Ocean Discoveries for Grown Ups

Throughout the year, Sanibel Sea School offers a variety of classroom and field-based learning opportunities for adults. Join us for a boat trip, learn to cast a net, or hold a tiny sea horse in the palm of your hands. No matter which course you choose, you're sure to experience Sanibel in a whole new way!

Adult courses are open to students ages 18 and up. Students who are 15 and older may register if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. 

We also offer customizable programs for groups and families of all ages!


Fall 2017 Boat-Based Learning Opportunities for Adults

Climb aboard and take an in-depth, scientific look at our local ecosystems and creatures with Sanibel Sea School’s Executive Director, marine biologist Dr. Bruce Neill. This year, our boat-based courses will take place from the comfort of a large pontoon boat, which provides comfortable seating for a group of adults.

Each topic will be offered twice, on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

Activity Level: Low

Participants will board the boat from the Sanibel Causeway, which requires one big step up (approximately 2’), and will remain seated on our vessel for the duration of the trip.   

 

Fall Migration in the Gulf of Mexico - RESCHEDULED to November 28th and 29th
In response to your feedback, we have rescheduled this class for later in the season so that more students will be able to attend. 

9 am – 12 pm
$75 per person
Instructor: Doc Bruce

Animal migration is an interesting and complex behavior. In this course, we will explore some of the information known about animal migrations, and apply that knowledge to migrations that take place in the Gulf of Mexico.

Let’s talk about why animals migrate, the cues they use for migration and navigation, and some of the species that migrate through Sanibel each year. We will focus on birds and fish – bait fish, cownose rays, and tarpon, to name a few. We’ll also talk about what scientists are still trying to learn about migration. 

 

October 10th and 11th: Hurricanes in Southwest Florida

9 am – 12 pm
$75 per person
Instructor: Doc Bruce

We have just experienced one of the most interesting, powerful, and potentially devastating weather events that nature has to offer – Hurricane Irma. Luckily, here on Sanibel, we were spared from the worst destruction, but the storm raised many questions in the minds of island residents. 

This course will cover the meteorology of hurricanes, and how they have shaped Sanibel throughout history. Find out why hurricanes form, what factors shape their path and strength, how storm surge happens, what animals do during big storms, and more. We’ll visit some of the locations where past hurricanes have left their mark on our islands.  

 

October 17th and 18th: Marine Mammals of Sanibel

9 am – 12 pm
$75 per person
Instructor: Doc Bruce

Marine mammals are some of Sanibel’s most beloved creatures – who doesn’t love to spot manatees and dolphins cruising through the water? Let’s look for these creatures and talk about their interesting biology and behavior along the way. How far does a dolphin pod travel? How do manatees mate? What are humans doing to protect marine mammals? We’ll also discuss some of the less-common marine mammals that pass through our waters. 

Come prepared with your questions – Doc Bruce has a wealth of knowledge to share! 

 

October 24th and 25th: Caloosahatchee River Oxbows near Alva

9 am – 12 pm
$75 per person
Instructor: Doc Bruce

Oxbows are curves in the course of a river that eventually create islands and lakes. They play an important role in the distribution of nutrients into our estuary, which means they are directly related to our local water quality.

In this course, we will meet in Alva and then cruise by boat along the middle stretches of the Caloosahatchee. Oxbow bends are common in this section of the river. Let’s explore them and learn a little bit about rivers as ecosystems, and how they impact the sea.

We will meet and depart from the Alva Boat Ramp (located at 21580 Pearl Street) at 9:00 AM. We will return to the boat ramp at 12:00 PM. 

 

We will end our fall series of boat-based classes with a three-part series on San Carlos Bay. Shaped by factors like salinity, water movement, sunlight and nutrients, different areas of the bay are home to very different ecosystems and wildlife. Sign up for one or all three, and let’s look at the diverse sections of our backyard bay from a new perspective. 

 

October 31st and November 1st: North San Carlos Bay (Pine Island, Matlacha, Tarpon Bay)

9 am – 12 pm
$75 per person
Instructor: Doc Bruce

As the Caloosahatchee River empties into San Carlos Bay, the northern section of the bay is often less impacted by the fresh water flows that commonly move south, toward the east end of Sanibel. In this class, we’ll discuss how this shapes the flora and fauna we find as we head north.  

 

November 7th and 8th: South San Carlos Bay Lunch and Learn (Bunche Beach, Estero Bay, Matanzas Pass)

9 am – approximately 2 pm
$75 per person plus the cost of lunch
Instructor: Doc Bruce

We’ll explore the coast of southern San Carlos Bay, then we will have a fabulous shore-side lunch the Dixie Fish Company. 

 

November 14th and 15th: Lower Caloosahatche (Punta Rassa and the mouth of the Caloosahatchee)

9 am – 12 pm
$75 per person
Instructor: Doc Bruce

Let’s explore the area around the mouth of the Caloosahatchee, where the river meets San Carlos Bay. This is a dynamic and important ecological component of our estuary, but we rarely think of it that way as we drive over the bridge. Today, we will.

 

Fall Migration in the Gulf of Mexico - RESCHEDULED to November 28th and 29th
In response to your feedback, we have rescheduled this class for later in the season so that more students will be able to attend. 

9 am – 12 pm
$75 per person
Instructor: Doc Bruce

Animal migration is an interesting and complex behavior. In this course, we will explore some of the information known about animal migrations, and apply that knowledge to migrations that take place in the Gulf of Mexico.

Let’s talk about why animals migrate, the cues they use for migration and navigation, and some of the species that migrate through Sanibel each year. We will focus on birds and fish – bait fish, cownose rays, and tarpon, to name a few. We’ll also talk about what scientists are still trying to learn about migration. 

 


Barefoot Academy

Take an in-depth look at our local ecosystems with our Executive Director, Marine Biologist Dr. Bruce Neill, and Sanibel Sea School's team of marine science educators. This year, we've added new educators and new field trip destinations. Program time will be split between the classroom and the field, so be sure to bring your sunscreen, your towel, and your wading shoes!

More information about 2017-2018 Barefoot Academy programs will be added soon!


Free Guided Beach Walks

Join us for a casual guided beach walk to explore what's washed ashore. Let's talk about some of the more mysterious objects we find on the beach, look for interesting creatures, and learn a little bit of shell biology. Our marine science educators will be happy to answer any questions you might have along the way.

All ages are welcome, but children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult. 

All Beach Walks meet at Sanibel Sea School's Flagship Campus, located at 455 Periwinkle Way on Sanibel. 

Activity Level: Moderate (1-2 hours of slow walking on the beach)

Annual Thanksgiving Beach Walk
Thursday, November 23rd, 8:45 AM

December Free Community Beach Walk
Saturday, December 9th, 2017, 9 AM

January Free Community Beach Walk
Saturday, January 13th, 2018, 9 AM

February Free Community Beach Walk
Saturday, February 10th, 2018, 9 AM

March Free Community Beach Walk
Saturday, March 10th, 2018, 9 AM

April Free Community Beach Walk
Saturday, April 7th, 2018, 9 AM


Fishing Fridays

This is a practical, hands-on fishing experience. Join Doc Bruce to explore Sanibel’s shoreline from a “fishing folk” perspective. We'll cast a line and see what we can find. Spinning or fly – your choice. Bring your gear and ideas and we’ll have a great time learning with one another. Weather permitting, we might spend one Friday on a boat. Limited to 5 participants. 

More information coming soon.