Marine Science

The Marine Science program is now full. Register below to place your name on our waitlist.

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
June 12-17, 2022
Students entering 10th, 11th or 12th grade
$1,845 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.

Summer Health Protocols

The College may need to implement various COVID protocols at any or all scheduled camps based on the percentage of positivity rates within the United States, the State of Florida, Pinellas County or any surrounding counties.

The protocols that the College may implement include, but are not limited to:

  • Increased disinfection protocols for all common space areas
  • Required masking for participants in indoor spaces or areas where adequate distancing is not possible
  • Required pre-arrival testing and health screenings
  • Protocols suggested by the Pinellas County Health Department
  • Protocols suggested by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), or American Camp Association (ACA)
  • Protocols suggested by the American College Health Association.
  • Protocols suggested by the Florida Department of Health

Protocols for summer 2022 will be released in late winter/early spring 2022.


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

Refund Policy

Withdrawal DateRefund
60 days before start date100%
30 days before start date50%
20 days before start date20%
<20 days before start date0%

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 727.864.8312.