Education: Making Waves

Promoting marine science literacy and educating the next generation of marine and coastal scientists and policy makers is part of the California Sea Grant Extension Program mission. This is accomplished via collaboration with a variety of partners. This program involves citizen science projects; single events such as teacher trainings, public talks, and volunteer events; and mentoring students with research.

Making Waves uses scientific research to encourage environmental stewardship and community well-being by strengthening connections between our citizens and coastal ecosystems, by better understanding how to get people engaged and active, and by enhancing and restoring our local urban ecosystems.

It also includes the following projects or classes:

1. A Commercial Fisherman Apprenticeship Program to train new fishery entrants

2. Coastal Ecology (ENVR 120, Muir College, UCSD)

This course focuses on the ecology and natural history of southern California coastal ecosystems including coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodland, freshwater stream, riparian, rocky intertidal, salt marsh, and sandy beach.  We  also discuss the interactions of humans with these ecosystems. The class  mostly consists of field trips and involves getting wet and/or dirty, having fun and learning as much as possible about the plants and animals around us. Mini-lectures and discussions of the various ecosystems and of basic principles of ecology and natural history are held both in the classroom and in the field.

Course Goals

By the end of this class students are familiar with:

  • The major ecosystems of coastal San Diego County, their common inhabitants and interactions among inhabitants
  • Broad- and fine-scale controls on species distributions within coastal systems
  • How to observe and study natural ecosystems
  • The interactions of humans with these systems, and the consequences of interactions
  • How to communicate scientific information


Kids in Canyons 2017
MZ Prop1 team-CASG

Co-principal Investigators

  • Nina Venuti
    University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography