The Marine Science portion of ISLAND BEGINNINGS starts at the gorgeous black sand Punalu’u Beach. Students collect data at nearby that is used to monitor change in the size of the beach, the make-up of the sand, the slope of the beach, and wildlife numbers. Then, a swim and snorkel, or course, are be a fitting activity to clean off the sand!
At the Waiopae Tide Pools the students work with scientists and students from the University of Hawaii at Hilo collecting water quality data, conducting fish counts, and coral reef growth. And, of course, swim and snorkel!
Whether watching the magnificent (and endangered) green sea turtles sunning themselves above water or gliding gracefully through the waters, students have the rare chance to observe these animals in the wild.
The marine animal analysis the students do during the program answers the question of how human health is related to the health of the food we eat. Students dissect squid and open albatross bolus to learn what's in our food chain.
Even among the most beautiful beaches in the world, plastic and other litter reaches our shores. At South Point (green sand!) students collect, sort, and inventory litter for the data to be added to a state-wide data base. Following a discussion of ocean gyres, and plastic in the ocean the students make art from the trash they gather.