Kachemak Bay Onboard Oceanography

students on board discovery kasitsna dock 4Programs onboard the M/V Discovery.
Grades 4-12.

5 hour cruise onboard the M/V Discovery. Scientific inquiry-based activities involve students in small group and whole group study stations.The five hour program focuses on oysters and oyster farming to highlight the productivity of Kachemak Bay. Activities may include water sampling, plankton tow and microscope study, and reading charts, nautical charts and tide books. Mid April to May.

Oceanographic Activities planktonkid

  • CACS staff and volunteers conduct activities at study stations set up on the boat.
  • Student groups rotate through the activities during the cruise.
  • Activities are inquiry-based.
  • A plankton tow is lowered to several different depths. Using microscopes, students view the plants and animals at the bottom of the ocean food chain.
  • Students learn to read tide charts and nautical charts.
  • Students use scientific instruments to measure water temperature, salinity, pH, and transparency.
  • Students observe nesting seabirds at the Gull Island Rookery and other marine birds and mammals. (available on OBO trips to Petereson Bay (no additional charge) or to Kasitsna Bay Lab for an additional $15/student fee)
  • Students may visit an oyster farm in Peterson Bay (or Jakolof Bay) and have opportunities to learn directly from an oyster farmer.



We are currently updating the curriculum and teacher pretrip packets for this program. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Pre trip packet

The pre-trip packet can be downloaded here.





Teacher Manual

The teacher manual with pre- and post-trip activity suggestions, and worksheets for student activities can be downloaded here.




Planning the Trip

Kachemak Oceanography cruises can be schedule between mid-April and Memorial Day.

A ratio of one adult per six students is required for the cruise. Teachers and chaperones are expected to maintain discipline.

Students should spend classroom time prior to the trip studying the manual and preparing for the field activities. Post-field trip activities are also included in the manual.



Download our Field Trip Request Form. Reservations must be in writing, using the CACS reservation form. 

A non-refundable deposit of $300 is required to hold a reservation once it is confirmed. Full payment is due within ten days after the trip.



The fee is $120/person for the five-hour program. Fees are for students and adults with one free teacher and include instruction and travel on the Discovery.

CACS is a non-profit organization with youth as our primary audience for environmental education. We try very hard to keep our fees reasonable for school groups. Scholarships are often available to help with program fees. Call 907-235-6667 to ask about scholarship availablity.

The minimum charge is for a group of 25. The maximum group size is 35 unless prior arrangements are made.

The Oceanography program can be combined with the Alaska Coastal Ecology residential program at Peterson Bay Field Station or the Kasitsna Bay Lab for an additioanal $82/peson fee.


Contact Us

Please enter the following umqisjvf

Daisy and Billie New sign

© 2006 - 2022 Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies, 708 Smokey Bay Way, Homer, AK 99603, (907) 235-6667
Book Now