Herring Gut Learning Center does not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, political affiliation, age, or religious beliefs in the administration of its programs.

What Are Investigations?

Herring Gut partners with local school teachers to create innovative, hands-on programs that teach students core academic subjects using the abundant resources of our campus and the surrounding coastline of Port Clyde.

Investigations are 6-8 class sessions into marine, aquatic, and environmental subjects relevant to the Gulf of Maine. The goal of these programs is to engage students in authentic scientific inquiry of our local ecosystems and trends in aquaculture. Collaboration between school teachers and Herring Gut educators is encouraged to shape programs that assist teachers in instructing their science curriculum more effectively. These investigations integrate science and observation skills, exploration into the history of local ecosystems, and mathematical analysis of real-world data collected by the students. Students in midcoast Maine have a clear connection to the surrounding coastline and marine environment by simply living in this community. Our coastal ecosystems are facing severe challenges due to pollution, ocean acidification, human development, invasive species, etc. The short-term academic “investigations” developed by Herring Gut staff explore these issues and challenge students to think critically about future impacts and solutions. Students are engaged in learning because they are taking an active role in their communities by applying their learning to real-world issues. Herring Gut’s short-term “investigation” programs foster community resiliency by encouraging students to observe, measure, and think critically about change occurring in their communities and ways to adapt to that change.

Alt. School Investigations

Herring Gut will be partnering for a second year with RSU 13 Alternative School program to supplement the science curriculum for students in grades 9-12 with hands-on lessons. This program will provide place-based, experiential education opportunities for students while addressing Next Generation Science Standards at the 9-12 grade level. This year, the program will be focused on investigations into topics important to our local marine and freshwater ecosystems, such as ocean currents, fish morphology, climate change, and invasive species. Each lesson will incorporate inquiry, discovery, and exploration, encouraging students to learn about these different topics through multiple means of representation. One such lesson on nearshore ecology introduces students to the concepts of coastal erosion, runoff, and the impacts of development on the nearshore environment through a series of interactive models, allowing students to watch the impacts of impermeable surfaces on stormwater runoff. The lessons in this program will be developed using the universal design for learning; our goal is to set up our classroom environment to allow for success for each student in our program.

If you are interested having your class participate in an Investigation, please call us at:  207-372-8677 or email:

Investigations Options

InvestigationsMenuUpdated1.docx (DOCX, 984 KB)

Investigations Menu


Inspiring a New Generation through Marine Education

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