WILDCOAST – A voice for the coast and the ocean

Explore My Marine Protected Areas Youth Programs

In response to COVID-19,

we have taken the wildly successful Floating Laboratory program onto a digital platform! Participants will become community scientists and take part in an interactive, web-based research trip to the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve. Read more about virtual options below!



This program is best suited for: middle and high school age participants (schools, youth groups, tribes)

What will they be doing: this interactive program has participants learning about marine protected areas and then becoming the scientists that work in these special places. Participants will be divided into one of three research groups where they’ll dive deeper into such topics as: plankton as bioindicators, water quality over time, and ROV technology and biodiversity studies. The program concludes with an opportunity for participants to ask WILDCOAST scientists about their work and their individual scientific career paths. Please note that this program can be adapted to your groups individual needs so just let us know what those may be. 

What is required: participants will need to have access to the Internet and some sort of smart device. We use Zoom to host this event and there are videos and live presentations. Zoom works well on smartphones, tablets, and computers. You do not need a Zoom account to participate, we provide a link for you to join the program. 


-This program can be 60-90 minutes long 

-This program can be uniquely adapted to your group

-This program can accommodate large groups

-This program is interactive and is more successful with participation


All questions and booking requests can be directed to Lisa Gilfillan- lisa@wildcoast.org

Floating Laboratories

Be a scientist for a day and participate in a boat-based research trip to the South La Jolla State Marine Reserve.

The Floating Laboratory is a boat-based community science experience that involves taking students out into San Diego County marine protected areas (MPAs) on board a chartered ship to collect data in an MPA.

Students will have the opportunity to participate in a real, hands-on research project such as:
-Water quality monitoring
-Plankton monitoring
-Human use surveys
-Biodiversity monitoring using an underwater rover (ROV)

Grades: 8-12
Group Size: Up to 30
Duration: 3 Hours
Location: Mission Bay/South La Jolla

Contact: lisa@wildcoast.org

Shoreline Laboratories

Join WILDCOAST researchers for a full day of immersive activities in the Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve.

The Shoreline Laboratory is a community science experience that involves showing the students scientific research in action through a full day, immersive experience at the beach.

Students will have the opportunity to:
-Meet with researchers during a behind-the-scenes tour of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography
-Collect data for an ongoing MPA monitoring project
-Experience an MPA first-hand during a guided kayak tour of Matlahuayl State Marine Reserve

Grades: 6-12
Group Size: Up to 20
Duration: 6 Hours
Location: La Jolla Shores Area

Contact: lisa@wildcoast.org

WILDCOAST also offers classroom presentations, activities, assemblies, and other field trip opportunities!

E-mail lisa@wildcoast.org

More Resources

Looking for lessons and activities you can do in the classroom?
Check out WILDCOAST's Outreach Toolkit!

See Toolkit

To Book a Trip or for More Information

E-mail lisa@wildcoast.org