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 >
Registration Closed
The camp cancelation date has passed. Refunds are no longer available.

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

Josephine Grell

Josephine Grell is a recent graduate from the University of Washington, Seattle where she received her B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Climate Science. During her time at U.W., she focused on the marine ecology impacts caused by climate change, climate solutions, and science communication through her research on kelp forests, invertebrates, and ocean acidification. She is working as the Teen Research Programs Coordinator and Marine Biology instructor this summer at The Lawrence.

Josephine was born and raised in the Bay Area, and in her free time, she enjoys reading, bouldering, and photography. 

Gaby Arango

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Gaby began her academic journey at Santa Rosa Junior College, earning AS and AA degrees before pursuing BS and MS degrees in Biology at Sonoma State University. Her master’s research focused on the blood oxygen stores in olive ridley sea turtles, a remarkable physiological adaptation for breath-hold diving. Currently, she is a fifth-year PhD student in the Integrative Biology department within the Vazquez-Medina lab, investigating the evolutionary adaptations of sea turtles to withstand oxidative stress from extreme life stressors such as reproduction and hypoxic exposure during diving. She is passionate about science communication, engaging broad audiences of all ages in both formal and informal settings. 

In her free time, Gaby loves to play with Goku, the silliest German Shepherd.

Phoebe Hall

Phoebe received her B.S. in Biological Sciences from the University of Chicago where she did her thesis on butterfly genetics. She is a biologist working as a strain engineer in the alternative protein industry. This summer Phoebe serves as an instructor in a wide range of Teen Research Programs at The Lawrence.

When not doing science, Phoebe loves playing ultimate frisbee, hiking, and crocheting.