GSML offers field trips that emphasize the rich and diverse coastal environments of the region with tours to the “living dock” and the salt marshes of nearby Fiddlers Point, thereby enabling students to experience marine life in its natural setting.
All tours are led by a staff member or by a volunteer/intern who has been extensively trained. The tour leader identifies animals and plants, describes their natural history, explains habitat requirements and discusses human impacts on coastal natural resources. He or she also answers questions and teaches one on one throughout the tour. The technical level of the narrative is adapted to the group’s age level.
Option 1: Guided tour of Lab:
Per Person/Adult or Child – $8.50 Minimum Group Charge – $102.00 (If your group is less than 12 people)
Approximately 1 hour. A tour guide will join your group and give an in-depth tour of the facility, explaining the biology of the animals and answering questions.
Aquarium Tour Video
Option 2: Guided tour of Lab and Living Dock:
Per Person/Adult or Child – $11.50 Minimum Group Charge – $174.00 (If your group is less than 15 people)
Approximately 2 hours. In addition to the guided tour of the Lab, the group will continue on to our dock in the estuarine waters of Dickerson Bay. There the tour guide will demonstrate the fouling community species and intertidal zonation of barnacles and oysters. Participants will get to be hands on and collect specimens from the dock to be identified and viewed up close before being released.
Option 3: Guided tour of Lab, Living Dock and Marsh:
Per Person/Adult or Child – $15.50 Minimum Group Charge – $279.00 (If your group is less than 18 people)
Approximately 3 hours. After the guided tour of the dock, we will then pack up our seines and water shoes for a trip to the nearby marsh. The tour guide will use the seine net to collect jellyfish, grass shrimp and the juvenile stages of fish and blue crabs. Participants are strongly encouraged to help!
The trip will take an additional hour. The group can either break for lunch before the marsh tour or have lunch after the trip at the discretion of the teachers and drivers.
From 1989 to the present we have hosted over 20,000 visitors annually and over 100 school groups from the southeast.. The response is always enthusiastic. To book a tour or receive information on schedules call (850) 984-5297. Please plan well in advance as our tours are very popular and available dates can be limited.
TO BOOK YOUR TOUR, CALL GULF SPECIMEN AT (850) 984-5297
If your field trip arrives late we will try our best to accomodate you. However, in the event of scheduling conflicts the guided tour portion of your field trip may be cut short.
Recommendations for Tour Participation
• Teachers, parents and chaperones are expected to keep a watchful eye and assist with children at all times, which will ensure a positive field trip experience for all! Children need to stay with their group at all times.
• Please practice appropriate cell phone manners.
• Most public schools require 1 chaperone per 5 students at the elementary level, 1 chaperone per 10 students middle and high school level.
• Wear appropriate clothing for current weather conditions. Depending on the weather either wear warm clothing or for hot weather a hat or clothing to shield from the sun is recommended.
• Wear clothes you do not mind getting wet or dirty.
• If you participate in a marsh tour expect to get wet! Bring bathing suit and change of shoes Be advised your shoes will be wet and covered in sand after the marsh tour.
• Wear sunscreen as needed.
• Bug spray (Hands and forearms must be washed before placing these in touch tanks) Chemicals are bad for the animals.
• Bring Money for the Gift Shop.
• Teachers download a free Sea Turtle Educators Guide http:// www.seaturtle.org/documents/Educators_Guide.pdf
• Teachers have your students play a free online educational game from NOAA to learn about sea turtles before the field trip. Download link : http://games.noaa.gov/seaturtle/welcome.html
• Have students research a sea creature before the field trip, and share afterwards what they discovered about that creature on the field trip.
• Sea Turtle Educational Coloring Book Check out this educational sea turtle coloring book at. : http://act.oceanconservancy.org/site/DocServer/seaTurtleColoringBook.pdf?docID=481docID=481