Information for Teachers

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions that we receive from teachers and links for forms that we would like you to download prior to your trip.

If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to contact Mike Hansen at or call his cell number 949.584.4982. He is your contact person for both the assembly and research trip so please direct your questions/concerns to him. We would like to start booking trips in January 2015.

Assembly FAQs

  • How long is the assembly? The Assembly is 55 minutes and will be held at your school and scheduled prior to your research trip.
  • What does the assembly entail? The assembly is conducted by Captain Todd Mansur of the Gray Whale Foundation. Capt Todd uses a PowerPoint during his presentation and will bring his own PC laptop, but please have a projector available. Capt Todd also has biofacts (whale bones, fossils, baleen) for the kids to pass around.
  • What can we do to prepare for the assembly? Please make sure your multipurpose room is prepared not later than 15 minutes ahead of Todd’s arrival and make a PC-compatible projector available.

Gray Whale Research Trip FAQs

  • How early should we get there? Please plan to arrive 20-30 minutes prior to your trip’s departure time. Upon your arrival, an adult should check in at the Dana Wharf Sport Fishing main office.
  • How long is the trip? The research trip lasts two hours.
  • What should we wear? Because we will be out on the open ocean, it’s important that your scholars are layered for maximum comfort and warmth.  No matter how warm it is at the dock, it can be quite chilly on the water (usually 10 degrees cooler or so, and windy).  Therefore, we recommend they wear or pack a light sweater and jacket. Tennis shoes or deck shoes are also required (no flip-flops or sandals). You may also wish to encourage them to wear/bring sunscreen and sunglasses.
  • Can we bring snacks? Heart healthy snacks and water/juice are served during the trip, although we do encourage scholars to bring their own snacks if they are more comfortable with that. If students wish to bring a lunch, they may eat aboard the boat. Otherwise, we have picnic areas around the Harbor where your class can enjoy lunch after your 2-hour boat trip.
  • Is there a restroom on board the boat? Restrooms are available on board the vessel as well.
  • Should we bring anything else? Scholars are welcome to bring their own cameras and/or binoculars. We will provide the data collection materials, including clipboards, stopwatches, copies of data forms, and pens. If you are participating in the evaluation, please bring your scholar’s signed permission forms with you. We also ask that every scholar take home an audio/visual permission form to be signed by their parent. These signed permission forms should be brought for the trip as well.

Photo permission: Please download the permission form below, and send it home with your scholars prior to the research trip. The form requests parents to grant permission to the Gray Whale Foundation for use of any photographs or video we obtain of their child for our website and/or other promotional materials.

Data forms:There are also two additional data forms. These are the forms we use when collecting data on Gray Whales with your scholars while on board the boat. We will provide copies for everyone aboard, but you may wish to review these forms with your scholars in class before the trip.

Field Trip Justification Forms: Teachers, please download your field trip justification forms here: GWF 4th and 5th grade field trip forms

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