Some past activities to give you an idea of what we do:
Insects and Reptiles - Heidi Kleva from the Monmouth County Parks System from Huber Woods brought in stick bugs, box turtles and a corn snake. We learned how insects like the stick bugs are protected from predators in their environment by blending in with their surroundings; they look exactly like sticks. We learned how the box turtles can protect themselves from predators by closing up inside their shells. We saw how the corn snake can also blend in with its surroundings allowing it to capture prey and how its belly looks like Indian corn. We held the stick bugs, felt how smooth the snake is and then we had turtle races. It was a lot of fun.Owl pellet dissection lab activity. We learned what an owl pellet is and the importance of each member of a food chain. Using bone identification charts we carefully dissected our pellets and identified the bones and the animals they came from. It was tedious and interesting work and we learned it takes time and patience to complete.Erin Johnson our Monmouth County Watershed Ambassador paid us a visit. She taught us about watersheds and how to do a biological assessment of a stream to determine its health. We identified different live macro-invertebrates that she collected from the Shark River in Neptune. We analyzed our data and concluded that the stream waters were actually healthy. This disproved our hypothesis that the waters would be unhealthy because of the recent storm. It was fun and interesting.Green Market Fundraising, sponsored by NJ's Clean Energy Program, presented an interesting powerpoint about climate change and energy conservation. We each had a chance to operate the Human Power Generator that they brought along and discovered how much more energy is used to light a regular light bulb as compared to a CFL (compact florescent light) - wow, what a difference! We all need to switch to CFLs.Chrissy Lynn from the NY/NJ Baykeeper Oyster Program brought in a fish tank full of oysters and taught us about the oyster restoration program. We got to hold and observe the live oysters. We learned about the sad history of how the abundant oyster population in our Hudson-Raritan Estuary was wiped out by pollution, overharvesting, disease, and siltation. Oysters are an important keystone species; they filter and purify 50 gallons of water a day and provide habitat for countless other organisms. Baykeeper has been working hard to restore the oyster beds since 1997.MAMS Environmental Club member, Ananya Joshi, shared her exciting expereinces from her African Safari in Kenya. Ananya narrated an awesome powerpoint presentation of her adventures. Beautiful images and videos of wildlife, landscapes, and native people and culture were included. Lions, cheetahs, elelphants, giraffes, hyenas, hippos, rhinos, monkeys, colorful birds, ostriches, flamingos, and zebras were just some of the many species we learned about. Ananya took questions and was a fountain of information.