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Letter From the Editor Dear Readers, Thank you so much for reading the summer edition of the Coastal Current. Our Aquarium students worked extremely hard this summer to maintain and improve the Aquarium. I would like to give a big thanks to all of the students and teachers that gave their time to come in for feeding days. I hope that our two graduating senior curators, Kat Brickner and Amanda Schaller, have a great college experience and will be able to put everything they learned from the Aquarium into their future jobs, schooling, and everyday use. I hope to have the next edition out soon. - Kaitlyn Phillips

Left: Newsletter editor, Kaitlyn Phillips.


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 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


Coastal Current Staff

Dave Long.................................Executive Director Elaine Long......................Administrative Assistant Cabrillo High School 4350 Constellation Rd. Lompoc, CA 93436 (805) 742-2888

Helen Anglin Becky & John Gilbert John & Pat Lizarraga Guy Truett David Wright

CONTRIBUTOR’S CIRCLE John & Erin Bingle Mary Bingle Rita Michelle Dyer In Memory of Becky Hoban Hines Jana Hunking Ellen Ladd 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

I s s u e

By Michelle Poquette

Left: Tourism student, Sassy Leak, feeds squid to the sea stars in the Aquarium’s touch tanks.


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

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S u m m e r

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Summertime at the Aquarium

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

SUPPORTER’S CIRCLE Kaitlyn Phillips............................................. Editor Amanda Schaller......................................Journalist Greg Eisen.................................Aquarium Director

V o l u m e


It’s getting warm on the Central Coast, the beaches are busy and cars loaded with suitcases are vacation bound. However, here at the Cabrillo High School Aquarium it is still busy, even when school is out of session. The inhabitants of the Aquarium still need to be fed, their water quality needs to be checked and maintained and numerous other tasks need to be taken care of over the summer. Over 30 students and our Aquarium Advisors took time from their summer break to tend to the Aquarium’s needs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the summer. The dedicated students and staff came in for a couple of hours, chopped up smelly anchovies and slippery squid to feed the 200+ fish and invertebrates at the Aquarium. Our water quality curators worked diligently to keep up with regular water changes and water testing to ensure the animals’ habitats had ideal conditions. For each task at hand, the students worked together as a team, training next year’s new curators as well as continuing regular facility maintenance that makes our Aquarium so unique and special. The summer also provided us valuable time to work on many Aquarium maintenance projects. We moved our new pair of sea horses to a new exhibit. This exhibit is a larger tank with a better filtration system and is linked

into the generator system for emergency back-up power. Students emptied the 500 gallon salt water holding tank and gave it its annual scrub out. We also touched up the paint on the tiles in the front entryway, which showcase some of our beneficiaries of the Aquarium. Another major project we completed this summer was sanding down the metal frames on the eight center tanks, which had built up quite a lot of rust over the years. After this was done we gave them a fresh coat of paint. Another large project necessary to complete is the replacement of the rusted metal frames that hold the two large filtration systems down in the filtration pit. They will be replaced with a custom fit fiberglass frame, which should never rust and will increase the longevity of the filtration system. Overall, the students and staff had a great time completing such projects and maintenance this summer. Nearly 500 hours of student volunteer work was achieved this summer. Each of the improvements made will help our facility to continue looking great and working efficiently so we can continue to give exciting educational tours and open house events. Without such dedicated students and staff, such tasks would not get done as efficiently as they did this summer. Thanks to all of our student volunteers and staff!

Left: Alex Cowans, one of our head curators and water quality specialists, hydrates the Warm Water Tank.

Senior Project: Kat Brickner

By Kat Brickner

Left: Former Head Curator, Kat Brickner, stands next to her Senior Project poster that shows how she renovated the Aquarium’s Warm Water Reef.

Hello, my name is Kat Brickner. I was one of the 2009-2010 Head Curators. I am proud to be writing this article to inform you of my years of hard work at the Cabrillo High Aquarium as well as my Senior Project. During the past three years I have learned so many incredible things that will help my future plans after graduation. This program has helped shape me into the person who I am today. I wanted to write this article to inform the public how this program has helped many students such as myself excel in so many different areas, as well as helped us to become more successful community members. The dedicated adult advisors and all the students involved in this program have aided me in becoming a fine young woman ready to take on the world and conquer all my dreams. I started working at the Aquarium as a “grunt” and developed a true love and respect for the sea. It was hard work, but I truly have love for the animals and their well-being. In order to climb the ladder of responsibility, I quickly learned to be a self-starter and began completing projects with less and less supervision. I had been taught well by my mentors how to take on such tasks. This really gave me the tools to help me be successful in the real world. My biggest challenge was my initial lack of communication skills. Communication plays a critical role in this program. Students communicate with the public to inspire them to become stewards of the ocean. We also must communicate with our peers

