Exploring Tide Pools At Carmel Point


Hey there foldscopers! My marine science class had a lot of fun going to explore the tide pools at Carmel Point in Carmel, California! There was so much cool stuff to see!


Carmel Point is a Rocky Intertidal ecosystem residing along an erosional coastline and in the center of Carmel Bay. It was raining on the day that we went there but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying ourselves! It was low tide, which made it easier on us to find all of the critters. The site appeared to be very biologically diverse. Rocky substrate was covered in intertidal algae – mainly Deadman’s Fingers, Turkish Towel, and Tar Spot Algae. The tide pools are filled with intertidal fauna like anemones, limpets, sea stars, and turban snails.

IMG_0686Here is a picture of some algae growing on the rocks. In this picture alone you can already see 3 different species of algae!

IMG_0690 Here is a picture of a bat star that I found! There are my favorite kind of star fish and we found a whole bunch of them spread out among the tide pools.

I was really excited to use my foldscope for the first time on this trip. For my first attempt, I collected a few samples of algae to look at up close. Here is an image of Giant Kelp that I took with my phone while using the foldscope.


IMG_1474   I think these might be little grains of sand that were on the kelp. Pretty cool up close under the foldscope!


IMG_1466This image is a normal picture that I took of the kelp so that you could see what it looked like without viewing it under the microscope.

Then I tried looking at a different kelp species using the foldscope. I believe it is Feather Boa kelp!

Regular view:


Foldscope view:

IMG_1461 IMG_1448 IMG_1458

I just wanted to thank the Prakash Lab at Stanford for giving us a chance to use these awesome foldscopes! I personally think that foldscopes are the best thing to happen to community science! They allow the public and students to get out into the field and explore a a whole new microscopic world that we wouldn’t have been able to before! Looking at algae and organisms at a microscopic level allows us to gain greater insight into the world of marine science and I am so grateful that I had a chance to be a part of this!

This field trip was a lot of fun and the foldscopes made it even better! 🙂

One Comment Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    Dear DFabian,

    What a wonderful documentation of your first foldscope adventure. It makes me jump out and get to a tide pool right now. For all the land-locked people on the planet; please explore on our behalf.

    A few suggestions to improve your image resolution:
    1) Try using glass slides and cover slips. Since you are using wet samples – you will see a huge difference. I carry my foldscope in a pencil box; and usually have a few slides/cover slips that I keep reusing for years.
    2) Well adjusted illumination is key for a great foldscope image – see some posts here for advice – https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/?p=9289 – also share this insights with your friends as well and practice a little before the next field trip. I can guarantee you – you will be so pleased you tried some of these ideas.

    If you are not convinced – see some ocean posts here:

    Keep exploring..

Leave a Reply