Here are the Field Trips we took to...


Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station
           Turtle Cove's Dock
Our first field trip was to SLU's Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station.  All of the participants and staff of Project CYPRESS met at the SLU's Galva Canal Boat House. We traveled through Galva Canal to Pass Manchac by pontoon boat.  Turtle Cove is located on Pass Manchac near Lake Pontchartrain.  The 15 minute boat ride provided us the opportunity to do some
sight seeing.  We arrived at Turtle Cove anxious to begin the day's activities.  The participants did a mark-recapture of Lubber grasshoppers, a wetlands scavenger hunt, and a test of the water quality of Pass Manchac.  They also caught specimens for their classroom aquaria.  Turtle Cove offers convenient access to a tidal fresh marsh for field trips.  For information about trips to Turtle Cove Environmental Research Station contact Dr. Robert Hastings
       Turtle Cove's Research Station
at Southeastern Louisiana University.

Joyce Wildlife Management Area
                  Frank's Photo Course
Our next field trip was to the Joyce Wildlife Management Area located outside of Pontchatoula, Louisiana on Highway 51.   There is a boardwalk through a cypress-tupelogum swamp.  This is a good place to practice wetland plant identification skills, to observe patterns in nature, and to teach in a natural environment.  The participants of Project CYPRESS were divided into three groups.  One group went with Shafe to identify wetland plants.  One group went with
Frank to learn about nature photography.  Another group went with Ernie to practice their observational skills using several of their senses.  The groups all switched after thirty minutes so that everyone got a chance to experience all three lessons.  The identification groups were able to identify over forty different species of wetland plants.  The photography groups were able to take some beautiful nature photographs.  We were having so much fun no one wanted to leave.             
        Ernie Teaching Observational Lesson

Pond Near The Tangipahoa River
            Ernie Helps With Identification
Our next field trip was to a pond, landscaped garden, and bottomland hardwood forest in Tickfaw, Louisiana.  This was private property owned by a staff member.  Here the participants practiced many skills they learned in the classroom.  One group was responsible for creating a topographic map of the pond (shape and depth).  One group observed the patterns in nature in the landscape surrounding the pond.  Another group explored a nearby bottomland
hardwood forest along the Tangipahoa River.  The last group sampled and made observations of the water, vegetation, and animals in the pond.  All of the groups switched to receive equal exposure.  After the trip they went back to the classroom and brought together all of the data.  They analyzed the data collected to make a map of the pond, to make an ecosystem model of the pond, and to explain the patterns in nature in the landscape surrounding the pond and the bottomland hardwood forest.  Another nice field trip.
    Canoe To Make Observations In The Pond

Honey Island Swamp
              Dr. Wagner's Swamp Tour
Our last summer field trip was to the Honey Island Swamp in Pearl River, Louisiana.  This field trip was really fun.  At the dock, we boarded large flat boats that would take us on our tour.  We were able to observe plants and animals in a Louisiana cypress-tupelo swamp.  We were able to see animals like a thirteen foot long alligator accurately named "El Whoppo."  Other animals that we saw on the tour were great blue herons, egrets, water snakes, and red-eared sliders. 
The baldcypress trees were old and huge.  The picture to the right shows one of the old big baldcypress trees with its knees.  The height of cypress knees and the dark coloration on the buttress of the baldcypress trees indicate the season's high water mark.   I have been on several different swamp tours in south Louisiana and this was the best swamp tour by far.  The tour guides/captains were very knowledgeable, helpful, and kind.  This was a great field trip!  Can't wait for more!!   
                 Tour Boat In The Swamp

LUMCON Facility in Cocodrie, LA
Our last field trip of year for Project CYPRESS was to the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium (LUMCON) in Cocodrie, Louisiana.  Some of us arrived on a Friday evening, fished off the pier and stayed the night.   The next day the rest of the participants met us for a cruise on the R.V. Acadiana.  The R.V. Acadiana left the dock for Terrebonne Bay.   We trolled various types of nets at different water levels to sample the diversity of the estuary.  There were many different types of fish and invertebrates.
When the plankton net was brought up, we examined the various types of zoo- and phytoplankton.  Then we raised the benthic net that scraped along the bottom and looked at the different creatures that live in the benthos of Terrebonne Bay.  The last net was the big trolling net like shrimpers use. This net brought up many different types of fish, shrimp, and crabs.  After the cruise, we ate lunch and went on a tour of the LUMCON labs and facilities.  The various types of research taking place at LUMCON was exciting.  LUMCON is a great place for a class field trip to expose your students to the marine sciences.    
Research Vessel Acadiana


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Thursday, June 03, 1999

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