Survey Slug Program
Survey Slugs is an early career field research experience for undergraduate students and is part of the Long Marine Lab Stranding Program. The mission of the Survey Slug program is to collect data about stranded marine mammal carcasses and marine debris in Santa Cruz and Monterey County. These data are being used to understand two key questions: 1) how does the reporting of stranded animals differ from actual strandings temporally and geographically throughout the Monterey Bay and 2) what are the types, amounts, and temporal and geographic patterns of marine debris on Monterey Bay beaches?
Teams of undergraduate students lead by Long Marine Lab Stranding volunteers, survey 8 beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey County each month. These surveys provide opportunities for undergraduate students to experience real data collection in the field, learn more about the local community in which they are living, make an impactful contribution to cleaning up marine debris, meet and work with other students that are similarly interested in marine science, and develop a relationship with a mentor working in a science field.
Our inaugural cohort in Winter quarter of 2018 included 34 undergraduates and 9 mentors who conducted 10 surveys, volunteered over 100 hours, and collected over 100 pounds of trash.