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Sample Trip Itinerary

Thursday, November 15

Late Afternoon - Arrival

Arrival and check into dormitory

6:00 pm - Dinner

Pizza dinner (provided) and a welcome lecture

Friday, November 16

9:30am - 3:30pm - Field Trip: Following Thoreau

Visit several sites described by Thoreau in Cape Cod, including Nauset Light, Goody Hallett’s Meadow, Newcomb Hollow, and the Wellfleet Oysterman’s House. Van trip with short hikes. (Note: The lighthouse is closed that time of year, but we may be able to gain special access for a fee.) Penn State will provide transportation.

Discussions will be varied but will include the environmental changes over 150 years; the role of Cape Cod National Seashore; the ecology of the different natural communities; and the maritime and cultural history of the area.

Saturday, November 17

10am - Noon - Boat Trip: Seal and Seabird Cruise

Wildlife changes with the seasons on Cape Cod. Two of the most visible that brave the cold waters of the Cape are seals and seabirds. We will cruise out of Wellfleet Harbor to Billingsgate Shoal and Cape Cod Bay to view gray and harbor seals and migrating sea ducks (including eider, scoters, and long-tailed ducks) as well as loons, northern gannet, and black-legged kittiwake. Information on identification and natural history will be provided.

This will be part of a public trip (up to 35 people aboard) which will help reduce cost ($30 per person vs. $650 to $700 to charter whole boat).

2:30 - 5:00pm - Field Walk: Searching for Cold-Stunned Sea Turtles

Each year in late fall, sea turtles become cold-stunned from dropping water temperatures and they strand on bayside beaches. Staff and volunteers from Wellfleet Bay canvass beaches after high tides in search of stranded turtles. Penn State students will be assigned a beach with naturalist and stranding coordinator Dennis Murley. Students will assist with processing found turtles, which includes weighing, measuring, and preparing for transport to New England Aquarium.

Sunday, November 18

9:30 - 10:30am - Presentation: Birds and Beston

Birds feature prominently in Beston’s The Outermost House.Our illustrated presentation will focus on the changes in species and status since Beston’s time.

11am - 1pm - Field Walk: Coast Guard Beach

Barrier beach ecology and geology and birdlife will be explored at this site of The Outermost House. Discussions will also include the impacts of sea level rise and human impacts on the shoreline.

Late Afternoon - Service Project

Assigned to area beaches to canvas for sea turtles

Monday, November 19

9am - 1pm - Nickerson State Park Hike

Extended hike through pine/oak woods and kettle ponds

Early Evening - Service Project

Assigned to area beaches to canvas for sea turtles OR Presentation by a local author (such as Bob Finch or David Gessner)

Tuesday, November 20

9am - 1pm - Exploration of the Provincelands

Dunes, High Head, Race Point Beach. Lunch in Provincetown

3:30 - 5:30pm - Sunset hike

Sunset hike and owling at Wellfleet Bay

Wednesday, November 21

Morning - Departure

Possible departure on Thursday, November 22 (based upon staff availability)