Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Woman holding binoculars Join today and get outside at one of our 60+ wildlife sanctuaries.
Class 3 of 2 Saturday, May 18

Field School: Cape Cod - Past, Present and Future


In its short geologic history spanning the last 16,000 years, Cape Cod has seen many changes. Rich natural and cultural history are laced within the shifting sands of this living peninsula!

Shipwrecks lost for year which emerge and disappear once again below the sands, evidence of ancient marshes, forests and swamps along the beach, human history - from agriculture to shellfishing, and much more can be found throughout the changing shape of Cape Cod's historic shoreline.

In this course, we aim to provide you with an in-depth understanding of the dynamic coastal processes that shape Cape Cod and their influences on people and wildlife, both throughout history, present-day, and into the future. We will learn how the Cape was formed, how it has changed, and how humans have influenced, as well as been influenced by, those changes over the years.

Through a combination of presentations, walks, and in-the-field observations, we aim to learn more about the complexities and mysteries of Cape Cod's past, observe the changes happening day-to-day, and imagine what the Cape may look like in years to come, based on a combination of investigation and exploration together.

Our day hikes will traverse through the varied coastal landscapes of Cape Cod - from dramatic dunes and bluffs of the Atlantic, to the vast and vibrant vistas of our salt marsh systems, and to the beautiful expanses along the tidal flats and barrier beaches of Cape Cod Bay.

Each day will average 3-4 miles in length and on varied terrain and locations-from established wooded trails to beach sand and up-and-down a few hills and dunes. We will stop to enjoy the flora and fauna we may encounter. We will also take water breaks and stop for lunch.

Please pack a brown bag lunch, snacks, and plenty of drinking water. Please dress in layers and dress for the weather (we will walk in all weather conditions). Wear comfortable, sturdy shoes for walking.

*Please note: the hours listed on the schedule may vary from the sample schedule in the field school brochure and are subject to change based on tides, staff, optimal wildlife sightings, and other variables. A detailed schedule will be prepared and sent to registrants at approximately 3-4 weeks in advance.

This course is one of several Cape Cod Field Schools offered. To learn more, visit www.massaudubon.org/capecodfieldschools.

Checking registration status.

Wellfleet Bay © Victoria Bettuelli
  • Sat, May 18, 2024 10:00 am - 9:00 pm
  • Sun, May 19, 2024 8:00 am - 4:00 pm


  • Adult Members $350
  • Adult Nonmembers $400


  • Mass Audubon Staff


Advance registration is required and is accepted on-line, over the phone, or through the mail. Payment in full is due upon registration. Upon registration you will receive a confirmation letter, then 3-4 weeks in advance of your course you will receive an email with detailed information related to the class.

Participants will need to provide their own transportation to field trip locations around the Cape.

Cancellations must be received in writing (via email or regular mail) 30 days before starting date to receive a full refund (less a $50 nonrefundable administration fee per registrant).

Cancellation received less than 30 days before starting date may result in forfeit of entire course fee. If we can fill your spot with another registration then your balance is returned, less the $50 nonrefundable administration fee. The sanctuary reserves the right to cancel any course with a full refund to registrants.

For a complete listing of Field School courses visit http://www.massaudubon.org/capecodfieldschools