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During this trying time, UC San Diego Extension remains committed to helping you achieve your goals. In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have moved this summer’s Sally Ride Science Junior Academy workshops online. These online STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) workshops for students entering 4th-12th grade will be conducted through virtual class meetings using the Zoom conferencing system and the learning platform Canvas.

Explore Ocean Biodiversity and How To Protect It


The ocean is home to a fascinating variety of ecosystems, from tide pools along the shore to the depths of the middle Pacific. Dive below the surface to explore marine biodiversity and to learn how people can help protect it.

Students will explore a variety of ecosystems, including California’s own kelp forests, where sea lions, dolphins and whales roam. They will examine how human activities are changing these ecosystems and how marine creatures cope with the changes. We will take a look at the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to learn how plastics move around our oceans. The class will also look at how the work of marine biologists can help protect the diversity of sea life. Hands-on activities will include experiments, dissection of ocean animals and creation of hand-crafted marine creatures from recycled plastics and trash.

What You Will Learn

  • Learn about different marine ecosystems and how they function independently and together
  • Explore how living things in ocean habitats cope with changes in pressure, density and temperature
  • Look at how human activities are affecting these ecosystems
  • See how the work of research scientists can help protect ocean biodiversity
  • Dissect animals to get a sense of how specialized ocean life is
  • Create marine creatures from recycled plastics and trash

Note: During the first week of Junior Academy, this class is shortened to four days because of the Fourth of July holiday. 

Return to the Sally Ride Science Junior Academy website here.

Course Number: BIOL-90029
Credit: 0.00 unit(s)