The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) has been spotted recently by visitors to Oso Flaco Lake. Easily identifiable by its color and shape, this heron’s range is extensive across North America. They are blue-gray with a wide black stripe over the eye. When flying, they are distinctive from their slow wingbeats, tucked-in neck, and trailing legs. Their wingspan is about 6 feet, and despite being up to 4 feet tall, they are a relatively lightweight bird at around 5 pounds.
The Dunes Center offers a broad range of education programs, from geology taught at afterschool programs, school field trips at Oso Flaco Lake, and Mammals and Birds taught in classrooms. This school year, we have an exciting new education program offering – a field trip to the Dunes Center. The two-hour field trip incorporates the new exhibit content that was unveiled last August. Students explore the Dunes Center at different stations, including one outside in our native Garden. They take on roles of different professions, including botanists, zoologists, and poets, while asking critical questions and engaging deeply with the content. We are proud to offer a new learning environment and content, and to welcome students to our museum here in Guadalupe. We plan to update and expand the program based on student interest and exhibit content.
If you’re interested in booking a field trip to the Dunes Center, contact our Education Programs Coordinator at email@example.com or give us a call at (805) 343-2455
Common Name(s): Bush sunflower, California brittlebush
Scientific Name: Encelia californica
Plant Type: Shrub
Communities: Coastal sage scrub, chaparral
Size: 1-2 ft wide, up to 4.5 ft tall (more…)
My name is Gaby, and I’m the Volunteer Coordinator here at the Dunes Center. I have a new-found interest in Botany thanks to my work here. The world of plants has always been a little intimidating with extensive scientific names, multiple plant functions, and established geological history, but after spending some time in the Dunes Center’s Native Garden and the Guadalupe Native Garden, I have found myself stopping to smell the roses more often…literally. Nowadays, it’s been easy for my peripheral vision to catch a brightly-colored flower.
Hello! My name is Jared Martin and I am a Dunes Center Education Intern for the Explore the Coast program. I am a 4th year Environmental Management and Protection major at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Engaging children about the fascinating world they live in and inspiring them to protect it is a vital part of ensuring that future generations can thrive in a clean and healthy environment. The Explore the Coast program gives 5th graders at Mary Buren Elementary School the opportunity to engage in interactive activities that are both fun and educational. Over the course of 3 months, students learn about ecology, watersheds, and pollution. They also take educational field trips to gain experience. The field trips show that the subjects they learn about have applications in the real world. These lessons are designed to excite students about our environment so that they might pursue a career in the sciences. (more…)
My name is Elizabeth and I am currently an Education Intern at the Dunes Center. I attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and am studying Environmental Management and Protection. For the past few weeks, I have taught a group of students at Dorothea Lange Elementary in Nipomo about the wonders of archaeology. They’ve learned about the importance of the scientific method, how to record data when looking at an artifact, and how to map out a new excavation site. At first, I had to emphasize that archaeology is different from paleontology – archaeologists don’t dig up dinosaurs! Once the students understood what archaeology is, they got really excited.