Weekend Walkabouts are monthly field trips for teachers to learn about science in beautiful outdoor areas located in our own back yard. Most take place in our regional parks, focusing on local biology, ecology, and geology. The locations are also potential field trips for your students. Participation is free, but some locations may require a small entrance fee. You arrange your own transportation. No previous experience is required. Teachers, friends, and family are all welcome!
Here is a one page summary of all the trips in the 11-12 school year. See below for further details and trip reports. Additional resources are at the bottom of this page.
Trips for the 2012-13 are still being planned. Stayed tuned!
Trip #1 - Canoe & Kayak San Leandro Bay (Oakland)
Sat. September 17, 2011, 1-4 pm
East Bay Regional Parks Staff
The East Bay Regional Park District is proud to offer canoe programs on San Leandro Bay. Our expert Naturalists and Recreation staff will provide basic canoeing instruction plus on-the-water activities. The course will begin on land with a discussion about the importance of marshes, watersheds and the biodiversity within them. We'll go on a short walk to our launch area while looking for wildlife and discussing current uses and how they affect the future of our estuary. Once there, we will become acquainted with proper canoeing techniques. Then we'll set off paddling toward beautiful historic Arrowhead Marsh / San Leandro Bay. Route subject to change due to weather conditions.
Secondary teachers encouraged.
Primarily Middle & High School OUSD Science Teachers, due to the nature of this trip, only teachers will be able to partiicpate.
25 adult teachers
Tidewater Boating Center at Martin Luther King, Jr. Regional Shoreline, 4675 Tidewater Ave, Oakland. We'll be launching from the Tidewater Boating Center public dock and returning to the same spot after our paddle.
Trip #2 - Introduction to Solar Observing (Berkeley)
Sat. October 8, 2011, 12-2 pm
John Panagos, Lakeview Elementary teacher and avid astronomer
This is our first ever astronomy walkabout, and by day no less! Join us for an exploration of our nearest star, the Sun. We will observe the Sun by using techniques from ancient times to the present, from stone calendar to telescopes, including a look at the birth of modern solar astronomy during the Renaissance. We will meet at the Solar Calendar at the highest point of Cesar E. Chavez Park on the waterfront in Berkeley. Afterwards, we will check to see if the Burrowing Owls have arrived back for winter residence down the hill. It gets windy so bring a jacket.
For info on the solar calendar go to: http://www.solarcalendar.org
Cesar E. Chavez Park in Berkeley. Take the University Avenue I-880 exit west toward the Berkeley Marina. Turn right at Marina Boulevard and then turn left and park on Spinnaker Way. Cesar Chavez Park is to your right. Proceed north on any paths leading to the solar calendar at the highest point in the middle of the park.
Trip #3 - Naturalist Saunter through Marin Headlands
Sat. October 29, 2011, 9:30-12 pm
Duffy Ross, OUSD Elementary Science Specialist
Come breathe the ocean air in the beautiful Marin Headlands. We'll meet at the Visitor Center in Rodeo Valley at 9:30 am and we'll stroll around the lagoon, getting some good time on Rodeo Beach. Our naturalizing will be all-inclusive, stopping to botanize and geologize along the way. We will also catch the tail-end of the Headlands' famous hawk migration so our morning saunter will end with an optional drive up Hawk Hill to see the raptor biologists and their tremendous citizen science project in action. Come dressed in layers (since coastal weather is unpredictable) and bring binoculars if you have them.
Marin Headlands Visitor Center, 948 Fort Barry, Sausalito, CA 94965, Directions: Take I-101 exit 442 just north of the Golden Gate Bridge and merge onto Alexander Ave. Take a slight left onto Danes Drive and continue straight onto Bunker Road. Stay on Bunker Road 2.5 miles until the Visitor Center.
Trip #4 - Pillar Point (Half Moon Bay)
Sat. January 21, 2012, 1:30-4:30 pm
Caleb Cheung, OUSD Science Manager
Join us as we explore one of the best tidepooling spots in Northern California on one of the lowest tides of the year. This will be an amazing trip where thousands of intertidal organisms will be revealed with the low tide. Some of the things we encountered last year include large colonies of anemones, sea urchins, sea stars, shrimps, octopus, crabs, snails, hermit crabs, nudibranchs, and more.
