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Class and Field Activities

Besides our very popular walking and boat/boardwalk field trips, the Reserve Education Staff offers many options for your group that can be conducted in the appropriate location whether it is the Rachel Carson Reserve, your classroom or our teaching laboratory located on Pivers Island in Beaufort. 

We currently offer classroom visits to schools upon request. Field activities on the Rachel Carson Reserve, or on other North Carolina Reserves, are also available upon request. Please contact the Reserve Education Staff for more information.

 Below is a list of activities available:

  • Shore Profiles (5th-12th grade): Working in teams, students conduct topographic surveys (beach profiles) using a pair of Emery rods (profile poles), a metric tape, and a sight level to accurately survey a shore from the foredunes to the waterline. Students also measure wind speed and direction, estimate the width of the surf zone, and observe the breaker type. They note the wave direction, height and period, and estimate the longshore current speed and direction using a float, stopwatch, and tape measure.  If time permits students can also quantify the vegetation present along the profile and collect sediment samples for laboratory analyses. Back in the classroom, students analyze their data and look for relationships among the observed phenomenon. 
  • Marsh Seining (4th-12th grade): Working in the water, students will fish with seine nets (provided) and then observe and discuss the plant and animal species that they have found.  
  • Hermit Crabs (preschool-1st grade): After reading the story A House For Hermit Crab, students will have the opportunity to observe and handle live hermit crabs while learning about their anatomy and lifestyle.  After the live hermit crabs observation, an arts and crafts project can be conducted. 
  • Water Quality (4th-12th grade): Working in teams, students collect different water samples for testing and comparing.  Students will use instruments such as a refractometer, secci disk, thermometers and basic testing kits.  Salinity, pH, turbidity, and dissolved oxygen are a few of the properties tested. 
  • Fiddler Crab Populations (5th-12th): Through a classroom exercise and field activity students will study fiddler crab behavior and learn how populations of organisms are scientifically estimated. 
  • Plankton (4th-12th): With the use of microscopes (provided) students will have the opportunity to observe and learn about different types of plankton found in surrounding waters.

 To schedule an activity, please call or email Lori Davis, Reserve Education Coordinator, 252-838-0883.