Cape Cod and Woods Hole: Oceanography and Natural History
Alongside scientists and local experts, gain a comprehensive understanding of Cape Cod’s natural wonders, exploring its geography, marine life and historic research centers.
Rating (4.8)
Program No. 16765RJ
4 days
Starts at
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4 days
3 nights
7 meals
3 B 2 L 2 D
Getting There
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Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Falmouth, MA
ShoreWay Acres Inn

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. Scheduled free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner and get to know your fellow scholars.

Evening: We’ll be joined by a noted local historian and author for an introductory presentation on Cape Cod. Even though it’s a peninsula and not a real island, The Cape, as everyone calls it, feels that way. Countless numbers of city folk have experienced the phenomenon of cares falling away after crossing one of the two bridges that span the Cape Cod Canal. The Cape is Barnstable County and vice-versa. Its 15 towns are spread over three areas that are distinctive to locals if not visitors: Upper Cape, Mid-Cape, Lower and Outer Cape. The year-round population of somewhere over 200,000 swells to more than half a million during the season between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Woods Hole Marine Biological Lab
Falmouth, MA
ShoreWay Acres Inn

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile throughout the day. Standing for up to 2 hours at a time and getting on and off a motor coach.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach at the hotel and head to the world-renowned Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) at Woods Hole for a presentation by one of the scientists. We’ll also explore the Marine Resources Center and look at some of the marine animals involved in MBL research. Founded in 1888, the MBL has become one of the leading research and education facilities in the fields of biology, biomedicine, and environmental science. The scientists and support staff, about 250, are joined during the year by several hundred visiting scientists, researchers, faculty, and students. Since 1929, 56 Nobel Prize winners have been affiliated with the MBL as well as hundreds of others recognized in various fields.

Lunch: At the MBL Cafeteria, we’ll have lunch among the scientists.

Afternoon: Spend some time exploring the Marine Biological Laboratory Campus. Learn from the award-winning scientists that have devoted their life work to exploring and discovering more about the world underwater.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to take a scenic walk, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, or just relax.

Woods Hole MBL Gemma Boat Trip, WHOI, Woods Hole Aquarium
Falmouth, MA
ShoreWay Acres Inn

Activity note: Getting on/off MBL vessel using a small ramp and some steps. Bring sun protection and jackets as temperatures at sea can be 10-15 degrees cooler than on land.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll ride back to the Marine Biological Laboratory, walk to the docks behind the MBL campus, and embark on a fully-operational research vessel with an MBL scientist. We’ll have time on the water in Vineyard Sound investigating the plant and animal life at the bottom of the ocean. With direction from the experts, bring these sea creatures aboard and analyze their purpose for medical research and their importance to the future of medicine.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Woods Hole.

Afternoon: Our next field trip will be to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). Its mission: “The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is dedicated to research and education to advance understanding of the ocean and its interaction with the Earth system, and to communicating this understanding for the benefit of society.” Led by one of their experts, we’ll learn about WHOI ocean science research and the vessels and tools developed by their scientists and engineers for use in their research. Afterwards, we’ll have some time for independent exploration at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium — oldest in the country — established in 1885 and only a short walk away. We’ll then return to the hotel.

Dinner: At a restaurant in downtown Falmouth, share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: We’ll walk back to the hotel for a presentation by a local expert to further your knowledge of Woods Hole and Cape Cod.

Wrap-Up Session, Program Concludes
Falmouth, MA

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 AM.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: With an expert lecturer and local professor, expand on what you learned about Cape Cod's natural wonders and research centers with a lecture focused on environmental science in the local area. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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