Pool Party

Four students look at an octopus near a tide pool

The tide pools at Montaña de Oro State Park become a classroom for students in an invertebrate zoology course.

On a gorgeous February day, the tidepools at Montaña de Oro State Park became a classroom for students in professor Nikki Adams’ BIO 336 Invertebrate Zoology course.

“Many of our local invertebrates are marine and intertidal invertebrates that are found out here on our coast. We just have such an amazing diversity,” Adams said.

Adams said this trip tends to be a turning point for the class.

“I’ve been doing this for over 21 years. I feel that being out here really solidifies their interest in the organisms, and this is where they’re completely, 100% in,” Adams said. “It’s just important to get them out to the field.”

Fourth-year marine science student Matthew Chowaniec agreed.

“I think if I went anywhere else, I wouldn’t be able to get this experience,” he said. “I’m from a landlocked state, and I see creatures here that I never would have seen back home, unless they were in an aquarium tank. This experience is, frankly, amazing. It’s one of the best. I feel overjoyed that I get to come out here.”