"There is a different pulse to the seasons here than in any other part of the United States"

"As the bay's seasons unfold, each is marked by a change in the air. The powerful winds of spring whip whitecaps across the surface of the bay before the moist waves of fog roll inland during summer. The clear skies of autumn can gust with hot winds that feel like the breath of fire. They give way to the puffed cumulus clouds of winter that cast flickering shadows across land and sea in the wake of storms."  --excerpt from Bay of Life essay Seasons: From Wind to Whales

Explore seasonal impacts in Monterey Bay through the lens of Frans Lanting and these themes:

Scroll below to preview photos and focus questions for each theme.

Access the Seasons Resource Folder here to find Resources and Field Trip Programs linked to the Bay of Life themes below. 

The resource folder contains the full Seasons essay, focus questions with photo collections, and K-12 curricular resources for this theme. See below for a sneak peak at theme photos, focus questions.

Spring Winds

"The winds of spring bring the whales of summer."

How do weather patterns impact or benefit local ecosystems? How is wind helpful?

Summer Fog

"During summer, swells of fog form at sea and roll over the coast in engulfing waves.  The moisture carried ashore sustains life around Monterey Bay for months when not a drop of rain falls."

How do redwoods use the water in fog to survive?

Fall Fires

"In autumn, westerly winds die down, upwellings slow, and the fog wanes away.  September and October are the warmest months of the year. Fall in the Monterey Bay is what many visitors expect summer to be. But autumn is also a season of fire."

What role does fire play in ecosystems?

 Winter Waves and Weather

"Winter is a season of renewal. Rain soaks down into thirsty soil and transforms grasses from gray to green. Streams come back to life, with rivulets gurgling in unexpected places."

How do seasonal changes in weather impact local flora and fauna?

Maps & Supporting Materials

Explore Bay of Life maps and interactive mapping tools here.

California Environmental Literacy Initiative (CAELI) Partner Portal

Access more resources through Santa Cruz County Office of Education's searchable database of environmental education organizations, programs and resources.