Wear comfortable shoes or sandals (Tevas) that can get wet and weather appropriate clothing. An extra pair of shoes and jacket can be left in the car in case you need a change of clothes. Note that this trip will still take place in light rain.
There are also lots of places to explore and eat around the marina and downtown Half Moon Bay. Feel free to enjoy the area after tidepooling.
Click here for detailed directions to the site
Click here for general directions from Oakland
We'll meet in the last parking lot at 1:30 pm by the bathrooms. If you arrive late, follow the dirt trail along the beach to the tide pool area (1/4 mi). We will be around the rock jetty at the end of the dirt path for the first 30 minutes. Later we’ll be in the tide pools to the right of those rocks.
Trip #5 - Winter Waterfowl Prowl (Oakland)
Sat. February 25, 2012, 9-12 pm
Phil Cotty, OUSD Secondary Science Specialist
The East Bay is winter home to great numbers and varieties of waterfowl that have different preferences in habitat. Join us for a tour of four beautiful aquatic environments that attract distinct communities of waterfowl such as ducks, grebes, and shorebirds as well as many other winter residents. We will start at fabulous Arrowhead Marsh near Oakland Airport and convoy north to Lake Merritt, Aquatic Park and the Berkeley Pier noting how the mix of birds varies and what may account for some of the differences we observe.
Arrowhead Marsh, Directions: From I-880 in Oakland, exit at Hegenberger Road and head west. Turn right onto Doolittle Drive (Hwy. 61) and right again onto Swan Way. Turn left into the park and proceed to the last parking area by the big structure.
Trip #6 - Regional Parks Botanic Garden (Berkeley)
Sat. March 24, 2012, 9:30-11:30 am
Please contact Beth Keer if you are interested, but have not registered to attend. There is a chance of rain and the trip may be cancelled.
Beth Keer, Allendale Elementary teacher & avid gardener
The Regional Parks Botanic Garden is a beautiful and tranquil living museum of California native plants. Located within Tilden Park in the hills above Berkeley, this enchanting 10-acre garden is a sanctuary for many of the state's rare and endangered plants. Flowers bloom every month of the year, reaching a spectacular peak in spring through midsummer. A year-round creek runs through the heart of the garden, adding beauty, creating a riparian corridor, and providing additional habitat for the many birds, insects, and other animals that visit and live in the garden. We start with a docent led tour with attention to resources for school groups, preview plants for the upcoming highly popular plant sale in April and get advice from an experienced native plant gardener. Explore the garden on your own after the tour or other wonderful parts of Tilden Park.
For directions and more information about the garden, visit:http://www.nativeplants.org/directions.html OR http://www.ebparks.org/parks/vc/botanic_garden
Trip #7 - Creek Ecology Dimond Park (Oakland)
Sat. May 5, 2011, 9-11:30 am
Friends of Sausal Creek
Sausal Creek is Oakland's best restored and most daylighted creek, passing through Dimond Park before following Fruitvale Avenue to the estuary. Come ready to get your hands dirty and your feet wet as we discover the flora and fauna of and in this gorgeous urban creek as well as efforts to restore it. This will also be peak songbird migration, so bring binoculars if you have them. Friends of Sausal Creek staff will lead this walkabout just as they joined us for last year's very successful hike down the creek from the hills. We will meet at the creek by the children's playground next to the Visitor Center.
Dimond Park Visitor Center, 3860 Hanly Road, Directions: from Fruitvale Avenue east of I-580, continue straight onto Lyman Road (Fruitvale Ave. makes a sharp right). Turn left onto Waterhouse Road, and turn left again onto Hanly Road. The Visitor Center is on the left. Click here for more details.
East Bay Regional Parks
Bay Area Hiker
East Bay Municipality District
San Francisco Sierra Club
Oakland Museum - Annual Wildflower Show (~April) and Fungus Fair (~January) .
Golden Gate Audubon Society
Diablo Audubon Society
East Bay Birding Listserve - subscribe to get daily bird sightings via email
California Native Plant Society - East Bay
California Academy of Sciences - CA Wildflowers
Manual of California Vegetation
San Francisco Bay Area Wildflowers
Mycology (Mushrooms and Fungus)
Other Related Topics