Ranger-led Education Programs
Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area is home to some of Oregon’s most accessible and ecologically diverse tide pools. It has provided an "outdoor classroom" to visiting school groups for generations. In 2003, BLM rangers began offering ranger-led educational programs to visiting grade school groups. The intertidal science program includes ranger-led school programs for grades 1st through 8th, as well as self-guided programs for groups of all ages.
Ranger-led programs offer teachers and students the opportunity to participate in a hands-on, hearts, exploration of the intertidal area, using standards linked to state curriculum. We strive to keep the ranger/student ratios low and the engagement level high. By participating in the programs we hope that students will acquire a deeper understanding and appreciation of Oregon’s natural and cultural heritage while learning about resources protection and personal stewardship.
1st – 3rd Grade: "Between a Rock and a Wet Place"
Students will learn about how intertidal plants and animals survive by using unique ecological adaptations. After a brief introduction and a close-up look at some of the intertidal species, students will explore the tide pool area while discovering the unique adaptations of our plants and animals.
3rd/4th Grade: "Rain, Rutabagas & Rithmetic"
This program introduces lighthouse life in the 1800s. Students take a trip back in time to the late 1800s, learning how lighthouse keepers lived and survived at Yaquina Head. This program helps students understand how lighthouses helped ships navigate, and the role shipping played in the commercial development of coastal towns. Students learn about various duties performed by each family member (the keeper, wife, and children). Students also learn how to identify lighthouses by their light patterns and why these are important. This program starts in the interpretive center and ends at the lighthouse, 1/3 mile away.
4th/5th Grade: "The Sea-cret of Tide Pools"
Main topics for the 4th/5th grade program include marine habitats and intertidal zones. Students participate in four activities with an emphasis on using their five senses to discover different zones and habitats within the intertidal area. A focus of this program is hands-on, hearts-on, minds-on learning. In the first activity students create a watercolor finger painting of Seal Rock to help them visualize different zones of the intertidal area. Once students finish, they walk down to the tide pool area where they explore and become detectives. Finally, they participate in a reflective activity, and share their thoughts with the group.
6th – 8th Grade: "How Wealthy is Your Tide Pool"
Students will interact with the cobble beach tide pool area as junior ecologists to monitor the relative species richness of the intertidal zones, while learning about the scientific method, tide pool safety, ecology, and biology in a diverse physical environment. This program aims to engage the students’ hands, minds, and hearts, as well as to encourage lifelong stewardship of this unique ecological resource.