Field lab at the beach

For the students who take Professor Raymond Wellsʼ Biology 122: Marine Biology Laboratory Field Studies class, it is more than just a lecture. The class is centered around hands on application and learning.

Understanding marine life through a powerpoint only goes so far. For a marine biologist, skills are more easily fine-tuned when exposed to the real thing.

Wellsʼ students travel to the shores of Royal Palms Beach in San Pedro Calif. to explore and search for organisms discussed in class. The goal of the studentʼs first field lab of the semester is to help them recognize specific traits in an area and identify the organisms that live there.

Arriving at Royal Palms Beach, students follow Professor Wells down to a flat spot on the rocks, where he recaps the lecture given in class and points out some of the defining traits of the area.

With the help of Wells, the students are challenged to put what is learned in class to use. Their knowledge is reinforced by studying the organisms in environment they naturally inhabit.

During the second half of the field lab, students spend the rest of their day, often till sundown, exploring the Rocky Intertidal zone where there is a high diversity of organisms and varying ecosystems.