Science / Medicine : Channel Islands Excursions Offered

The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary in the Santa Barbara Channel was given protected status in 1980. As part of its 10th anniversary celebration, the sanctuary and the Sea Center in Santa Barbara will be offering educational cruises.

Encompassing 1,200 square nautical miles, it is the nation's largest marine sanctuary. Included in its borders are Santa Barbara, Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel islands. Visitors can also find an exceptional array of resources, from marine flora and fauna to historic shipwrecks, within the boundaries.

The trips will offer participants an opportunity to learn about the rich marine life that the sanctuary supports. A tour of Painted Cave on Santa Cruz Island and demonstrations of state-of-the-art oceanographic technology, including a plankton tow with live on-board video microscopy and operation of a remotely operated vehicle are also planned.

The daylong excursions are scheduled for Aug. 26 and Sept. 23 aboard the research vessel Condor. Space is limited on the trips and early registration is required. Call the Sea Center at (805) 962-0885.

SCIENCE FOR KIDS

Art and science will combine at Kidspace Museum in Pasadena to teach youngsters about the solar system, how the sun helps create the colors found in bubbles and the motion of the ocean. The bubbles workshop will be Tuesday through Friday, ocean movement study is scheduled for this Saturday and the solar system class will be Saturday, Aug. 25. Call (818) 449-9144.

Children age 7 and up can learn about the wild and exotic animals being cared for at the 160-acre Wildlife Waystation as the Los Angeles Children's Museum "Inside L.A." tours continue, Aug. 23 at 10 a.m. Call (213) 687-8801.

ASTRONOMY

"Beyond Venus and the JPL Flyby" will be the topic of the Tessman Planetarium at Rancho Santiago College in Santa Ana for August, Sundays at 2 p.m. Call (714) 667-3097.

The astronomy of the Chumash Indians will be featured in a weekend planetarium show at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Gladwin Planetarium. Hundreds of years before the Spanish arrived in Santa Barbara, the Chumash were observing and charting the heavens. The program, "Crystals in the Sky," will be shown Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 1:30 and 4 p.m. through August. Call (805) 682-4711.

MARINE SCIENCE

As part of its "Sharks: Fact and Fantasy" exhibition, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, in conjunction with the American Cetacean Society and Heal the Bay, will be having a Shark Festival on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Activities include a special tour of the Marine Biology Hall, a lecture on the imagery of marine animals in the belief systems of the people of the Pacific Islands and special projects for children. Call (213) 744-3534.

The pinnipeds, seals and sea lions of the Channel Islands National Park, will be the subject of two programs at the park's Visitor Center in Ventura on Saturday and on Aug. 25 at 2 p.m. Call (805) 644-8262.

ORNITHOLOGY

Adults and youngsters age 13 and older can assist in a long-term study by the Cabrillo Marine Museum on shore bird abundance and the seasonal use of Cabrillo Beach, a feeding stop along the Pacific Flyway, on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Participants will learn about commonly encountered species and help locate, identify, count and record birds in the field. Call (213) 548-7562.

Marge Pamias of the Los Angeles Audubon Society will lead participants on an exploration of the Bolsa Chica estuary in Huntington Beach and the variety of bird species found there on Sunday at 7 a.m. Call (213) 876-0202.

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