Coastal Oceanography

This program introduces students to concepts of physical oceanography. The emphasis is on waves, their characteristics, and how scientists measure them. Hurricanes, which have an incredible amount of wave energy, are also discussed. Other topics include currents, tides, salinity, and beach erosion. A scientific approach is used to collect random samples and data is graphed. After an introduction in the classroom, the students will measure waves in the Gulf of Mexico. 

Duration: approximately 3 hours
Recommended: 5th grade to adult

What to expect:

  • Students will get very wet!
  • Students are put into small groups while measuring waves. Teacher/chaperon assistance is expected in the water.

What to wear and bring:

  • old shoes to get wet; tennis shoes or water shoes that completely cover the foot are preferred (flip flops, Crocs, and sandals are not allowed)
  • swimsuit or clothes that can get wet
  • towel
  • Sun protection - sunscreen, hats, etc.
  • Water bottle (especially important for warm weather trips)

Key words to review with your students:

  • Wave crest
  • Wave trough
  • Wave height
  • Wave frequency
  • Hurricane 

Alabama Course of Study and Ocean Literacy Standards

To book your field trip, email or call (251) 861-2141 x7511.

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