Sierra Nevada College science students Nathan Rock and Andrew Miller watch a tank of silver Lookdown fish from the Baja California coast at the Monterey Aquarium during the science department spring trip
The science department spring camping trip included the Monterey Bay Aquarium, tidepools in Santa Cruz, and a spectacular sunset on the beach.

Marine Biology in Monterey

Professors Suzanne Gollery and Chuck Levitan led the Science Department spring trip to Monterey Bay on April 12-14. The trip is part of the lab for the animal diversity, anatomy, and physiology units of Biology II. It is also open to any other interested science students, who come for the aquarium and the coast. The group camps at the Veteran’s Memorial Park campground, in the center of the city of Monterey.

A dewy spiderweb in the campground at Veteran's Memorial Park in Monterey on a Sierra Nevada College science trip.A dewy spiderweb in the campground
Sierra Nevada College science students cook a late dinner at the Veteran's Memorial Park campground in Monterey at the Monterey Aquarium during the science department spring tripCooking a late dinner at the Veteran’s Memorial Park campground
A pair of early morning mule deer spotted in the campground at Veteran's Memorial Park in Monterey on a Sierra Nevada College science trip.A pair of early morning mule deer

Students spent the day on Saturday at the famed Monterey Bay Aquarium. The aquarium’s habitat tanks let visitors see how marine plants and animals interact in environments very close to their native surroundings. There aren’t many opportunities to come face-to-face with leopard sharks swimming through a giant kelp forest without scuba gear! On Saturday night, everyone headed down to the beach to make a bonfire, cook dinner, and watch the sunset.

Biology professor Suzanne Gollery meets the giant octopus at the Monterey Bay Aquarium during Sierra Nevada College's spring science department trip.Professor Suzanne Gollery meets the giant octopus
Mussels and a large sea anemone in a tidepool at Natural Bridges State Beach in Sant Cruz, during a Sierra Nevada College science trip.Mussels and a large sea anemone in a tidepool at Natural Bridges State Beach
Sierra Nevada College science student Lauren Rose photographs sea creatures at the Monterey Aquarium during a science department tripLauren Rose photographs sea creatures at the Monterey Aquarium

“Since animals evolved in the oceans before the continents were habitable (too much UV radiation for the first couple of billion years on earth), there are more animal phyla represented among marine species than terrestrial species. Monterey Bay Aquarium does a particularly good job of teaching visitors what those animals are doing and how their body structures and behaviors are suited for their lifestyles.”

– Biology Professor Suzanne Gollery


This year, the Sunday expedition was to Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. The state park has great tidepools, a sheltered sandy cove, and the remaining natural bridge. (The second bridge, that used to connect to the shore, washed away in a big storm a couple of decades ago.) Senior Biology and Environmental Science major Eva Jazbec led the activities at Natural Bridges.

The SNC Science Department organizes a camping trip almost every semester. The trips introduce the students to interesting new environments, and build community among the science students and faculty. That way, our students are committed to each other, and more comfortable with their faculty.

A view of the cove and bridge rock formation at Natural Bridges State Beach in Sant Cruz, during a Sierra Nevada College science trip.The remaining bridge rock formation.
Students building a bonfire on the beach in Monterey during a Sierra Nevada College science trip.Building a bonfire on the beach in Monterey
A spectacular sunset on the beach in Monterey during a Sierra Nevada College science trip.Sunset on the beach.

This year, Marty Gollery put together a video. CHECK OUT THE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE >


Sierra Nevada College's Science program offers majors in
Biology, Ecology, Earth Science, and Natural Resource Management

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