Oceanography Students Visit Marine Biology Lab and Snorkel with Leopard Sharks on Catalina

On November 6, Craig Didden’s Oceanography students enjoyed a day of snorkeling and lab visits at the Wrigley Institute of Environmental Studies, run by the University of Southern California, on Catalina Island. This is the third year that Mr. Didden has made this trip with his students to meet with Dr. Peter Edmunds, a Professor of Marine Biology at CSUN who works on Catalina, to give them the opportunity to see authentic research in the field.
Mr. Didden, who has spent the past 12 summers doing research on coral in St. John with Dr. Edmunds, feels this kind of exposure to real fieldwork is invaluable. The students were also excited to see dolphins from the boat and snorkel with leopard sharks and many different species of fish.

Deja B.
 ’20 said, “The trip to Catalina was very eventful, and also very informative. I took Oceanography solely for fun and just out of interest. I was very happy that while I was surrounded by serious researchers, there was a way for people like me to enjoy the trip and have it be just as meaningful. I very much enjoyed my time in Catalina and I would do it again!”
Chelsea T. ’20 added, “The oceanography trip to Catalina Island is so incredibly fun. From enjoying the beautiful and scenic boat ride, students are presented with so many activities and I think the most extraordinary part of the trip is getting to snorkel. Observing the life that inhabits the water is so amazing because everyone gets a first-hand experience with the underwater world that we learn about in class. It’s not every day that we get to basically swim with sharks! Not only do we get to snorkel, but we also get to participate in the research aspect of being a marine biologist by working with classmates and counting the different organisms that lie in the intertidal zones. This experience is so much fun. I would definitely recommend every oceanography student to go on this trip.”
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