The dream of a retired California State University, Stanislaus, biology professor to send every Turlock schoolchild to see the ocean and learn about sea life is at least partially coming true. Donations from retired educators will send 15 classes from five schools to Monterey this school year.
The kids see the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s floating jellyfish, deep-sea exhibits and touchable tidepool tables. In the second part of the trip, they head to the beach to count sand crabs as part of a scientific survey. Videos show kids digging sand and measuring the skittish little crabs with calipers between shrieks and laughs as tiny waves splash their ankles.
“It’s a really wonderful investment,” said retired Modesto Junior College professor Richard Anderson, who with wife Lynn Hansen helped start the field trips. With free admission from Monterey Bay Aquarium, free training and a beach science project through the nonprofit LiMPETS, and parent and community chaperones donating their time, Anderson figures he gets about $7,600 worth of bang for every 1,200 bucks he donates.
Donations to cover busing, the out-of-pocket cost of the trips, have come from friends of retired professor Pam Roe, who for years took her biology classes to Monterey for tide-pool monitoring.
“When Pam Roe retired from Stan State, she said she wanted to send every child in Turlock to the ocean,” Anderson said Friday. “I decided to help her make it happen.”