Classrooms in the Field - CITF Elementary School

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary offers a series of classrooms in the field programs for elementary school students. Learn more about these programs below; and please fill out this field trip application to sign up your school!

Adapt to the Habitat

In this program students will:

  • Discover common plants and animals living in the forest and stream.
  • Discuss the relationship between the forest and stream habitats and the animals and plants that inhabit them.
  • Discover life under a log with viewing glasses and bug boxes.
  • Define and discuss the elements of a forest and how forests change over time through the decomposition cycle.

Classification Investigation

 

In this program students will:

  • Examine a variety of body coverings (fur, snake skin, feathers, turtle shells).
  • Describe adaptations that different animals have to survive.
  • Learn about turtles by observing the captive ones at the Wetlands Center/Dip for tadpoles.

Creek Exploration - Get a Net

 

In this program students will:

  • Discover the common plants and animals living in streams and their relationships.
  • Discuss how streams change over time and the impact of human actions.
  • Dip net for tadpoles, minnows, dragonfly nymphs and other creatures.

Helping Hands for Healthy Habitats

 

In this program students will:

  • Discuss human impact on ecosystems and life cycles.
  • Learn the definition and importance of the word “stewardship” .
  • Understand how Jug Bay staff and the local community embrace stewardship at the Sanctuary.
  • Learn how stewardship activities can positively impact impaired ecosystems.
  • Participate in a hands-on stewardship project that improves the health of the Sanctuary (i.e. pulling Japanese stiltgrass).

Life in the Forest

 

In this program students will:

  • Describe relationships between animals and plants.
  • Discover life under a log with viewing glasses and bug boxes.
  • Define and discuss decomposition.
  • Define a habitat, identify habitat needs being met in the forest.

Pond Exploration (Spring Only)

 

In this program students will:

  • Hike to Mark’s Pond to learn the importance and value of vernal pools and their role in the forest ecosystem.
  • Net for animals in the pond and collect specimens for observation.
  • Discuss amphibian and insect life cycles and human actions that impact their survival.

Wetland Ecology

 

In this program students will:

  • Stroll along the boardwalk and discuss the functions and values of wetlands.
  • Discuss the impacts humans have the environment.
  • Compare different wetlands zones based on observations of plants, animals, water, and soil.
  • Discover common plants and animals living in the wetlands
    Identify plant and animal adaptations that allow for survival in wetlands.

Classrooms in the Field - CITF Middle and High School

Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary offers a series of classrooms in the field programs for middle and high school students. Learn more about these programs below; and please fill out this field trip application to sign up your school!

Amphibian Adventures

 

Description:

Learn about amphibians through a visit to our special vernal pool in the spring. Potentially find salamanders and frogs at their various levels of development. Learn about the sensitivity of these animals and their decline. Classroom materials are available to extend the learning into school. Learn to identify frog sounds in your community and add them to HerpMapper to share your information with researchers around the world.

Forest Succession Survey

Description:

Each group will conduct two forest surveys following the Sanctuary’s Forest Survey Protocol. We’ll identify and measure trees, note shrubs and herbaceous species, identify invasive species, and find evidence of animals in and near the plots. One mature and one pioneer plot will be surveyed and compared.

Helping Hands for Healthy Habitats

Description:

Discuss human impact on ecosystems and life cycles and how we can help through stewardship projects here at Jug Bay and beyond. Discuss ways that each of us can act to protect the environment. Participate in a stewardship project at Jug Bay, like pulling Japanese Stiltgrass).

Life in the Forest

Description:

Experience the forest and consider the ways that animals, plants, and insects depend on each other in this complex ecosystem. Consider changes in the woods as trees mature.  Learn about the important role that plants provide in using carbon and how this enhances their worth in modern society. Identify different trees by their leaves, bark, and fruit. 

Plankton Investigation

Description:

After learning how to conduct a plankton tow to gather a study sample, students will use microscopes to discover planktonic life in the Patuxent River. Students will learn Families of plankton and be able to identify key Family morphological characteristics.

PLANS II

Description for PLANS II (Plankton Land Use and Nutrient Studies):

Students participate in hands-on water quality testing of two water bodies to compare their results and consider the impact of these results on natural inhabitants of these habitats. Understand the limitations of particular species as it relates to turbidity and nutrients. Look at the macroinvertebrates living in those waters. When possible, include an oyster filtration experiment to see the amount of that oysters filter, their requirements for clean water, and their ability to help clean the water.

Pollinators and Plants

Description:

Visit the Jug Bay meadows and wildflower gardens to identify pollinators. Learn the different ways that plants need to be pollinated and the different ways that insects do this pollinating. Learn about the role of pollinators in our environment, the pressures they face, and how we can reduce these pressures.

Pond Exploration (Spring Only)

Description:

Hike to Mark’s Pond to learn the importance and value of vernal pools and their role in the forest ecosystem. Net for animals in the pond and collect specimens for observation. Discuss amphibian and insect life cycles and human actions that impact their survival.

Stream Ecology and Survey

Description:

We will explore a freshwater stream, collect and observe fish, amphibians, macroinvertebrates, and other species as we find them. Discuss threats to stream health, such as development, pollution, and climate change. Learn how the presence/absence of benthic macroinvertebrates serves as an indicator of stream health.

Watersheds and Water Quality

Description:

Students will collect and test water for dissolved oxygen, pH, turbidity, and nutrients at two different sites.  Students will discuss the results and the influences on the water quality of each site.  Stream health and human impacts will be discussed.

Wetland Ecology

Description:

Walk along the Jug Bay Wetlands Board learning about the many inhabitants of the marsh and their adaptations to this ever changing environment. Compare wetland plants and animals in different zones. Consider the importance of the wetlands environment and the many benefits it provides. Discuss how human activity impacts the wetlands and what we can do to reduce this impact.

Wetland Ecology by Canoe

Description:

Students will paddle the Patuxent River to discover the plants and animals of the Jug Bay Wetlands and discuss human impacts on water quality and ecosystem health.  Students will determine locations to conduct comparative water quality tests and graph & discuss findings at the end of the day. Available to high school students from mid-May through October.