Field trips and classroom visits are scheduled based on individual requests and availability may be limited. Group size for on-site programs is also limited due to the sensitive nature of the salt marsh habitats. For more information on our on-site educational programs and school outreach, please contact the Reserve’s Education Coordinator.
Field Trip Studies
- Salt Marsh Ecology – Students visit a salt marsh, explore plant and animal species, and engage in handson sampling activities via a nature trail and/or marsh boardwalk.
- Freshwater Pond Studies – Students explore a pond/swamp ecosystem, sample for pond life using dip nets, study aquatic plants and animals with microscopes, analyze water samples, and learn about water quality.
- North Inlet Fish Sample – Students assist researchers in a biological survey of fish, crabs, and shrimp of North Inlet estuary. This program is scheduled around actual bi-monthly field sampling so dates and times are limited. (9th – 12th grade only)
- Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center – Students tour the inside of the Discovery Center with special focus on native species, such as snakes, alligators, and turtles.
In School Programs
Special in-school programs are offered upon request by Reserve educators. These may include formal presentations, “show and tell”, and hands on activities.
Research on the Reserve – An overview of the research and monitoring activities happening at the Reserve. Can be formal and/or hands-on with sampling equipment.
Career Day/Fair – Researchers/educators share information on science and marine biology careers.
Coastal Waterways – Presentations on estuaries, watersheds, and water quality. These subjects integrate well with biology, chemistry, environmental studies, and marine science classes.
Special topics – Presentations on topics such as stormwater, invasive species, sea level rise, marine debris and other coastal topics may be available
Estuaries are valuable habitats—homes for many organisms. Please discuss with your students ways to respect and protect these important resources.
Communicate Mandatory Behavior – Tread lightly! Your presence in the estuary will damage the site. Please help minimize that damage by adhering to these guidelines during your visit:
- Follow instructions of program leaders and chaperones.
- Stay on trails or boardwalks to ensure safety and protect habitats.
- Observe first; do not collect anything unless given instruction to do so.
- Be gentle with marsh organisms.
- Return animals to appropriate tide zone; NO LIVE ANIMALS may be taken from the estuary!
- Do not pull up plants (such as pickle grass); sample gently.
- Collect and remove any marine debris.
Will we get wet/muddy? Setting clear expectations is important. Each teacher has his or her own “tolerance level” for how much mess is allowed. Be sure your students know what you expect, and communicate your expectations to program instructors as well. You should expect muddy shoes—and sometimes muddy or wet clothing depending on tide levels and trail conditions; a change of shoes and clothing that can get wet and dirty are recommended, as well as something to carry them home in. Areas with water hoses are available for some clean up, but please be considerate of tracking mud or wet shoes into our facilities, especially common-use spaces such as classrooms and bathrooms.
- The fee for all programs is $5.00 per student, per program. No charge for teachers/chaperones. Payment due on day of the program.
- Minimum of 10 students required to reserve a program. One teacher/chaperone for every 10 students preferred.
- Field trips are first request, first served and must be booked in advance.
- Most field trips are 2-4 hours in length, but education staff is flexible and programs can be customized to fit your schedule.
- No food service or trash removal on-site. Arrangements can be made for on-site picnicking with participants bringing their own food/beverage. Groups are responsible for all trash disposal.
- No overnight accommodations available.
- Programs conducted rain or shine unless weather is too severe.
- Cancellations must be called in to the Education Coordinator at least 24 hours in advance of the scheduled program.
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