For the past two weeks, MA AP Environmental Science (APES) classes have been on field trips to Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve in the Santa Cruz Mountains to learn about its diverse ecosystems and build on topics they learned about last year. Lance Powell, professor at APES, said: “We were fortunate to have a partnership with Jasper Crete. I think we were one of the first groups of students to come back there because it’s not open to the public.
The students organized themselves into five groups, led by their trained guides, and split into different directions to view the reserve’s unique geography and plant adaptations. Powell explained, “Because of the San Andreas Fault, which runs through Jasper Ridge, there are different types of soils. So you have something like 14 or 17 separate ecosystems in a very small area of land.
The main objective of the class trips was the Jasper Ridge Dam. The students were able to see the dam from the bottom and from the top, as they crossed the bridge by flying over it. Calypso Boustiha, senior, said: “Crossing the dam was very impressive and a bit scary. The overall architecture was really cool. I would never have imagined a dam designed as it was.”
One controversy the students heard about was whether the dam should be removed, as it was almost responsible for our drinking water, but is currently filling with silt. Junior Gigi Edwards said, “Jasper Ridge allowed us to discuss the pros and cons of destroying the dam. We can always imagine what the consequences would be, but it’s so much better to see it physically.
Junior Mia Banks said: “Overall it was really fun to go with friends especially and to be able to choose our groups. We were able to learn, as well as just take a break from school for a change.
Through this field trip, students were able to apply their knowledge of climate change, nitrogen and carbon cycles, hydroelectric dams, and other environmental topics they discussed during the field trip to the real world. last school year. Powell said, “I think the students knew pretty well and the teachers were impressed.”
APES classes can expect more travel in the future. Powell said, “I think field trips create community within a classroom. Suddenly, they are in the water, they are no longer in their element.