Page 1

Letter From the Editor Dear Readers, My name is Kaitlyn Phillips and I have just been named the new editor for the Coastal Current. I am eagerly looking forward to informing everyone about the Cabrillo High School Aquarium and all of its endeavors. This was my first time working as chief editor and I would have never expected it to be so fulfilling when I saw the final outcome. I am looking forward to writing more new and interesting articles for all of you. I want to thank all of the people who helped me through the process of becoming an editor. Thank you Amanda Schaller, Mr. Eisen, Mrs. Poquette, and Mrs. Long for giving me the opportunity to become the editor of the Coastal Current. You guys are great! - Kaitlyn Phillips Editor


The Coastal Current (Patron Newsletter) acknowledges those who contribute financially to the Patron Program on an annual basis. Benefactor’s Circle: $500+ Associate’s Circle: $250 Sustainer’s Circle: $100 Supporter’s Circle: $50 Contributor’s Circle: $25

Benefactor’s Circle

Mr. Mike Del Prete Mr. Omer Dersom In Memory of Hank Hudson Louise Mollath Trust Patricia Nowell Grace & Richard Okita Foundation Rudi Schulte Family Foundation

Associate’s Circle

Anthony Bubba ‘74 & Leslie Scheurer ‘73 La Purisma Conception Catholic School

Sustainer’s Circle

Ed Burnett (Class of ‘79) Dave (‘73) & Linda Davidson Dennis & Jesslyn Deleissegues James & Barbara Berg Davis Art & Edith Hicks Rob Holdsambeck Richard Jones M. Drew & Barbara (Gibbons ‘73) Lawrence Roberta R. Lopez Thomas & Muriel Machin Andrea Seastrand Earl & Joan Severo Virginia Shoemaker Michael & Sonja Taylor Debbie (Ancel) Van Hyfte Dr. & Mrs. Benjamin Williams

Supporter’s Circle

Coastal Current Staff

Kaitlyn Phillips............................................. Editor Amanda Schaller......................................Journalist Greg Eisen.................................Aquarium Director Dave Long.................................Executive Director Elaine Long......................Administrative Assistant Cabrillo High School 4350 Constellation Rd. Lompoc, CA 93436 (805) 742-2888

Helen Anglin Patricia Briggs John & Pat Lizarraga Guy Truett David Wright

Contributor’s Circle

Mary Bingle Rita Michelle Dyer In Memory of Becky Hoban Hines Jana Hunking In Memory of Elfriede Manzo The McAninch Family Nola Nowell In Memory of Nikki Manzo Ostereich Rebecca Lee Patterson In Memory of Alan Probst Dr. & Mrs. Charles Schlosser June Schwartz Mr. & Mrs. Charlie Travis Myra Wapner Michael & Ann Weiman

V o l u m e

1 4

I s s u e


W i n t e r

2 0 0 9 - 1 0

Mysterious Sea Horses By Drew Langston The Cabrillo High School Aquari-

um is proud to announce the arrival of two new and interesting creatures. We have recently aquired a pair of female Lined Sea horses, Hippocampus erectus. This species is commonly found in sub-tropical and tropical zones of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. These fullgrown adult sea horses, which were bred in captivity, were donated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Paul Clarkson, Monterey Bay’s Curator of Animal Husbandry, served as an advisor throughout the project. Mr. Clarkson educated me on the background of these sea horses and offered helpful tips to ensure they would be properly cared for. After months of meticulously preparing their new habitat, the sea horses were carefully packed into a FedEx box and shipped overnight. Weary from their travels, the pair arrived the next morning here at our Aquarium with enthusiastic onlookers, excited to see our newest guests! In the wild, sea horse populations have been sharply declining. Since 2002, their populations have dropped in some areas by as much as 70%. Sea horses face many stresses such as pollution, increasing temperature and other factors. Twenty million sea horses are caught every year. Three-fourths of these are caught by Chinese fishing boats and are used for traditional Chinese medicine and souvenirs. The rest are caught by hobby divers that keep them as household pets. Many species of sea horse, including the Lined Sea horse, are now protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, (CITES). Because of their declining populations and sensitivity, proper care for sea horses is a necessity. Keeping sea horses is very difficult and labor intensive.They require

constant care and nearly perfect water quality parameters. Sea horses also need to be fed throughout the day, including weekends. They are accustomed to eating regularly. This is largely the result of their unusual anatomy and the lack of a true stomach. This presented a problem which required a bit of ingenuity on my part as well as our advisors. Together we designed, developed and built an automatic feeder which utilizes a sprinkler timer to feed the sea horses over the weekend. This ensures they will be properly fed when aquarists are not around. Sea horses in the wild live between 1 to 3 years; however, when in captivity they may live up to 5 years. It is comforting to know that these unique animals may live a longer life in the Aquarium and enable us to promote sea horse awareness to the public. Many people will go through a whole lifetime and never see a sea horse, so we are honored to be able to display such unique organisms. When I had started this exhibit, the purpose was strictly for the completion of my High School Senior Project next year. After extensive research, along with advice from Mr. Clarkson and our Aquarium advisors, our Aquarium is now focused on helping shape the future of this fragile species and promoting awareness of the many struggles they are faced with in the wild. It is with much respect and gratitude that I again thank all those who helped contribute to this project. It is with their help and encouragement that these animals may continue to thrive and mystify us all.

