Marine Science Floating Laboratory

The Marine Science Floating Lab (MSFL) is an excellent opportunity for students to explore the amazing biodiversity of what is often a hidden habitat. 

On a typical 3-hour cruise through the Long Beach or Los Angeles Harbor, with either a morning or an afternoon departure, students participate in hands-on, marine-science learning activities including:

  • collecting a bottom sediment sample to observe and record invertebrates,
  • an otter trawl net which collects a wide range of fish, mammals, and invertebrates from on and near the bottom,
  • a plankton tow and plankton observation with a microscope,
  • water quality studies, and
  • other activities that may be requested to meet the needs of the specific grade level and curriculum.

Students will also observe birds, sea lions, and other marine mammals that may be in the area. While underway to the collection areas, students observe and discuss Los Angeles Harbor, shipping vessels, breakwater function, and a variety of ecosystem and environmental engineering topics.

Students see first-hand how human behavior affects the quality of water, air, habitat, animal life, plant life, and human life in the marine environment specifically as well as in the students’ communities.


Great fun! Great learning!

“My students had an experience they will remember for the best of their lives. The week was filled with learning activities that reinforced what we are learning in classroom.”

— K.A.

Mr. K ... can we go again?

“As we boarded the bus to come home on of my students asked "Mr. K, can we go again? That's the best testimonial about the marine science floating lab I've heard in 20 years of bringing my students.”

— L.K.

Outdoor School has energized my students.

“I have to write to let you know my students have been on a "high" ever since we attended outdoor science school ... and I've noticed they are motivated to learn science.”

— J.Y.



Standards-based, hands-on science is waiting.

Teachers, call now to reserve your space: 562-922-6330