Several field guides, posters and children’s books on marine life are on board all Dolphin Fleet vessels.
Our trained, experienced naturalists (over 90 years of experience!) range from researchers to biology school teachers and field guides. Each is capable of creating a program to compliment their classroom curricula.
In addition, our naturalists can provide pre-trip slide presentations to groups of 40 or more, at a nominal cost and arrange with our affiliates presentations or field walks that highlight other aspects of the Capes diverse habitats or history.
USING NATIONAL SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS FOR INTERACTIVE WHALEWATCHING EDUCATION
Since 1975 the Dolphin Fleet, which started the phenomenon of bringing the public to observe whales offshore has pursued a duel mission 1) to provide a stable, reliable platform for scientific research to preserve marine mammals and their habitat and 2) provide a scientifically- based education program for both the general public and, more specially, for school groups on field trips, again with purpose of preserving endangered species and habitat.
Towards the latter goal, the Dolphin Fleet of Provincetown has developed an interactive education program guided by National Science Education Standards. These standards are based on the principles that: science is for all students; learning science is an active process; school science reflects the intellectual and cultural traditions that characterize the practice of contemporary science;and improving science education is part of systemic education reforms.
Adapting the standards to hands-on activities helps to support inquiries while interacting with students, to develop their skills of scientific inquiry and encourage curiosity and openness to new ideas and data. In addition, data forms sent to each school after the whale watch experience extend the learning process from the ocean to the classroom. The Dolphin Fleet web site is constantly updated with new data and provides a valuable resource for field trip follow-up in the classroom and student research.
Following is a summery of the subjects and activities addressed on Dolphin Fleet whalewatch eco-excursions to facilitate the development of abilities necessary to understand and do scientific inquiry. Programs vary in detail and definition for grades K-4, 5-8 and 9-12.
Position and motion of objects:
Glaciers and the geology of Cape Cod
Currents and waves: the ocean as a physical and biological system
The characteristic of organisms:
Basic needs of marine organisms from plankton to great whales
Adaptations of marine mammals
Structure and function of marine organisms from plankton to great whales
Life cycles of organisms:
Life cycles of marine plants to the great whales including whale migration
Genetics: inherited characteristics and learned characteristics: whale families, their similarities and differences
Science and Technology
Technological design and understanding science and technology:
Data collection on marine mammals and technologies in plankton and marine mammal research: using suitable tools to answer scientific inquiries
How science can be used to promote understanding and protection of marine resources
Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
Characteristics and changes in populations
Factors influencing population increase and decrease in marine mammals
Types of Resources
How the marine environment supports a web of life
Limited resources and conservation
Changes in Environments
Natural and human-induced changes in the marine environment and their potential impacts
History and Nature of Science
How science has influenced our understanding of marine life and how much we have to learn
How science has helped to promote conservation
Science as a career