COI has great relationships with our local educational institutions.
Working closely with Professor David Schwartz of Cabrillo College Earth and Marine Science departments, COI has developed a training course to instruct in field survey tools and techniques.
Students from the marine science classes earn extra credit for the class by documenting the number and types of debris on our beaches to our own COI plastic assessment protocol and practice basic field assessment and data recording.
The class meets 8 sessions in a semester. It includes an overview, classroom instruction, and four field survey practices. It finishes off in the classroom for data entry and public outreach practice.
Students are encouraged to take their presentations to outside groups to share the community impact of the program and raise awareness of plastic pollution.
The program has evolved through 12 semesters of trial and is shared with other organizations and schools in ocean centric communities.
Students from this training have become involved as volunteers for COI. For some, this experience gained on these expeditions has set them on a path and they have become our instructors.
Future expeditions will have opportunities for greater public involvement.