The Environmental and Marine Academy is prepping to go on a camping trip to the Mojave Desert. Sixty dollars will cover all expenses such as food, lodging, transportation, and educational material. The deadline for the trip has passed, but there may still be some open spots available. If you wish to find out, talk to Mrs. Rasmussen and attend the meeting this Friday on the 25th. Final deadline is on the 28th.
Q: What’s your name?
A: My name is Cristen Rasmussen.
Q: What do you do in the school?
A: I’m a science teacher. I teach AP environmental science and marine science. I also teach the Environmental and Marine Academy courses that’s also known as EMA and I’m the coordinator for EMA and one of the co-coordinator with Mrs. Daniels and I also head up the wilderness experience program and I’m sure there’s something else but I just can’t remember right now.
Q: What is EMA and what do you do?
A: Well, we’re the Environmental and Marine Academy and our mission is to educate students about sustainability; about things that have to do with the environment and treating the environment well and so we focus on the students that are in the academy but then the kids in the academy work on things that takes them out there to the school and in the community to educate and serve their peers.
Q: There’s a trip to the Mojave Desert, right?
A: Yes, that’s gonna come out real soon.
Q: When will you guys be going?
A: We’re leaving Thursday, February 7, and we come back on Sunday, February 10.
Q: Can only EMA students go, or can anyone go?
A: The trip is open to anyone. The trip is being hosted by EMA which is a joint program between EMA and some of the other staff on campus but it’s open to all the students 9th grade to 12th grade.
Q: Who’s going on this trip?
A: Right now you mean as chaperones? [Yes as chaperones] Oh, okay, so right now it’s me, Dr. D’Agostino, Mrs. Smith, who teaches earth science, and Mr. Witt, one of the counselors.
Q: What activities will you guys do on the trip?
A: We’re gonna be doing a lot of different things. The Mojave Desert is huge so we’re going to be visiting all kinds of different features they have there. So one of them is like the Kelso Dunes. They’re these huge sand dune formations that we’re going to be hiking on and then you can actually climb to the top and roll down them, which is pretty fun. We’re also gonna go on a hike to a stand of Joshua Trees. We’re gonna be going to doing a kind of a little nature hike around one of the geological formations right by where we’re staying. We’re going to be doing some camping, some star gazing; I don’t know, lots of stuff.
Q: Have you gone to this trip before?
A: We've never gone to the Mojave Desert before. No, we took a bunch of students to Santa Barbara and to El Capitan State Beach back in November, but this is the first time to the Mojave Desert.
Q: What are your expectations for this trip?
A: I think it’s going to be a little bit cold, but actually the weather reports have been pretty good. It’s been up in the 60s during the day so I think we’ll be having a pretty good time. I expect to have a lot of fun because I love camping and I love camp food too like s’mores. We make s’mores every night; banana boats. I also expect to do a lot of walking and have a lot of fun hanging out with students.
Q: How much does this trip cost?
A: It is 60 dollars to go.
Q: How about other expenditures?
A: The 60 dollars covers all of your meals, covers transportation out there, it covers lodging, which is tents, and covers all the educational materials. The only thing it doesn't cover is if you wanted to buy any souvenirs at the Kelso Depot; that part isn't covered, and then if you want to buy lunch out while we’re out there so like the drive up on Thursday or on our drive home on Sunday. Some students wanted to buy food like at a fast food restaurant. So that isn't covered in the price either.
Q: Do you think this trip is worth the amount of money that you’re giving in?
A: Oh absolutely, yeah because we’re going to feed everyone really well. Dr. D makes his famous chocolate chip pancakes. Like I said there’s s’mores every night. We've got like more food than students could eat in a weekend, so it’s good.
Q: Why does EMA go on this trip?
A: We are really excited about helping students understand the world around them and see what’s beyond just the borders of Costa Mesa cause a lot of people never get the chance to go camping; they never get a chance to go explore and so we’re really hoping that students can understand and appreciate how awesome southern California is and all the cool things that we have here and so we want to get as many students as possible off campus and out into the natural world.
Q: What is the deadline to the permission slip?
A: Well the deadline to sign up is January 23 which is next Wednesday and then we have a mandatory meeting for everyone who signs up on Friday, January 25. Now if we haven’t filled all the spots by Wednesday I think we’re going to be able to extend the deadline to register for just a couple more days but we absolutely have to know who our students are by Monday the 28. So if you’re kinda right in the deadline we’ll let you in as long as we have space.