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The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

The Student News Site of Buena High School

Buena Speaks

UCSB aquarium sea life star in bulldog field trip

A+starfish+flexing+its+stomach++to+suction+on+the+hand
Al Gentry
A starfish flexing its stomach to suction on the hand

For the last several years, Research Experience & Education Facility [REEF], has been restricting tours from high schools due to Covid-related lack of funding. This year, they welcomed their first group of Bulldogs in the form of Cody Foster’s marine biology club. Led by Scott Simon who is the director of the REEF, gave students the tour alongside his favorite lab assistant Marlie the marine biology dog.

REEF is the U.C. Santa Barbra teaching aquarium used to show off how ocean to classroom (O2C), works at a college level which is often used for public tours. Foster knows how important it is for students to get an experience like this, especially for juniors and seniors thinking about college and what they want as possible majors or minors.

“I’ve been doing this for nine years starting around 2015 and it’s always been a good way to get my students to actually see what their lives could look like as a marine biology college student as well as life on campus,” Foster said.

Thursday, March 14 Foster who is a UCSB alumni former intern, and lead Aquarist for three years took the bulldogs to a tour. In prior years, after the tour students would take a tour of the dorms, but could not this year due to scheduling conflict. 

With the campus having direct access to the beach, it allows the REEF to have its own salt water system directly linked to the tanks used to study and observe creatures of all varieties including one very camera ready eel.There is also a tropical water tank and separate observation tanks that students and professors  use to monitor the effects water temperature has on sea creatures. During his hands-on lesson about what in our ocean is biotic and abiotic, with assistance from Marlie. He separated the tour into two groups: one goes to the beach to learn about biotic and abiotic while the other goes to the REEF to learn about the program. 

It was really nice to see what my life could look like after high school and I want to keep going on these field trips while I am at Buena,”

— Kayla Clay

One of Foster’s AP Marine Bio students Solona Warren found a male lobster, named Lester who was missing an eye who was brought to the REEF to be put under observation in the touch tanks. Two students of Foster’s, freshmen Kayla Clay and Avery Peña were very invested in the trip altogether.

“It was really nice to see what my life could look like after high school and I want to keep going on these field trips while I am at Buena,” Clay said.

After both groups had gotten to experience both activities they walked throughout the campus to the food court.  After lunch both Clay and Peña explored the scenery, “It was a very calm environment and I can see how it is a great place to study and think,” Peña said.

It was a pleasant experience for all and most everyone had felt inspired by Scott. “They were the most well-behaved bulldogs to attend a tour to date,” Scott said. “All of this made the trip all the more memorable along with being able to take a part of the campus beach home with you.”

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Al Gentry
Al Gentry, Staff Writer
Al Gentry is a senior at BHS starting her fist year at Buena Speaks. She is a new student at BHS who is looking forward to trying new things. In her free time she enjoys all things batman, listening to all genres of music, dancing and she loves to watch old movies taking place in the 70's, 80's and 90's movies.

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