect the data on these organisms.”

The experience, Maurer said, goes beyond the scientific classroom.

In addition to the study of marine life, there are social events, including Exchange Day, a chance for students from Mexico and the United States to “share and dialogue” at a local school.

“The trip is also memorable because we are immersed in another culture,” Maurer enthused. “Students bond while exploring the unfamiliar!”