Yearly Archives: 2016

It’s Shark Week!

For as long as humans have roamed the Earth, sharks have swam the oceans. In fact, sharks have been around for much longer than us…about 100 times longer, to be exact! Sharks have been in existence for about 450 million years, and we are currently aware of about 450 different species of shark, discovering new ones each year!

The truth of the matter is that we really don’t know all that much about sharks, but what we do know is that these ocean creatures are as fascinating as they are mysterious, because not much is directly known about their breeding, migrating, or feeding habits. Luckily, Discovery Channel’s Shark Week airs once a year to teach us all about the latest findings within the marine science community.

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Every year during the summer, this weeklong series focuses on the fascinating lives of the most feared ocean creatures, sharks! This biting program has aired since 1988, making it the longest running cable television event in history. Shark Week focuses on the habits of these elusive animals, and seeks ultimately to debunk irrational fears that people have developed surrounding these ocean apex predators.

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Shark Week has been educating the public for decades, and has helped to make incredible strides for the conservation and advocacy of these often overlooked and misunderstood animals. In fact, one could argue that Shark Week has boosted the popularity of these elusive predators in mainstream media. Beginning with this weeklong series, public fears and curiosity were confronted with cool shark facts and fascinating footage, which captivated audiences and began to assuage our age-old shark fears. In fact, there’s been a noticeable shift in the general public’s outlook on our most feared ocean-dwelling friends.

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For instance, a few Great White Sharks made headlines last year when they beached themselves on the coast of Cape Cod. As opposed to running the opposite direction, beachgoers ran instead to their rescue. The footage of the public running to the aid of these long feared creatures and the immediate Internet attention this video received shows how people’s perspectives have begun to take a turn for the better. Similarly, some of these White Sharks have massive twitter followings. OCEARCH, a shark research organization, developed real-time tracking for a handful of White Shark individuals, giving them names like Mary Lee and Kathrine. These females and their movements captivated social media followers and have amassed a base of over 80,000 twitter followers, making them the most famous White Sharks of the ocean!

Katherine

Thanks to the efforts of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week and organizations like OCEARCH, shark populations off US waters have begun to make a comeback. The North Atlantic population has bounced back from decimated numbers, and as well human perception has begun to see a shift from fear to fascination. These top predators may look scary from the outside, but they are key species to the oceanic ecosystem, and hey, sharks have feelings too! So be sure to tune in to Shark Week on June 26th, because it’s guaranteed to provide us with some incredible shark footage and scientific insight!

Follow Shark Week on:
Twitter
Facebook
Instagram

THE BEST DAY EVER

A couple of people behind the scenes that make camp that make every day the the best day ever are the Head Counselors. Their main purpose is to help and support all of our counselors in the wonderful job that they do looking after all the campers. They also do some less exciting paperwork and administration type of tasks. Everything they do is to help make the best experience for all the campers. 

Now to introduce our funny head counselors who have come from afar…

Meet our Head Female Counselor, Marea and our Head Male Counselor, John

Marea

Although Marea has spent most of her time living with butterflies in New Zealand, she recently has decided to step out of her cocoon and travel to the U.S.A for the summer. In her free time she likes to sing songs and skip around town. She has been training to be able to lick her elbow, and thinks she will be able to do it by the end of the Summer!

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Helloooooooo! My names Swan or Swanny or Swanathon or hey you. Swanny comes from a land down under…yes, you guess it, England! Hahaha He has been trying for years to become the lead juggler in the traveling circus. Although every year they tell him that he should try again next year. We all hope his dreams will come true. In the meantime he has decided to try his talents in the U.S. While here he plans to train in his free time. We really wish him the best of luck. 

If you can’t tell we love have fun and being silly. We hope you had a laugh and enjoyed the video.

WE HAVE THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD!!!

How To Make A Shrinky Dink

Want to learn a new fun way to craft?  Then follow these steps to create your very own shrinky dink!

