NPA Middle School’s Tidepooling Club Dives into Discoveries

Press release from the Northcoast Preparatory Academy:

two people with a grid above a tidepoolThis month NPA’s 8th Grade Tidepooling Club has been collaborating with Cal Poly Humboldt to conduct research and gather data about how purple sea urchins affect biodiversity at Baker Beach in Trinidad. In their tidepooling club, NPA students have been learning about purple sea urchins and their main surviving predator, sunflower sea stars through investigative field work. While the sea star population has been declining due to sea star wasting syndrome, the purple sea urchin population has been increasing due to lack of predation, and as a result, local resources like Bull Kelp have been diminishing because it is one of purple sea urchins’ main food supplies. Students also recently toured Humboldt’s Telonicher Marine Lab to see graduate students’ experiments investigating this topic.

“It was really cool!,” says NPA 8th grader Emma Hovie, “We got to learn more about what they are doing at the Marine Lab; they’re actually working on breeding sunflower sea stars in the lab. We got to go behind the tanks and look at the animals from above, and look at the experiments that other people were doing,” says Hovie, “It was really cool to see how that stuff happens.” Making first-hand connections to the environment is a critical component of NPA’s curriculum, and getting exposed to new perspectives and scientific procedures has allowed students to deepen their discoveries of local marine life. “It helped us understand how everything fit together more,” says NPA 8th grader, Cedar Bunch Cramer.

students with clipboards and grid monitoring tidepoolsNPA’s Tidepooling Club will continue its data collection this semester, logging results into the public database, iNaturalist. Next year, the next class of 8th graders will have the opportunity to continue this research, expand on new inquiries, and make meaningful connections to Humboldt’s communities.

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Richard Finch
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Richard Finch
1 month ago

What is NPA?

The Real Guest
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The Real Guest
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard Finch

“Press release from the Northcoast Preparatory Academy:”

Northcoast Preparatory Academy
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Northcoast Preparatory Academy
25 days ago
Reply to  Richard Finch

Hi Richard, thanks for asking about NPA! NPA is local charter middle school and high school in Arcata. We are chartered through the Humboldt County Office of Education, and were founded in 2000 to create a respectful and inspiring learning environment in which academic achievement and responsible citizenship are valued equally.