June 14 - July 10, 2020
Cost: $2,250
Application Deadline: April 2, 2020

Click to complete Application Form

The Marine Science Course is an intense 4-week academic class that introduces high school students to the marine environment. The course gives students a better understanding and appreciation of the various fields in marine science.

Students will live on campus and participate in more than 150 hours of supervised academic activities. Students will take part in lectures, individual and group assignments, laboratory investigations, field projects, oral presentations, and written and practical examinations.

Topics include:

Barrier Island Formation and Ecology Plankton Communities
Beach and Dune Ecology Principles of Oceanography
Human Interactions with the Marine Environment Salt Marsh Ecology
Estuarine Ecology Marine Botany
Marine Invertebrates Marine Vertebrates


A great deal of time will be spent in the field, exploring and examining different marine communities. Field activities include the exploration of a salt marsh community, beach profiling, reef fishing and trawling aboard the Dauphin Island Sea Lab's 65-foot research vessel, the R/V Alabama Discovery.  

Students will observe and work with such gear as a shrimp trawl, bottom dredges, plankton nets, seine nets, water sampling bottles, refractometers and water quality test kits.   Students will also set up and maintain a marine aquarium, collect and identify marine species from various habitats, participate in lab and field dissections, conduct an individual research project, and participate in a panel discussion with marine science professionals.

Special field trips include an overnight snorkeling trip to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida.  

Course Credit:

The Alabama State Department of Education has reviewed the course standards of the Discovery Hall Programs' Marine Science Course. Alabama public school system students can take the course for the third or fourth science elective required for graduation. Out-of-state or private schools are encouraged to provide course credit toward a standard or advanced high school diploma. 

The University of West Alabama has reviewed the course content of the Discovery Hall Programs’ Marine Science Course. This course is worth 1 biology undergraduate credit. Additional registration and tuition fees to UWA apply.