Located just 22 miles offshore of Los Angeles, Catalina is one of eight Channel Islands along the coast of California. Catalina Island is the only one of the islands with permanent public residents. The island is 21 miles long—the widest point of the island is Long Point (about 8 miles across), and the narrowest, just a few miles away from the Wrigley Marine Science Center, is the Isthmus at Two Harbors. The highest elevation is on Mt. Orizaba (2,097 feet).
Since the early 1970s, 88% of Catalina’s land has been protected, including 62 miles of coastline. The Catalina Island Conservancy maintains a delicate balance of conservation, education and recreation for the over one million people who visit the island each year. One of the most popular introduced animals visitors may see on Catalina is the American Bison, originally brought over in the 1920’s by a Hollywood film crew. They are commonly seen grazing on grass even on campus at the Wrigley Institute! Catalina Island offers a stunning coastline with great scuba diving and snorkeling. It is home to some of the best kelp forest habitats in the world, and along with them their unique marine life communities.
* Please note that not every expedition has couples’ or single's accommodations available. Please call or email Earthwatch to check for availability prior to reserving your space(s) on the team.
Your team will stay at the USC Residence Hall, which is set up dormitory style with two or three people per room, separated by gender. Each room contains either twin beds or bunk beds, a desk, chair, closet, and mini-refrigerator. Linens and bath towels are provided. Couples accommodations may be possible upon request—contact your Earthwatch representative about this option. Private room is available at an extra cost (an extra 30–40 dollars per night)
* Earthwatch will honor each person’s assertion of gender identity, respectfully and without judgement. For both teen and adult teams, where logistics dictate single-sex accommodations or other facilities, participant placements will be made in accordance with the gender identity the participant specified on their Earthwatch Participant form and/or preferences indicated in discussions with Earthwatch.
Bathrooms are either private or shared by two dorm rooms. Bathrooms in the residence hall have a sink, shower, and toilet with cold and hot water available. Catalina Island is facing extreme drought conditions. All visitors to Catalina are asked to limit showers (2–3 minutes) during their stay.
You are welcome to bring your own electronic equipment (cell phones, digital cameras, laptops, etc.), but you will be required to limit your use of cell phones or laptops for research work or to recreational time only for personal use.
Wireless Internet access is available on campus. Cell phone reception is available on campus, the town of Two Harbors and for most of the island. In more remote locations, service will be limited.
DISTANCE TO THE FIELD SITE
Your team will travel to general location of the research sites by walking, van, boat, or kayak depending on the site. The furthest site is approximately seven miles via car.
FOOD AND WATER
Meals will be prepared by a dedicated chef and served cafeteria style in the dining hall. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available. Some days you will take a bag lunch into the field. Meals are designed to be healthy and hearty, with a variety of local cuisine. Participants will eat together with research staff and sometimes with other science groups on campus.
A small selection of snacks (fruit, cereal, drinks), microwave, and refrigerator are available 24 hours/day. There is a soda and snack machine in the lab building. Please don’t leave any food or drinks in your room unless you want to be visited by an army of ants!
The field center is located in a remote area, so food is ordered and shipped in weekly.
The following are examples of foods you may find on the menu. Variety depends on availability. We appreciate your flexibility.
- Breakfast: Bacon, eggs, toast/bagels, yogurt, hash browns, fresh fruit, cereal, and oatmeal
- Lunch: Salad, sandwiches, soups, pasta, tacos, etc.
- Dinner: Classic American food. For example: chicken, fish, rice, casseroles, steak, ribs, steamed vegetables, bread rolls, and desserts.
- Beverages: Juice, milk, water, soft drinks, tea, coffee, hot chocolate
SPECIAL DIETARY REQUIREMENTS
Please alert Earthwatch to any special dietary requirements (e.g., diabetes, lactose intolerance, nut or other food allergies, vegetarian or vegan diets) as soon as possible, and note them in the space provided on your participant forms.
This expedition can easily accommodate vegetarian diets, as well as vegan, gluten-free, and lactose-free diets, with sufficient prior notice.
Strict kosher diets can sometimes be accommodated based on space availability for a private kitchen. In such case, the participants would be required to cook for themselves.