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23500
Connecticut

Marine Science on the Long Island Sound With Your Grandchild

Sail along Mystic Seaport with your grandchild aboard a research vessel as you become citizen scientists during a week of hands-on oceanography, collecting and studying ocean specimens.
Program No. 23500RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,899
Connecticut

Marine Science on the Long Island Sound With Your Grandchild

Sail along Mystic Seaport with your grandchild aboard a research vessel as you become citizen scientists during a week of hands-on oceanography, collecting and studying ocean specimens.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,899
Program No. 23500 RJ
climate
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At a Glance

Climb aboard the R/V Envirolab, Project Oceanology’s research vessel, and become a citizen scientist with your grandchild as you explore Long Island Sound with real marine scientists! From your home base in quaint, historic Mystic Seaport, you’ll operate scientific equipment, pull lobster pots, haul a trawl net and dissect a squid together! Complete your transformation into a real seafarer by learning nautical skills and maritime history at the Mystic Seaport museum, visiting a revolutionary war-era fort and exploring inside historic (and possibly haunted) Ledge Light lighthouse.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Use seines to capture nearshore fish on Pine Island as your expert instructors teach you how to identify what you bring in.
  • Get comfortable aboard a working scientific research vessel, and contribute to environmental research in Long Island Sound.
  • Explore charming Mystic Village and Mystic Seaport, and enjoy a slice (or four) at the famous Mystic Pizza.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Long Island Sound: A History of its people, places and Environment
by Marilyn Weigold
Spanning the shores of Connecticut and Long Island, New York, the Long Island Sound is one of the most picturesque places in North America. From the discovery of the Sound in 1614, to the adventures of Captain Kidd, to the sinking of the Lexington in the sound in 1840, the Long Island Sound also holds a unique place in American history.
Marine Science for Kids: Exploring and protecting Our Watery World (Children's Book)
by Bethanie Hestermann & Josh Hestermann
Becoming a Marine Biologist
by Virginia Morell
A fascinating guide to a career in marine biology written by bestselling journalist Virginia Morell and based on the real-life experiences of an expert in the field—essential reading for someone considering a path to this profession.
Margins: A Naturalist Meets Long Island Sound
by Mary Parker Buckles
Small b&w photographs accompany the text by this former National Audubon Society editor, who simultaneously extols and fears for the future of the natural beauty of Long Island Sound. Considering that over 20 million people live within 100 miles of this 110-mile long body of water separating Long Island from the New York and Connecticut mainland, Buckles' ode to this apparently thriving, but marginally sustained, wetland ecology waxes optimistic despite the encroachment of development and pollution.
A Field Guide to Long Island Sound: Coastal Habitats, Plant Life, Fish, Seabirds, Marine Mammals, and Other Wildlife
by Patrick J. Lynch
Until now there has been no one-stop reference for those interested in exploring the Sound’s rich natural history. Author, photographer, and scientific illustrator Patrick Lynch has filled this gap. Brimming with maps, photographs, and drawings, Lynch’s guide introduces readers to the full breadth of the Sound’s environs from shorelines to deepest waters.
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Mystic, CT
D
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously).

Dinner: At a nearby restaurant we will have a plated meal with with iced tea, juices, soda, coffee and tea.

Evening: Orientation: 7:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Introduction to Oceanography, Marine Animal Experience
Mystic, CT
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; drive is about 7.5 miles one way; less than 1/2 hour. Walking less than 1/2 mile total throughout the day; ample seating available. Getting on/off a boat; ride is approximately 4 hours; on our feet operating equipment and pulling a trawling net aboard boat.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet features a rotating variety of hot items as well as fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, breads and muffins, plus juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll travel by shuttle to Project Oceanology, a marine science education facility, where we’ll be introduced to some of the local fish and invertebrates. In this hands-on lesson, we will have the opportunity to closely observe and handle marine organisms, identify them using guides and keys, and discuss their adaptations and natural history. We’ll also use microscopes to examine the smaller residents of Long Island Sound, plankton. Grandchildren will participate in a design-your-own-plankton contest! Grandparents will be invited to relax on the patio during the design contest, but will then serve as judges for the Plankton Races. Slowest plankton wins! We’ll also begin making plans for our evening celebration on Day 5.

Lunch: At Project Oceanology, we’ll have a buffet lunch provided by a local restaurant with fountain beverages, coffee, tea, water included.

Afternoon: We’ll board Project Oceanology’s research vessel, the R/V Envirolab, for our first oceanographic research trip! Participants will be trained as oceanographic scientists. Haul a trawl net, handle and measure the fish we catch, learn how to use oceanographic research equipment, and maybe even sample the bottom using a mud grab. Grandparent/grandchild teams will need to work together to collect data, then share their findings with the group. We’ll work our way east along the coast of Connecticut to our home base in Mystic Village, where we’ll disembark.

Dinner: At the famous Mystic Pizza, we’ll have a tasty buffet dinner with soft drinks, juice, water included.

Evening: Explore the shops and historic buildings in the charming New England village of Mystic! Stop for ice cream at the Mystic Sweet Shoppe, and then cross the drawbridge to meet your shuttle at Mystic River Park.

