"Jump out the books and into the sea!"
ELOC

Environmental Learning Outside the Classroom (ELOC) is an initiative put forth by the Virgin Islands Marine and Advisory Service (VIMAS) to help make science education exciting for students. Through ELOC, educators can partner with VIMAS to plan and coordinate learning activities that teach students about different natural habitats within the Virgin Islands such as mangrove forests, sea grass beds, and other marine-related habitats. 


- Field Trip Logistics -

  • Most field trips take place at UVI's Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
  • Full day field trips are only possible if students are allowed to get in or near the water. 
  • Average field trips start at 9 AM and end at 12:00 PM.
  • Students are encouraged to walk with snacks as we cannot provide lunch. 
  • There should be at least 2 chaperons on every field trip.
  • Due to limited resources and staffing, we can only accommodate up to 30 students per field trip. 

-Field Trip Activities -

All of the activities we facilitate follow the Next Generation Science Standards and can be tailored to meet the needs of students in all grade levels. Please note that most activities can last from anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour; this can be adjusted if need be. Classroom presentations can be facilitated to help introduce students to the lesson of the day. It is highly recommended that instructors review the activities listed here before selecting their options on the inquiry form. Here is a list of some of the activities that we can facilitate. 

Marine Debris: Our team will focus on teaching students about 4 main concepts as it relates to marine debris: 1) Where does it comes from, 2) How does it get transported, 3) Its impacts on ecosystems and wildlife, and 4) Solutions to reduce its impacts. A 30-45 minute presentation is usually given at our facilities which includes some hands on demonstrations such as 1) Viewing sea turtle specimens and 2) Marine debris sorting as pictured below. 

Endangered species  marine debris sorting  
(Images and underlined text can be clicked on to show lesson plans and activity sheets related to that content)

Marine Invertebrates: Our team will focus on teaching students about the major phyla of marine invertebrates found in the Virgin Islands as well as highlighting some common representatives from each group. These activities can begin with a short PowerPoint presentation given at our facilities to visually introduce students to these phyla groups prior to any activities. Some of the activities that we can facilitate include: 1) Microscope observations of marine invertebrates, 2) Geocaching to learn about invertebrates (for this activity, students should download a QR scanning code on their smart phones which can be found at any app store), 3Interacting with marine invertebrates at our touch tanks, and 4) Conducting a shoreline trek (students will get wet for this activity and should wear appropriate clothing such as water shoes and swim shorts). 

classroom experiments GIS Navigation  
touch tank shoreline trek  
(Images and underlined text can be clicked on to show lesson plans and activity sheets related to that content)

Marine Plants: Our team will focus on teaching students about some of the common marine plants found in the Virgin Islands with particular emphasis on mangrove species. Students will be able to assist with 1) Planting mangroves in our nursery as well as 2) Plant mangroves in the field and assess their health (students will get wet for this activity and should wear appropriate clothing such as water shoes and swim shoes). 

mangrove planting   mangrove health assessments  
(Images and underlined text can be clicked on to show lesson plans and activity sheets related to that content)


- Let's Get Started -

Step 1: Fill out the ELOC Inquiry Form. (Before filling out this form, please review the above activities so that you are aware of the activities we can facilitate.
Step 2
: Have your students fill out these Release Forms. (These are required if we take any photos and would like to use them for promotional material as well as for any activities that make take place in the water while on site.)
Step 3: If your field trip will include any activities that occur near or in the water, ensure that all necessary paperwork has been submitted to the Curriculum Center. 


- Contact Us -

Office Phone: St. Thomas (340) 693-1672 / St. Croix (340) 692-4046
E-mail: St. Thomas (howard.forbes@live.uvi.edu) / St. Croix (mtaylor@uvi.edu)
Website: http://vimas.uvi.edu
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Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
University of the Virgin Islands

St. Thomas                                                    St. Croix
#2 John Brewers Bay                                   RR #1, 10,000 Kingshill
St. Thomas, USVI 00802                             St. Croix, USVI 00850-9781