 

shrinky dinkStep 1: Get your creative juices flowing!

Draw or even trace a picture onto a shrinky dink plastic sheet! Colored pencils and markers work best as coloring tools. 

Step 2: Cut it out! 

After finishing decorating your design it is time to cut out your design. If you are planning on making jewelry or key chains out of your shrinky dink it is also a good idea to punch holes into the plastic before you shrink it.

Step 3: Bringing your shrinky dink to life!

Pre-heat the oven to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Place your design on some non-stick aluminum foil and bake your design for about 1 to 3 minutes. As they begin to bake they will begin to shrink! Once you have finished baking your design remove them from the oven and allow them to cool.

 shrinky dink

Step 4: Enjoy! Once your shrinky dink has cooled show them off!

shrinky dink

Whale poop? Why does it matter?

Whales play a major role in maintaining the health of the oceans by acting as ecosystem engineers – in simple terms they modify a habitat by changing the availability of resources for other organisms. whale poop 1Whales will feed on organisms at different levels of the ocean. While there, they feed on small organism like krill or large organisms like the giant squid. The nutrients that they ingest and process through their body is later released as flocculent fecal plumes. This basically means that whale poop doesn’t sink, but floats. The release of these fecal plumes brings nutrients to the upper layer of the ocean known as the photic zone. Nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorous are not easily found in the photic zone. For that reason we can perceive why it plays an important role.

whale poop 2In the photic zone we find other important organisms known as phytoplankton. These little guys are primary producers – they can make their own food. However, in order for them to accomplish this they need nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus found in whale poop. Because whales have such a huge appetite they produce a lot of poop that can not only be transported vertically through the world’s oceans but also horizontally due to their migration patterns. This increase in phytoplankton helps feed zooplankton, which feeds fish, and so on straight up the food chain. As plankton grows, they absorb carbon from the atmosphere, once they die – if not eaten – this carbon settles on the sea floor.

This nutrient cycling process was termed the “whale pump” by Joe Roman a conservation biologist at the University of Vermont and James McCarthy a Harvard zoologist.whale poop 3 They conducted experiments in the Gulf of Maine’s euphotic zone. They determined that in one year, marine mammals release approximately 23,000 metric tons of nitrogen per year to the surface of the Gulf of Maine. This value would have been much higher two hundred years ago before the start of commercial whaling. It is estimated that world whale populations have declined by 66% – lowest value – over the last few centuries.

Although it may not seem significant, whale poop plays a major role in the world’s oceans.

Photo 1: Image Credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/WhalePump.jpg

Photo 3: Image Credit: http://vignette1.wikia.nocookie.net/uncyclopedia/images/a/ab/Whale-poops.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20100616114838

ITS BRO TIME!

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GUYS are you ready for a change? Then dive on in and discover your adventurous side at Catalina Sea Camp! If you have not already signed up for Catalina Sea Camp you should do it now. We already have a waitlist in most sessions for girls.

Catalina Sea Camp • One-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 8 – 13

One-Week Session 1:  June 11 – June 17           $1,600 (Waitlist for Female Campers)
One-Week Session 2:  June 18 – June 24           $1,700 (Waitlist for Female Campers)
One-Week Session 3:  June 25 – July 1              $1,700 (Waitlist for Female Campers)

*Please note: Catalina Sea Camp One-Week Sessions run from Saturday to Friday

Space is limited in some sessions.  A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200.00 is required to register. Register HERE

Catalina Sea Camp • Three-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 12 – 17

Three-Week Session 71:  July 3 – July 22          $4,400 (Waitlist for Female Campers)
Three-Week Session 72:  July 24 – August 12   $4,400 

Space is limited in some sessions. A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE

*Please note: Catalina Sea Camp Three-Week Sessions run from Sunday to Friday

Applying and Registration 

All of our camp sessions fill up very quickly, so APPLY EARLY!   For additional information or questions, please contact us.