DAY
3
Mystic Seaport Museum, Historic Mystic
Mystic, CT
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: Walking less than 2 miles total throughout the day; periods of standing; mostly level terrain. Getting on/off shuttle; driving approximately 7 miles roundtrip; less than 1/2 hour total.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet features a rotating variety of hot items as well as fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, breads and muffins, plus juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We will board the bus for a short ride up the river to Mystic Seaport Museum, where history will come alive! We'll use the navigational tools of a sailor to find our way around the museum, build a toy boat in the woodshop, and sing sea chanteys while handling the lines of a tall ship. We'll also have some time to wander around and enjoy this fantastic museum.

Lunch: Lunch at Galley Restaurant at Mystic Seaport Museum

Afternoon: Hands-on history! Try your hands at rope-making, row a whaleboat, and make a sailor’s valentine. In late afternoon, we’ll board the historic steamboat Sabino for a ride on the Mystic river, followed by a shuttle ride back to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant we’ll share a family-style meal with tea, water, soda, and juice included.

Evening: At Project Oceanology HQ we’ll be joined by Project O staff for some evening science fun. Grandchildren will be challenged to find Davy Jones’ Locker, a mythical place between the surface and bottom of the sea, by making something float in the middle of a water column! Grandparents are invited to observe or to make their own more sophisticated layered ocean models. We’ll also continue working on our plans for Day 5

DAY
4
Revolutionary War, Submarines, Pine Island, Nearshore Fish.
Mystic, CT
B,L
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: Getting on/off shuttle; driving approximately 24 miles total; about 1 hour roundtrip, with stops. Walking approximately 2 miles total throughout the day; grassy, uneven terrain; up/down some steep stairways and over partitions in U.S.S. Nautilus. Elective climbing of battlefield tower via steep winding staircase and 166 steps. Getting on/off a skiff; short transfer to/from Pine Island; sandy terrain and forest path; wading in water for seining, some rocky parts.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet features a rotating variety of hot items as well as fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, breads and muffins, plus juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Note: Participants should pack a towel and change of clothes/shoes appropriate for visiting a beach in the afternoon. We will travel by shuttle to Groton’s Fort Griswold, one of a pair of forts that defended the Thames River during the Revolutionary War. We’ll admire views of the Thames and learn about the revolutionary war history of the area, including the 1781 massacre at Fort Griswold involving famed traitor Benedict Arnold. Grandchildren will help history come alive for their grandparents by reenacting the storming of Fort Griswold! Next, we’ll hop aboard the shuttle for the brief trip up to the Submarine Force Museum, home of the historic ship Nautilus. The U.S.S. Nautilus was the world’s first operational nuclear-powered submarine. Learn about the fascinating history of this groundbreaking ship and of the U.S. submarine force as we go inside the submarine and visit the dockside museum.

Lunch: At Project Oceanology, we’ll have a buffet lunch provided by a local restaurant with fountain beverages, coffee, tea, water included. Change into beach appropriate attire.

Afternoon: We’ll change into our beach clothes and then travel by skiff a short distance across the water to uninhabited Pine Island. Use hand seines to capture nearshore fish, and learn about their ecology and how to identify them. Take a short guided hike to see artifacts left over from Pine Island’s fish processing past, or stick closer to the beach and explore the rocky intertidal! Return by shuttle to hotel to change/shower before dinner.

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

Evening: Movie night! Project O staff will show an ocean themed movie at the hotel function room.

DAY
5
Hands on Science, Ledge Light Lighthouse
Mystic, CT
B,L,D
Holiday Inn Express

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 7 miles one way; less than 1/2 hour total. Walking less than 1/2 mile total throughout the day; ample seating available. Getting on/off boat; about 1/2 hour round trip.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room, the breakfast buffet features a rotating variety of hot items as well as fruit, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, breads and muffins, plus juices, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: Board the R/V Envirolab for a trip out to Ledge Light Lighthouse, an unusual working lighthouse sitting just outside the mouth of the Thames River. We’ll be joined by a docent from the Ledge Light Foundation, who will give you a tour of the light and maybe even introduce you to Ernie, Ledge Light’s famous ghost!

Lunch: At Project Oceanology, we’ll have a buffet lunch provided by a local restaurant with fountain beverages, coffee, tea, water included. Change into beach appropriate attire.

Afternoon: Hands-on science at Project Oceanology! First, we’ll learn about the issue of bycatch in marine fisheries, and about cutting edge research to minimize bycatch. We’ll test our design skills with a fishing net design challenge – grandparents and grandchildren will compete against one another to see who can design the most innovative and effective net. Next, grandparent and grandchild teams will come together again for a squid dissection – learn about the anatomy and lives of these amazing marine organisms, and even write a message with squid ink. Finally, we'll try our hands at the traditional Japanese art of Gyotaku (fish printing)!

Dinner: At Project Oceanology, we’ll break out the grill and cook up some seafood for a delicious family-style fish fry! Beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: We’ll return to the hotel and the remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Mystic, CT
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Dining room buffet.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future.






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