Marine Science

This Pre-College at Eckerd program is the perfect opportunity for high school students to explore marine science as a potential major here at Eckerd College.

As one of the best undergraduate marine science programs in the country, our pre-college program is no different. Modeled after our undergraduate curriculum, students will work with our internationally-recognized faculty on our prime waterfront location on the Gulf of Mexico.

Our hands-on curriculum in the field, on the water and in the lab has activities designed to explore marine biology, marine geology, marine chemistry, and more. 

Students should come prepared to get wet and work hard each day as they participate in indoor and outdoor activities. 

Take a look at our sample schedule to get a sense of the daily activities.


Students enrolled in the program may:

  • Embark on a marine science research vessel to capture, identify and release sharks, rays and fish
  • Net near shore marine fish and invertebrates, including shrimp, crabs and zooplankton
  • Deploy hydrophones to hear underwater sounds, including dolphins, fish and snapping shrimp
  • Photograph wild dolphins to better understand dolphin ecology and behavior in Florida’s coastal waters
  • Observe foraging shorebirds and take sediment cores to find their prey on local beaches
  • Encounter alligators, tortoises, snakes and birds of prey at a nature preserve
  • Conduct a plankton tow and examine organisms under a microscope
  • Investigate the interactions of corals, anemones and their symbionts using microscopy and microbiology
Students entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade
$1,835 per student. Cost includes: participation in (and transportation for) all sessions, activities, labs, program supplies, field trips, entrance fees, use of college recreational facilities, meals, lodging and snacks.
Program Requirement: Students must be able to pass the swim test, two full laps for a total of 150 yards, without touching the bottom of the pool, using any style and with no time limit.

Room and Board


Few colleges have a more attractive setting than Eckerd College. Our 188-acre waterfront campus provides a magnificent atmosphere and safe environment. Eckerd College is located in St. Petersburg, just off I-275 exit 17.

Directions & Map


Residential counselors work with students in the late afternoons, evenings and overnight. Staff consists of well-trained current Eckerd College students and recent graduates eager to share their enthusiasm for learning.


Students will live in air-conditioned Eckerd College student residence halls, double- or triple- room occupancy, reserved exclusively for participants in this program. Counselors will be present in each single-sex residence hall.


Student participants will eat in the main cafeteria which can accommodate allergies, lactose and gluten-free diets. We also have kosher, vegetarian and vegan options available to students. If you have particular needs, please be sure to note them on the General and Medical Information form.


Laura Wetzel

Laura R. Wetzel
Professor of Marine Science and Geosciences
Ph.D. Washington University
John M. Bevan Award, 2013
Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher Award, 2007


Jorge A. Angulo-Valdes
Visiting Assistant Professor of Marine Science
Dalhousie University Interdisciplinary Studies, Ph.D.

Beth Forys

Beth Forys
Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology
Ph.D., University of Florida
John M. Bevan Award, 2010
Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher Award, 2003

Shannon Gowans

Shannon Gowans
Associate Professor of Marine Science and Biology
Ph.D., Dalhousie University

Cory J. Krediet

Cory J. Krediet
Assistant Professor of Marine Science and Biology
Ph.D., University of Florida, 2012

Peter Simard

Peter Simard
Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Ph.D., University of South Florida

Amy NS Siuda

Amy NS Siuda
Assistant Professor of Marine Science
Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Nancy Smith

Nancy F. Smith
Associate Professor of Marine Science and Biology
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

William Szelistowski

William A. Szelistowski
Associate Professor of Marine Science and Biology
Ph.D., University of Southern California
Robert A. Staub Distinguished Teacher Award, 2016

Refund Policy

Withdrawal Date Refund
60 days before start date 100%
30 days before start date 50%
20 days before start date 20%
<20 days before start date 0%

Processing fee of $25 is non-refundable.

No refund will be issued for the following:

  • If a participant fails to show up for the program.
  • If a participant is dismissed from the program by the College.

Participants who cancel their registration and are eligible for a refund should contact or 727.864.7994.