Marine Biology and Oceanography

Are you passionate about marine life and the conversation of our marine environments? Are you interested in combining science, math and research to make a difference? If so, Marine Biology and Oceanography may be a great career path for you to explore. Our Marine Biology and Oceanography pre-college course provides a hands-on experience that integrates biology, chemistry, physics and math to study the changing marine environment. The core of the program will take place on the shores of the Long Island Sound, at UConn’s marine sciences department. Students will combine field work and laboratory analyses with the college classroom experience. Lectures will be interspersed to provide the necessary background knowledge.

Students will learn the tools used to assess the health of the marine environment. This includes:

  • Using instrumentation that collects water samples as well as measures oxygen and temperature
  • The collection and examination of marine specimens
  • The design and process of mesocosm experiments, evaluation of eelgrass beds and the study of bivalve filtration rates
  • Physical properties of the ocean such as sound and currents will be studied using student-constructed hydrophones and mini-drifters. Measurements will be made and recorded. This data will be graphed and interpreted

The week will start out at the main campus in Storrs. Students will be introduced to basic marine science concepts in an informal lecture. Laboratory exercises to demonstrate ocean properties, the introduction to instrumentation and the construction of a sensor will take place in Storrs. The week will then continue with daily trips to the coast (~1hr bus ride). Students will conduct measurements at the Long Island Sound and at the Marine Sciences Department facilities. A visit to the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium with focus on marine conservation will take place. Students will have the opportunity to visit the research laboratories of UConn oceanographers. Short boat trips will be used to evaluate eel grass beds as well as make measurements at the rocky intertidal at Pine Island. At the end of the week students will meet in Storrs to compile their information and design an Eastern Long Island Sound healthy environment report card. During the week, light reading homework will be assigned.

Students will need to be prepared with the proper attire to work in the rain and with closed toed shoes for the laboratories.

Transportation: This course involves frequent off-site visits to the UConn Avery Point Campus, as well as the Mystic Marinelife Aquarium. Supervised transportation is provided by the program and is included in the course cost.

Note: To be eligible to enroll in Marine Biology and Oceanography, students need two years of high school science and math through Algebra I.


  • Claudia Koerting, Ph.D., DMS Research Associate
  • John Hamilton, Ph.D., Research Scientist of Marine Sciences


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At a Glance:

Sessions Offered:

  • 2020 dates are pending

Location: UConn Storrs & Avery Point Campuses

Supplemental Lab Fee: $100.00

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