Entering 10 – 12

Marine Biology

Are you curious about what it takes to be a Marine Biologist? Experience firsthand the investigative work, exciting discovery, and fun of ocean science at UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory! Days are jam-packed with scientific observations of marine organisms, tide pooling, and developing your own lab-based research project in marine biology. This program also includes downtime, hikes, and other social activities to make new friends. Join us to gain skills, knowledge, and insight into the field of marine biology while adding valuable experience to your college and career pathways. Parents are invited at 2 p.m. on the last day to see and hear teens share their projects and receive their U.C. Berkeley certificate of completion.

Teens investigate a tide pool during the Marine Biology Teen Research Program

Program Info

Dates: 07/21/2024 – 07/26/2024, Sunday to Friday, 4:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Location: U.C. Santa Cruz *transportation not provided

Residential Only: campus housing and all meals provided

Program Tuition: $2,500 or $2,250 (reduced)

Residential only
Seeking Financial Aid? Learn More >


A Day in the Life

Your days begin early, since the tides dictate much of our fieldwork. In the morning, we may find ourselves out in the field, at the nearby rocky shore and tidepools, or exploring sandy beaches and digging for sand crabs. For 6 days, you will come to understand these ecosystems better by observing connections between organisms and their habitat and by sampling organism populations, then comparing our data to those from long-term monitoring projects to tell us about change occurring over time. Weather permitting, we will take our lunch breaks outdoors at sites along the varied coastline. In the afternoons, you head to our own lab space, where you may use microscopes to observe plankton you’ve collected during a plankton tow, conduct marine invertebrate labs, or begin your own investigations. During the program, you will design and conduct an investigation to answer their research question in response to field observations and wonderings about how marine organisms interact with their environment. Throughout the week, you’ll also meet graduate students and scientists to learn about their research and pathway into ocean sciences. In the evenings, after dinner at the dorms, you get to mix with teens in the adjacent program, play games, take a night hike, or enjoy other social activities together. By 10:30 p.m., it’s lights-out to allow for a well-earned rest and prepare you for an early start the next day.

Marine Bio teens lab visit
Marine Bio teens team building activities
Marine Bio all group shot
Marine Bio teens in dining hall social
Marine Bio bonfire teens roasting marshmallows

Frequently Asked Questions

Is transportation provided to the U. C. Santa Cruz Campus?

No, we do not provide transportation to and from the U.C. Santa Cruz campus. Parents or legal guardians must arrange to drop off or pick up their teens. More detailed information will be provided after registration for the program.

How will teens be transported during the program week?

Once on-site, transportation for programming needs is provided for the duration of the program.

What is the flow of a day of programming?

Each day includes various activities, starting with morning opening, breakfast, and science activities and investigations, followed by lunch, downtime, social time, and special evening activities. See the section “A day in the life” for more info.

What are the physical requirements for participation?

Teens need to be able to walk to and from investigation sites near the ocean and over sand and rocks. For Field Ecology, this may include through forest and brush. The weather can change from one day to the next, so be prepared for a range of clothing needs. It’s always a good idea to have clothing that can get dirty when we are outdoors.

What are the accommodations like? 

Accommodations at the U.C. Santa Cruz campus are student dorm-style rooms that are triple-occupancy with shared gender-specific bathrooms. Our program instructors are housed in the same buildings as the participants. A third gender-neutral restroom will also be available to youth who prefer that option. 

Are the meals provided?

Meals are served in the style of a student dining room. Campus staff provide two cooked meals (breakfast and dinner), plus supplies for a packed lunch each day. With prior notice, they can also accommodate most dietary requirements. In addition, we will provide snacks.

Will we have downtime to simply hang with other teens?

Yes, absolutely! We plan the week to allow for plenty of teen social time throughout the day and every evening, including meeting teens from the adjacent research track.

Is there Wi-Fi or cell service?

Cell coverage is unpredictable at all the sites visited during this program. That said, we will have Wi-Fi access at certain times, based on location and activities.

What do I need to bring?

You will receive a packing list once registered for the program, along with the name of a contact person to answer any questions you have.

Do you pick up/drop off at an airport for my out-of-town teen?

We do not provide transportation to and from the airport. It would be best to make those arrangements with plenty of transition time. Partial participation is not allowed.

As a parent, can I travel out of town while my teen is in the program?

We can’t tell you how to spend your summer vacation. That said, we require the parents and/or designated legal guardians to be accessible to contact and available for a pick up in case of emergency. Perhaps the Everest trek can wait for another week during your summer.

Staff Bios

Sarah Pedemonte
Ms. Pedemonte is a science-learning specialist at the Lawrence Hall of Science. She has been an educator for over 25 years, has experience teaching both high school as well as undergraduate science, and has led environmental research camps since 2010. She has developed curricula for grades K–12, undergraduate students, and also in-service teachers, with materials covering ocean sciences, climate studies, and climate data-related content. She currently directs a project seeking to broaden participation in the geosciences among communities that are underrepresented in the STEM fields.

Sarah Pedemonte has a degree in marine biology from the University College of North Wales and a degree in Aquaculture and Fisheries Management from the University of Stirling, Scotland. She worked as a fish farmer for 10 years; as an aquaculture biologist in Australia, Thailand, and the Bahamas; and as a fisheries researcher in Israel and Belize. In her spare time, she is a scuba instructor and takes every chance she can get to be beside the ocean.

Gaby Arango

B. Gabriella Arango, who goes by Gaby, was born and raised in Guadalajara, Mexico. She started her undergraduate education at Santa Rosa Junior College, where she earned an AS and then transferred to Sonoma State University to finish her Undergraduate and then Masters Degree. There she studied the diving physiology in olive ridley sea turtles and her main research interest is the physiological adaptations for hypoxia tolerance, specifically those of sea turtles.

Gaby is the Founder and CEO of Crecer ConCiencia, a non profit organization based in Santa Rosa focused on Leadership development and science outreach efforts to the Latinx community. Her favorite hobbies are cooking and collecting succulents.

Shreya Chaudhuri

Shreya Chaudhuri is a rising third-year undergraduate student at UC Berkeley, and she hails from the Bay Area in Fremont, California, where she was born and raised. Shreya is double majoring in Environmental Science and Human Geography with an intended minor in Data Science. She is passionate about environmental justice and in finding climate solutions that are rooted in Indigenous knowledge to help front-line communities globally. Additionally, she works on running Project Planet, an organization about Decolonial environmental education that she founded.

Outside of her environmental work, you can find Shreya listening to music, gardening, reading at cafes, practicing mehendi, or exploring Berkeley with her friends.