In 2009 I worked on a boat that was a field trip destination for Washington DC public schools. The kids would show up in the morning, usually two classes - anywhere from 3rd grade to high school, and we’d spend the day on the Potomac River learning about watershed ecology, plankton, freshwater ecosystems, and how many children will scream when I expose the contents of a clam’s stomach.
The first half of the day would be devoted to group lessons. I did one on plankton, a “benthic grab lab” where we hauled up mud from the bottom and identified what was found inside, clam dissection, water quality tests, and a myriad of other water related programs.
The second half of the day was spent throwing in the trawl net, trawling the bottom of the Potomac (sometimes the Anacostia), pulling it in, and identifying the contents with a dichotomous key.
By far the most rewarding job I’ve had.