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Research Vessel Robert G. Brownlee

Delta Diablo (District) is proud to join other Contra Costa County public agencies to co-sponsor science educational voyages for 5th grade students. In cooperation with the Antioch Unified School District, Mount Diablo School District, and Pittsburg Unified School District, students from over 40 schools have participated in this annual program. In addition to fully funding the voyages, the District also contributes to the cost of bus transportation. 
Students join the Marine Science Institute crew for a four-hour expedition of the San Francisco Bay Delta waterways aboard the 90-foot research vessel, the Robert G. Brownlee. They spend a half-day as scientists, discovering the Delta's ecosystem and discussing their own roles within it.  Students collect and examine plankton, run hydrology tests, and observe wetland ecology from the ship.  They delve through mud samples, discovering the fascinating invertebrates that thrive at the river's bottom. Students also use a trawl net to catch a wide variety of fish species.  They then identify the fish with a dichotomous key, and before releasing, measure each fish for MSI's monitoring program

This program offers students the chance to enjoy the natural vitality of this area while learning valuable scientific skills.  They also see firsthand the relationship between inappropriate human behavior (e.g., dumping paint or oil into drains) and their watershed. 
Cost:  Free to 5th grade students in Antioch, Bay Point, and Pittsburg 

For more information:  Brian Thomas, Deputy General Manager/Public Information Inquiries at, 925.756.1928 or Marine Science Institute