“Oceanographer for a Day” Bay Exploration

Science Sampling Methods

Connect with the Bay in a physical and intellectual way. Use oceanography tools and sampling techniques to learn about and test important aspects of the Bay. Participate in the scientific method and develop a deeper understanding of the San Francisco Bay ecosystem.

Analyzing the Environment

Students will use the scientific method to make predictions and answer questions about the natural environment. Understand that different creatures have different environmental requirements, seeing the connection between abiotic and biotic components of the ecosystem. Conduct water quality tests. Understand where the bay’s water comes from and some anthropogenic and natural factors that affect its composition. Learn about three common bay animals.


Experience being a crewmember: steer, serve as lookout, and handle sails as appropriate. Follow directions carefully and seriously, and learn how to communicate and work together in a dynamic environment. See the bay as an active body of water —environmentally and culturally—to which they are connected.


Students will understand the definition of plankton and its role in the global and local ecosystem. Collect and observe several different types of plankton found in San Francisco Bay using a plankton net and simple microscopes. Understand how their lives relate to and depend upon plankton.