JASON Project 2010

Harnessing the Power of the Ocean

By Kaitlyn Phillips

Above: Tourism student, Ethan Pike, demonstrates how particles move in a wave using a sponge, a rubber duck, and a wave tank.

The Cabrillo High School Aquarium has been hosting the award-winning JASON Project for the past eight years. “JASON” is an educational program created in 1989 by Dr. Robert Ballard, the famed oceanographer credited with the discovery of the resting place of the HMS Titanic. The program’s goal is to inspire and motivate young students to learn science. Based on comments from our guests, JASON Project 2010 was extremely successful this year. The JASON Project is a subsidary of the National Geographic Society and each year Cabrillo staff and students anxiously await the announcement of the new JASON theme. We then work diligently for several months designing curriculum, activities and displays in preparation for hosting 10 fourth grade classes over a three week time frame in February. The final showcase event is our annual evening JASON Project Open House which is usually very popular with our visitors. When we heard that this year’s JASON theme was focused on Earth’s renewable resources we decided that we had to narrow this very broad topic. Every year one of our challenges is taking the JASON theme and “tweaking” it to emphasize some marine aspect of their topic. In November, we decided that wave power would be the perfect idea to tie together

the JASON alternative energy topic with our marine theme. We coined the phrase “Harnessing the Power of the Ocean” and the Cabrillo High School Aquarium’s JASON Project 2010 was born. Over 120 Tourism students in our program helped to create this year’s project and host over 350 fourth grade visitors from within our district. Aquarium Curators, Risa Hawkins and Morgan Salm, along with marine science student, Ethan Pike, were in charge of running the first “leg” of the JASON Project experience. Their main objectives were to teach students how ocean waves are formed and the factors that affect their size and power. Risa and Morgan introduced the topics by lecturing and using a PowerPoint presentation that they helped design. Ethan played the role of mad scientist and used demonstrations to help students learn the concepts. In one demonstration Ethan used a leaf blower to generate waves which helped students remember that wind causes ocean waves. In another activity, students used Slinkys to make waves across their tabletop. They identified the different parts of the resulting waves. In addition to Risa, Morgan and Ethan, each group of fourth grade students had a high school “lab buddy” to help guide them along in activities. This kept the student-to-teacher ratio at 4:1. Once the morning activity was completed, students reconvened at the entrance to the Aquarium and entered through a massive 10 foot wave. It was priceless to see the expressions on our visitor’s faces as they stepped into the barrel of a wave for the first time. The idea to have students experience the feeling of surfing inside a barrel came from avid surfer and Head Curator Kat Brickner. She convinced her father, David Brickner, to build the wave in the entry of the Aquarium. Students were then divided into four groups and given a 45 minute tour of the Aquarium facility where they learned a lot of

Above: Tourism student, Rachel Ayer, demonstrates how magnetism can generate electricity.

information about cold water, tropical and freshwater animals. After lunch, Sherelien Haase and Rachel Ayer led a lesson in which students learned how wave energy could be transferred into electrical energy by using special wave buoys placed off of the coast. The students were challenged to generate electricity using a coil of wire and a magnet. They wrapped insulated wire around PVC pipe and then moved a magnet in and out of the coil. Students learned how wave buoys take the mechanical energy in waves and convert them into electrical energy which could then be used to power our homes.

Above: Fourth grade guests build a working model of a generator using a coil of wire, a magnet and a galvanometer.

Wave buoys are already being built or are in place in several areas around the world including northern California, Oregon and Australia. Renewable resources such as wave energy become more important as we use up the limited supply of non-renewable resources, such as oil, for our growing energy needs. On the evening of February 18, over 360 guests from the community participated in the JASON Project Open House. Guests were able to experience the giant wave in the entryway and participate in student-led games in the classroom. Visitors even had the oppportunity to get a surfing lesson from Kat Brickner in the CORALIFE Theater. Tourism students were at the exhibits ready to teach the guests all about the animals and the remarkable new ways our renewable resources are being used in order to have a cleaner tomorrow. One of the guests expressed to us how much she loved the program. “I have wanted to come here for ages. I love seeing all the students and how they are able to explain what we are looking at.” Many other guests complimented our program and believed this was one of the best JASON Projects we have ever had.

Above:Visitors at our Open House play with a Slinky to learn about the properties of waves

CHS Aquarium Newsletter Winter Issue 2009-2010  

CHS Aquarium Newsletter Winter Issue 2009-2010