NOTICE: Check here for days and times of field trip offerings each semester (Fall and Spring days range M-F, summer dates range M-Th). We are doing education/outreach field trips to Turtle Cove two days per week in Fall 2023 - Tuesdays and Fridays, approx. 9/9:30am-12/12:30pm. Minimum grade level is 3rd grade. See next section below for more details on how to schedule a field trip. Our Education Coordinator, Ariel Ebanks (email@example.com), and Fall 2023 Grad Students, Tanner Bahm (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Maggie Keller (email@example.com), are currently leading trips. Boat Captain for the Pontoon Boat is Turtle Cove Caretaker Hayden Reno. Any other requests for information can be made to Robert Moreau, Manager of Turtle Cove (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Turtle Cove is pleased to offer exciting and educational field experiences for schools and other groups interested in wetland and aquatic sciences, as well as the environmental history and issues related to Louisiana's coastal wetland loss. Field trips are available year-round (dependent on good weather), on certain days of the week depending on time of school year and availability of staff, and they feature lectures, discussions, and hands-on exploration of the Manchac wetlands, all facilitated by professional scientists.
Turtle Cove Graduate Students (from the Department of Biological Sciences) assist the Boat Captain in leading visiting groups, lending a different perspective each time to these already unique outings. Trips are held on weekdays only, and are dependent on when Turtle Cove graduate and undergraduate students are available to lead the trips for any given semester. For Spring and Fall semesters, this will be one or two days per week on Mondays thru Fridays, and in summer one or two days per week Mondays thru Thursdays (specific days designated each semester). There is no charge for trips, but we gladly accept donations to help cover the cost of gas and other expenses (see below for more info on making a donation to Turtle Cove).
Turtle Cove updated its field trips several years ago with funding from both NOAA and GOMA for the Young Scientists Field Training Programs under each grant (see previous pages). Check out our Self-Guided Boardwalk Tour complete with outlines of each educational station on the boardwalk and a printable copy of our Visitor's Guide.
Field Trip Information, Scheduling, and
**IMPORTANT (i.e., Registration Form)** For more information on what takes place
during a field trip and to schedule a trip, read the linked 5-Page Information Sheet and Registration Form for Field Trips (to schedule a trip, fill out page 5 of the form --latest edition is from 2018 and
is appropriate going forward-- and email back email@example.com). You can also contact Rob Moreau for more information on field trips via email or
phone (Office: 985-549-5008 and Cell: 504-231-1067).
NOTE: Prior to your field trip, all participants MUST complete the appropriate forms (which includes the important waiver, or "Hold Harmless" form).
What the Field Trip Includes
A typical field trip involves meeting at the boat dock/classroom at Galva Canal in Manchac (Akers, LA) around 9:00am for a short lecture/discussion of wetlands ecosystems, environmental issues, and exploration of various physical and biological aspects of the Manchac wetlands. The group then boards a 40-foot pontoon boat for a trip to the wetlands surrounding the research station, including a self-guided boardwalk tour (with over 50 nature signs) of our 1/2 mile long boardwalk behind Turtle Cove.
During the remainder of the field trip, various aspects of wetland ecology and environmental science are discussed, including wetlands ecology, bald cypress and marsh restoration, plant and animal adaptations to the wetland environment, and the many environmental problems (and their solutions) of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin. These discussions are reinforced through educational activities, including biological and environmental sampling.
Students may expect to see a variety of wildlife, including alligators, birds, nutria, snakes, and fish as well as the various wetland plants that support these animals. Tour leaders are very accommodating and willing to tailor each field trip to meet any particular thematic units or learning objectives teachers may be covering in class.
Donations Accepted for Field Trips
We do not charge for field trips, but donations are gladly accepted to help support our programs. On average, groups donate approximately $10 per participant. Checks should be made payable to Southeastern Foundation--Turtle Cove. Donations can also be made online.