• Cape Cod as an Open Classroom

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    Join us everyday as our concierges share their favorite activities, special places and opportunities to enjoy the Cape - from Provincetown to Falmouth, indoors and outdoors, for every kind of occasion.

    The term ‘open classroom’ is totally redefined by the Wellfleet Bay Betsy Wildlife Sanctuary, which turns Cape Cod itself into your natural laboratory over many weekends this year.

    If you can find two, three or four days this summer to have an awful lot of fun learning, consider one of the Audubon’s field schools.

    The first one is May 31-June 1 and the classrooms, mostly outdoors, continue all the way to the beginning of December.  You can register online at massaudubon.org/wellfleetbay/fieldschools.

    Cape Cod in Bloom
    May 31-June 1
    2-day course: Saturday-Sunday

    Study flowering shrubs and wildflowers that grace the dunes, fields, woods and wetlands. Learn to identify them and the communities in which they grow. A series of hikes explores a variety of landscapes and secret spots with Dennis Murley, Wellfleet Bay naturalist. Fee is $200 for members and $240 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available at $30 per night.

    Fisheries of Cape Cod
    June 13-14
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Deepen your understanding of the fishing industry that shapes Cape Cod. The past, present and future of finfishing and shellfishing will be explored, as well as the unique biolgy and ecology of a variety of species. Two boat trips and two fresh seafood meals are provided. Instructors are Brian Jensen, College of St. Rose biology professor, and Owen Nichols, Center for Coastal Studies fisheries program director. Fee is $425 for a member and $495 for non-member.

    Turtles of the Outer Cape
    June 19-22
    3-day course: Thursday-Sunday

    Take part in nesting surveys and mark and recapture studies to learn about terrapins and box turtles. These unique, hands-on field experiences are complemented by indoor presentations by instructors Bob Prescott, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary director, and Barbara Brennessel, Weaton College professor. Fee is $375 for a member and $450 for non-member.

     Coastal Ecology by Kayak
    July 9-12
    4-day course: Wednesday-Saturday

    Explore by kayak the nature of tidal rivers, barrier beaches, salt marshes, dunes and kettle ponds. Recent previous paddling experience is required, so bring your own kayak or borrow one of ours. Instructors are Dennis Murley, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary naturalist and David Weintraub, author and kayak enthusiast. Fee is $375 for a member and $450 for nonmembers.

    Nature Sketching for Scaredy Cats
    July 25-27
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Enjoy the best of two worlds – art and natural history. Designed for beginning artists and naturalists, this course will provide sketching instructions, as well as instill a sense of wonder in the natural world. Instructor is Mary Richmond, artist, writer and naturalist. Fee is $295 for members and $355 for nonmembers.

    Introduction to Shorebirds
    August 8-10
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Explore the subtleties of ‘peep’ and plover identification with trips to local beaches and marshes including North Beach Island in Chatham and scenic Nauset Marsh. Instructor is David Clapp, naturalist and international tour leader. Fee is $350 for members and $420 for nonmembers.

     Coastal Field Ornithology
    August 21-24
    4-day course: Thursday-Sunday

    Focus on the field identification, biology and behavior of shorebirds, seabirds, waders, raptors and songbirds with trips and cruises to premier East Cpoast birdign spots including south Beach and North Beach Island in Chatham and an offshore trip for pelagics. Instructor is David Clapp, naturalist and international tour leader. Fee is $425 for members and $495 for nonmembers.

     Betsy Wild Words: Exploring Nature and Literature
    September 12-14
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Engage with the Cape’s woods, creatures and waters through literature. Outdoor forays will be punctuated by local and contemporary essays, poems and stories to encourage conversation and deeper understanding of our experiences. A whale watch and kayak trip is included. Your instructor is Elizabeth Bradfield, poet and naturalist. Fee is $325 for members and $390 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available at $30 per night.

    Kettle Ponds by Kayak
    September 19-21
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Explore by kayak hidden gems of Cape Cod – deep, clear kettle ponds that are nestled in pine woods. Recent previous paddling experience is required; bring your own kayak or borrow one of ours. Instructors are Dennis Murley, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary naturalist, and Wendy O’Keefe, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary staff. Fee is $310 for members and $375 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available for $30 per night.

    Where the Land Ends
    September 26-28
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Wander along the land’s end and experience a fascinating world where beach meets water. Migrating shorebirds, resting seals, wrackline strewn with seashells and landscape rich in human history await discovery. Instructors are Dennis Clapp, naturalist and international tour leader and Dennis Murley, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary naturalist. Fee is $325 for members and $390 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available for $30 per night.

    Nature of Digital Photography
    October 3-5
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Delve into the digital world with early morning and afternoon shoots complemented by indoor workshops; for advanced beginners or intermediate photographers with point-and-shoot or SLR digital cameras. Instructor is Bob Speare, photographer and Mass Audubon Southeast region director. Fee is $295 for members and $355 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available at $30 per night.

    Hiking Backwoods & Backwaters
    October 24-26
    2-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Take the road less traveled and cover new ground during this active weekend. Explore the backwoods, backwaters and back roads of the Outer Cape under the changing fall foliage and cool autumn air. Hikes average five miles on varied terrain; a shorter night hike also is scheduled. Fee is $200 for members and $240 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available for $30 per night.

    Sea Turtle and Marine Animal Strandings
    November 14-16
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Search beaches for cold-stunned sea turtles and aid in their rescue. A seal and seabird cruise in Wellfleet Harbor is included. Instructors are Bob Prescott, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary director; Dennis Murley, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary naturalists, Carol Carson, marine biologist; and Don Lewis of Cape Cod Consultants. Fee is $325 for members and $390 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available for $30 per night.

     Winter Ducks & Seabirds
    December 5-7
    3-day course: Friday-Sunday

    Appreciate the winter by focusing on the excellent birding opportunities it affords. Scan quiet ponds, sheltered bays and the Atlantic Ocean in search of diving ducks and dabbling ducks, as well as pelagic birds. Instructor is Mark Faherty, Wellfleet Bay Sanctuary science coordinator. Fee is $295 for members and $355 for nonmembers. Sanctuary housing is available for $30 per night.

    May 01, 2014