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AP Biology studies tide pool life

A trip to the beach may be seen an ordinary weekend vacation for a typical Fresno family, but when the AP Biology class goes, their time is spent working, instead of playing on the beach.

The advanced class, under the direction of current instructor Jennifer Holguin and previous teacher Marvin Harms, traveled to Morro Bay on April 20 and continued their study on plant and animal ecology. Rain had forced the original trip to be rescheduled.

Harms, who has handed the class over to Holguin because of a recent back surgery, has successfully recovered and led the class on their educational journey. The class was anticipating to have the opportunity to travel with Harms again.

“I?m excited to go on this trip because we actually applied the knowledge we learned in class,” Brittany Motte, ?07, said. “It was great to see Mr. Harms again and the beach is a great place to study aquatic life.”

A stop at a small aquarium near Morro Rock delighted the class with its strange creatures, such as the octopi and giant lobster. But most entertaining was the four rescued seals the aquarium housed.

“Feeding the seals in the store’s aquarium was awesome,” Will Hierholzer, ’07, said. “They would jump up on platforms for some food, and would make very loud whining noises if they weren’t given food. They would mimic our movements, and perform a lot of tricks.”

The small class visited Moon, Sand and Mud Flats beaches to study the eco-systems of the tide pools. While they had hoped to stop at historical sites to discuss habitats, including original local Indian and settlers and the history of Paso Robles, the group was on a tight schedule of studying the tide pools at their lowest.

?Being somewhat of a gambler myself, I am very much interested in the history of Paso Robles as it was settled in a time of rogues and outlaws,? Matt Karahadian, ?06, said. “It was a shame not to stop. But it was interesting to see and interact with the many creature of the ‘not so deep’ only visible at low tide.”

Holguin also helped plan the trip, and she was very excited to study the biology of tide pools.

?I?ve never been to Morro Bay before,? Holguin said, ?so getting the opportunity to travel to some place new is very exciting.?

The last stop before dinner the group of 11 took visited San Simeon State Beach where the elephant seals were scattered almost as far as the eye could see.

“It was interesting to learn about the elephant seal life cycle and see the seals in ‘action,'” senior Jennifer Schmidt said.

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    Lori MascarenasAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Great kill Abby! Great picture Mr. Hutchins! How fun it was to show up to a rival’s gym and decidedly whomp them before they step up to a larger division!

    Good luck on that move Liberty!