Narragansett Bay Classroom

Field Trip and Cruise Reservations:

Descriptions of each program are listed below. Based on availability of URI Outreach Scientists, seasonal considerations, times of low tide, and availability of the R/V Cap'n Bert (in the case of the cruise), a limited number of dates and times are available for scheduling the cruises and field trips. Call 401-874-6500 for available dates and times. Trips are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Note: Payment is required prior to or at the time of the program. A two-week cancellation notice is required for all cruises and field programs. Call or email the Narragansett Bay Classroom Coordinator to make reservations or discuss options for your group, 401-874-6500 or

Release Forms: One blank copy of URI's Field Trip Release Form will be sent to the teacher or group leader. A completed form for each participant, including chaperones, MUST be given to the URI Outreach Scientist at the beginning of each field trip or cruise.

Narragansett Bay Sampling Cruise Fees: $790 per cruise (maximum 16 students and two chaperones per cruise). Cruises scheduled based on availability of URI's vessel R/V Cap'n Bert. Warm jacket and hat (it will be chilly on the bay), long pants, sunscreen, and sneakers (no open-toe or open-heel shoes or sandals will be permitted on the vessel).

Coastal Field Trip Fees: $225 for groups (maximum of 30); $375 for groups of 31-50. An additional fee of $7.50 will be charged for each person over 50 (up to a maximum of 60 people). Wear warm jacket, hat, long pants, sneakers or water shoes with good rubber soles (students will likely get wet feet), bring insect repellent, and sunscreen.

Chaperones: One chaperone for every ten students is REQUIRED; chaperones are not included in the total count and MUST remain with the students at all times.

Cancellation Policy: A $100 charge will be applied to any field trip or cruise cancelled within two weeks of the date scheduled.

Appropriate Age: E = Elementary; M = Middle; H = High School


Field Trip and Cruise Descriptions:

Narragansett Bay Sampling Cruise aboard R/V Cap'n Bert

You will cruise aboard URI's 51-foot research vessel Cap'n Bert for an exciting expedition. Use a fish trawl, bottom sampler, and other scientific equipment to make hands-on discoveries about the marine environment of Narragansett Bay. You will investigate one of the richest estuaries in the country. It is about 25 miles long and 10 miles wide with about 256 miles of shoreline. Narragansett Bay provides many different habitats for living things. Species such as the winter flounder, bluefish, striped bass, tautog, and menhaden are representative of the many fish that live in the Bay. Seasonal visitors to Narragansett Bay include the Atlantic harbor seal.

Cruises are scheduled based on the availability of the R/V Cap'n Bert. The two-hour cruises leave from Wickford Harbor. Call for possible dates. E M H


Barrier Beach/Coastal Pond

Here you will visit a dynamic environment of wind, waves, sand, and salt. Charlestown Beach is a two-mile long barrier beach of white sand that separates Block Island Sound and the Atlantic Ocean from Ninigret Salt Pond. You will explore an ecosystem continually altered by its physical environment. E M H


Pond Exploration

This field trip will introduce students to the flora, fauna, and water chemistry associated with freshwater ecosystems in southern New England. You will visit Asa Pond (part of Tri-Pond Park) in South Kingstown where you will test water samples, pull a seine, and use dip nets to collect organisms for discussion. Your group will also venture onto the adjacent wooded trail for an overview of freshwater stream ecology and adaptations of forest plants to wet environments. M H


Galilee Salt Marsh

The Galilee salt marsh is an extremely productive yet fragile ecosystem containing abundant plant and animal life. It is located in southern Rhode Island east of the historic Galilee fishing village. Here you will investigate why salt marshes are such productive ecosystems, how they protect the coastline from flooding, purify water, and act as an important habitat for juvenile fish and migratory birds. E M H


Jamestown Rocky Shore

Beavertail Point and Fort Getty are located on Conanicut Island (Jamestown) at the southern entrance to Narragansett Bay. The island's rocky shores are challenging environments for plant and animal life. Beavertail Point and Fort Getty each host a diversity of organisms. Trips for younger groups will be scheduled for Fort Getty. Older groups will be scheduled for Beavertail Point. E M H


Aqua Farm Tour

Take a tour of Ocean State Aqua Farm located in East Matunuck, RI. The tour starts with an on-land explanation of gear used at the farm and different species raised on the shellfish farm. The presentation is followed by a tour of the shellfish nursery system. Finally, we will wade through the shallows of Potter Pond estuary to a 3.8 acre shellfish farm. Observe many species of bivalves, crabs, fish, and birds that thrive in and around the farm. M H


Ecology of Narragansett Bay

This field trip involves actual hands-on experience with the unique marine organisms of Rhode Island's rocky intertidal shores at one of the best sites to explore, Beavertail Point. The trip is geared toward an introduction to the general ecology of the habitat along with a focus on some of the key players among the animals and algae found there. See Ecology and Evolution for a corresponding in-class Interpretive Program. M H