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Session: Ocean S.T.E.A.M.™ - Marine & Freshwater Environmental Sampling Methods (Huntsman Marine Science Centre)

Ocean S.T.E.A.M.™ - Marine & Freshwater Environmental Sampling Methods

By: Huntsman Marine Science Centre

About this Program:

  • Overnight Camp
  • Age 15 - 18 (Coed)
  • Specialized in STEAM, offers 8 activities
  • 0 session dates to choose from
  • Cost starting from $495
  • Busing not available
  • Special needs support not available


1 Lower Campus Road, St. Andrews, New Brunswick, E5B 2L7


This hands-on field course will introduce students to the methods that scientists use to study marine and freshwater ecosystems. Students will gain practical experience in a variety of sampling techniques and learn how to document and interpret their findings.

Example Career Connections: Environmental Technologist, Natural Resource Manager, Research Biologist, High School Science Teacher

Narrative Schedule

Day 1
May 15, Sunday Introduction. Orientation.

Registration opens at 4:30 p.m. at Anderson House, on the Huntsman Upper Campus with check-in and room assignment. Supper is served starting at 5:30 p.m. and the group will eat together. After supper, there will be an introduction to the program, instructors, participants, general safety and other Huntsman rules followed by a tour of the campus and teaching labs.

Day 2
May 16, Monday (low tide 06:56 0.1 m) Where am I sampling? – Introduction to position fixing with charts and maps. Tour of Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium.
(breakfast, lunch, supper)

After breakfast, students will come to the lab for an introductory lecture into finding and recording geographical positions using charts and maps. A laboratory exercise will enable the students to practice their new skills in position fixing. Students will select sites to visit on the afternoon boat trip. Before lunch, we will take a tour of the Huntsman Fundy Discovery Aquarium. After lunch, we will head down to the St. Andrews Town Wharf where the Huntsman Fundy Spray Research Vessel is docked. After a short safety talk, we will head out to practice position location in the bay. Students will use compass bearings to check their positions. We will also deploy baited traps to catch invasive green crabs. The boat trip is about two hours. Back in the lab, we will use software to document our earlier positions. Supper is at 5:30 p.m. After supper, students will take part in an orienteering activity to practice their new navigation skills.

Day 3
May 17, Tuesday (low tide 07:45 -0.1m) Selecting sampling techniques. Boat based practice of sampling techniques. Monitoring invasive green crabs. Gear selectivity – the effect of mesh size.
(breakfast, lunch, supper)

We will start the day with an introductory lecture about marine sampling techniques. We will learn about the pros and cons of different sampling equipment and the scenarios in which they are deployed. Students will get to see sampling equipment firsthand. We will look at risk assessment for fieldwork and the sort of safety aspects that should be covered when planning a survey. Students will use a risk analysis matrix to risk assess fieldwork. After lunch, we will again board the Fundy Spray to try sampling techniques. Students will have a chance to try grab sampling, plankton sampling and sampling with a dredge. We will also haul in our crab traps and see what we have caught. A lecture will tell us about the invasive green crab and how it is monitored. Supper is at 5:30 p.m. and the evening will be spent in the laboratory looking at the samples we collected in the afternoon. We will look at the effects of sampling using different plankton net and grab sieve mesh sizes.

Day 4
May 18, Wednesday (low tide 08:35 0.0 m) Biotic indices. Kick sampling. eDNA. iNaturalist
(breakfast, lunch, supper)

After breakfast, a lecture will introduce indicator species and biotic indexes. Students will learn how animal communities can be used to monitor environmental conditions. We will learn about the CABIN stream monitoring program. Following the lecture, we will head to a local stream to try kick netting. After lunch, we will go to the laboratory to identify our samples. Students will calculate biotic indices from their sample data and other provided data to make inferences about stream health. A presentation will inform students about the use of Environmental DNA (eDNA) for monitoring. Supper is at 5:30 p.m. In the evening, students will learn how to use iNaturalist for biological recording and upload some of their species records.

Day 5
May 19, Thursday (low tide 09:26 0.1) Quantitative sampling. Transects and quadrats. Monitoring right whales. Designing a sampling plan.
(breakfast, lunch, supper)

This morning, we will learn about quantitative sampling techniques. We will decide how much data we need to make sound conclusions and take part in a lab exercise to explore this. We then head out on the beach with transect lines and quadrats to count and measure where animals live on the shore. We will follow methods scientist use on a regular basic to document and monitor changes in the environment. In the afternoon, we will write up our results and make kite graphs of species distributions. We will listen to a lecture about how the endangered right whale is monitored. After supper, students will use the knowledge they have acquired during the week to come up with a plan for an environmental monitoring project. They will decide what techniques they would use for given scenarios within a given budget. They will consider logistics along with health and safety.

Day 6
May 20, Friday (low tide 10:19 0.3 m) Presentations – Environmental study plans. Clean Lab. Group photo. Depart ☹

Informally students will present their environmental monitoring plans. We will conclude our week with a group photo. Lastly, we will take a group picture before the final farewell. We hope you have enjoyed the Marine & Freshwater Environmental Sampling Methods course and thank you for coming.

Character Development: This program helps build the following traits

  • Responsibility: Students will develop a greater appreciation for the marine environment and the animals that call the Bay of Fundy home. We are in the decade of the oceans; there is no better time to explore potential ocean careers and further understand the delicate balance of the marine environment.
  • Curiosity: Explore. Learn. Discover. the marine environment and gain hands-on experience with specialists in their field. Gain practical experience in a variety of sampling techniques and learn how to document and interpret their findings.

Session Dates and Rates:

Date TBD
St Andrews, NB
1 Lower Campus Road

Time TBD
Cost TBD


Recreational       Instructional       Intense or Competitive

Marine Biology
Public Speaking
Recreational       Instructional       Intense or Competitive

High School Career Exploration
Hands-on field course introducing students to scientific sampling methods used to study marine and freshwater ecosystems.


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Ocean S.T.E.A.M.™ - Marine & Freshwater Environmental Sampling Methods
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Huntsman Marine Science Centre

Phone number:
(506) 529-1200

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