Teach About the San Francisco Estuary

Helping teachers and informal educators weave authentic scientific research and data from the San Francisco Estuary and watershed into their classroom learning.


Teacher Training Programs

We offer professional development training programs for science educators. We are continually developing in-depth programming to help teachers meet Next Generation Science Standards by integrating local, authentic research into their classrooms. Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on future offerings!


Educational Resources

Looking for resources to teach about the San Francisco Estuary? Check out the links below!


road flooding vehicle

China Camp Road Flooding

Data sets, photos, and design brief to kick-off an investigation of the effects of a road traversing through a tidal salt marsh.

Teachers learning field methods

Teachers on the Estuary – Oyster Research

Resources from the workshop, including photo gallery of artificial reef structures and NGSS lesson plan.

Suisun marsh by Wayne Hsieh April 2015

Teachers on the Estuary – Suisun Marsh

Resources from workshop, including lesson plans, NGSS links, and presentation.

Drifter underwater

Project Excel Summer Institute

Instructions for activities: Build-a-drifter, Habitat in a Bucket, Dishpan Tidepool, Estuary Stratification Model, Beach in a Pan.

A diagram of sea level rise

Field Trip for Educators – Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay

Links to scientific papers, sea level rise viewer, and lesson plans.

Second Mallard water quality station

Salinity, Temperature, and Long-term Water-Quality Monitoring

Includes NERRS lesson plan and additional resources related to the lesson plan and links to long-term monitoring data.


Adaptation to Climate Change

Climate Change Guaranteed: Adaptations of organisms and natural communities to changing climate. Lesson plans, speakers presentations, carbon footprint challenge, migrating mangroves, estuary food web, sea level trends

carbon fluxes in estuaries

Ocean Acidification

Chemistry and implications of changes in pH of ocean waters due to climate change. Virtual Urchin, demos, hands-on labs and videos

illustration of sun rays on mountains land buildings

Climate Change in California

Climate science, predicted impacts of climate change to San Francisco Estuary and coastal California.

sea level rise map from the pacific institute

Sea Level Rise

Predictions and implications for sea level rise in San Francisco Estuary. Lesson plans, reports, interactive maps, modeling and visualization tools

Bird on grass. gerald and buff corsi california academy of sciences

Rush Ranch Docent Training

Hand-outs and presentations from Rush Ranch Docent Program training, primarily about the tidal marsh at Rush Ranch. PDF presentations, reports, field guide, nature walk planning

China camp shoreline

5th Grade NGSS aligned Unit on the San Francisco Bay

A full unit plan and lesson ideas. Field trip, habitat in a bucket, modeling, historical research projects, addressing pollution and changes in the bay