Phone: 800.645.1423 or 909.625.6194
Fax: 909.625.9977 or 909.625.7305

Don’t Miss this Summer FUN!

You could be having all this fun!

Registration is Still Open! Hurry before we are full! 

Catalina Sea Camp • One-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 8 – 13

One-Week Session 1:  June 11 – June 17           $1,600 (Waitlist for Female Campers)
One-Week Session 2:  June 18 – June 24           $1,700 (Waitlist for Female Campers)
One-Week Session 3:  June 25 – July 1              $1,700 (Waitlist for Female Campers)

*Please note: Catalina Sea Camp One-Week Sessions run from Saturday to Friday

Space is limited in some sessions.  A NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200.00 is required to register. Register HERE

Catalina Sea Camp • Three-Week Sessions

Coed Ages 12 – 17

Three-Week Session 71:  July 3 – July 22          $4,400 (Limited Availability for Female Campers)
Three-Week Session 72:  July 24 – August 12   $4,400 

Space is limited in some sessions. NON-REFUNDABLE deposit of $200 is required to register. Register HERE

*Please note: Catalina Sea Camp Three-Week Sessions run from Sunday to Friday

Applying and Registration 

For additional information or questions, please contact us.

Phone: 800.645.1423 or 909.625.6194
Fax: 909.625.9977 or 909.625.7305
Catalina Sea Camp • P. O. Box 1360 • Claremont, CA 91711
Email: Sea Camp Registrar
Office Hours: 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM (Lunch 12:30-1:00)

Snorkeling at Sea Camp!

Snorkeling at Catalina Sea Camp is one of those awesome activities that anybody can do! Grab a mask and snorkel, throw on a wetsuit, and kick around with your fins to experience the amazing underwater ecosystem Toyon Bay has to offer. Snorkeling makes it easy to see the marine life dwelling below, and some campers even challenge themselves to practice underwater photography or advance their freediving skills. But where did snorkeling even begin?!

Snorkeling is said to date back to over 5,000 years ago, when natural sponge farmers off the coast of Crete used hollow reeds to breath under water. From these simple tubes, other breathing apparatuses were developed to allow divers to stay below the water’s surface. In 900 B.C.E., Assyrian divers used animal skins filled with air, and later in 333 B.C.E. Alexander the Great encouraged the develop of the diving bell. By the mid 1500s, the diving bell was extremely advanced and allowed long, dry descents, but it did not allow for much mobility or a way to see easily into the water. Aristotle also references a snorkel-like device where divers had tubes that led to the surface for air. Leonardo da Vinci invented many breathing devices and drew up endless designs that ranged from simple snorkels to wetsuits that had self-contained P8010026breathing systems! These designs were ahead of their time but helped to inspire technology for other water activities such as SCUBA diving.

Today, snorkel equipment is very advanced, and specialized rubbers and plastics help to keep divers safe and comfortable. Hundreds of models of masks make it possible to find the perfect fit, snorkels are long lasting and resistant to ocean wear and tear, and in general it is a simple and affordable hobby. At Catalina Sea Camp you are guaranteed to have fun and see some of our favorite critters in the rocky reefs, like the California State Marine Fish, the garibaldi!

Written By: Jaclyn Lucas

WELCOME TO THE SEA CAMPER BLOG

We would like to thank you for visiting our blog. Catalina Sea Camp is a hands-on marine science program with an emphasis on ocean exploration. Our classes and activities are designed to inspire students toward future success in their academic and personal pursuits. This blog is intended to provide you with up-to-date news and information about our camp programs, as well as current science and ocean happenings. This blog has been created by our staff who have at minimum a Bachelors Degree in Marine Science or related subject. We encourage you to also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, and Vine to see even more of our interesting science and ocean information. Feel free to leave comments, questions, or share our blog with others. Please visit www.catalinaseacamp.org for additional information. Happy Reading!

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