in order to run the business end of the Aquarium. With numerous visitors and elementary school tours, this communication between peers as well as the public is crucial to the success of our program and facility. I teamed with many students throughout the years to work on small projects in the Aquarium. I applied for and acquired a Scientific Collector’s Permit. This allowed me to help the Aquarium in gathering many different animals for our exhibits. This permit also allowed me to obtain live kelp which made exhibits more visually attractive and also helped nourish various “vegetarian” animals. I also increased my knowledge of animal husbandry skills and aquatic system maintenance. What I am most proud of in my Aquarium endeavors is my Senior Project. I chose to refurbish the Aquarium’s tropical Warm Water Reef habitat. For over two years I planned, monitored water quality and rebuilt the reef in this habitat. I overcame many obstacles throughout the process of the project and now feel I could successfully build and sustain a reef aquarium on my own. I find that much of what I say cannot do justice to the amount of life lessons that I have gained during this project. Our program truly is amazing. From students, to teachers, to the public including children of all ages, the Cabrillo High School Aquarium is an important asset to our community. The learning experience for all those who the Aquarium experience touches is one we should never forget. Below: Kat Brickner put new hard corals into the Warm Water Reef to make the tank more visually appealing.

Senior Project: Amanda Schaller By Amanda Schaller

Hello, my name is Amanda Schaller and I was one of the Head Curators of the 2009-2010 school year. I can’t believe that after four years of being in the program, I’m finally graduating and moving on. Time flies by so fast! I still remember joining the program my freshman year and being completely in awe of this amazing program. I fell in love with the program immediately. I knew from the first day that I joined the Tourism class that I wanted to become the Head Curator by my senior year. During my freshman year our Newsletter Editor, Kristy Farley, encouraged me to join the newsletter staff. I enjoyed writing, photography and working witht the public so in many ways I was a perfect candidate for the job. I started as a contributing writer and by the time I was a sophomore I had started to specialize in media design as well. I was selected Curator of Public Relations and Newsletter Supervisor that same year. Going into my senior year, especially as Head Curator, I knew that I was going to utilize the Aquarium for my Senior Project. I wanted to choose a project that would also benefit the Aquarium program and I’m glad to say that I was able to accomplish that goal. My Senior Project was to create all of the media design and PR artwork for every Aquarium event this year. I created about 25 Aquarium-themed interior-design posters throughout the year. I had to teach myself how to do computer graphics. I took an inDesign (public software) manual home over the summer and taught myself how to use the program. The manual was over 200 pages long. After the year started, I soon realized that if I really wanted to make the poster-designs my main focus of my project, that I would have to learn Photoshop as well. I took a 16-week class at Allan Hancock College that met twice a week and had four-hour classes; all of this on top of my “normal” Cabrillo school day. I put in over 100 hours just attaining the skills needed to do my project. Every poster I designed went through about ten different critiquing processes. Each poster took about 20 hours to complete with a final product. I created over 25 posters. My goal with my project was to try and en-

courage as many new and returning visitors as I could to come to our Open House events. My reason for my poster designs was to help ensure the existence of our program during these difficult economic times with our state budget crisis. I’ve been involved with several sports and clubs throughout my years here at Cabrillo, but nothing compares to this program. The Cabrillo Aquarium is very unique and special and we are so lucky to have a program like this at our school. There is no program like ours anywhere in the nation. Our students at Cabrillo know how lucky we are to have this facility. The tools that this program offers helps us grow as individuals and as a school. I want more and more generations of young high school students to have that same opportunity for many years to come. That is why I did my Senior Project. I have been so fortunate to have been in this program since my freshman year. I can’t believe I’m graduating. I have been accepted to CSU Chico and plan on majoring in Biological Science. After graduating I plan on getting my teaching credential and Master’s Degree. I hope to be a high school Biology teacher, possibly here at Cabrillo. I would like to thank Mr. Eisen, Mrs. Mason, Mrs. Poquette and Mr. and Mrs. Long for helping me accomplish all my goals and supporting me so much throughout my high school career.

Left: Amanda Schaller poses with her senior project display with pictures of all the graphically designed posters she created for Aquarium advertisment.

Newsletter Summer 2010  

Newsletter for the Summer of 2010 for the Cabrillo High School Aquarium

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