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Summer Marine Biology Program at Occidental College for High School Seniors

"I have been meaning to write you for some time and tell you what an absolutely fantastic time I had out at Oxy this summer. I don't think I've ever enjoyed anything so much in my life. Not only did I learn a lot about oceanology, but I learned a lot about myself and that I was capable of. The college dilemma does not seem so awesome as it did before going to Occidental."

Academic Program: This comment came from a student who attended our special course in oceanology a few years ago. This summer, the class will be offered for the 31st consecutive year to about 24 students who have completed their junior year of high school as well as a few who have already begun college. The course carries full college credit for 4 semester units. This is a special introductory college course, not a camp! There are exams, practicals and projects. Mondays through Thursdays there are 2 hour lectures covering chemical and physical oceanography, the classification and natural history of plankton, algae, invertebrates, fish and marine mammals, marine ecology, aspects of mariculture, and the effects of pollution on local habitats. In 3 hour daily labs students will sort, identify and observe the organisms they have collected. Some dissections and physiological experiments will be conducted, and two labs involve the isolation of DNA and its use in analyzing fish stocks. At least 1 full day/week (usually Friday) will be spent aboard an 85' research vessel, the R/V Vantuna, collecting organisms and learning how to investigate selected habitats between the mainland and Catalina Island. Students will snorkel at the Channel Islands and if certified, SCUBA trips to our kelp forests may be available. In addition there will be trips to tide pools, local aquaria and other marine institutes.

Social Program: This is summer and we all need to have some fun! Students will live in a college dorm under the supervision of Oxy students who will serve as chauffeurs (i.e., do all the driving) and organize (and screen) a variety of activities of interest to the group. These may include trips to Disneyland or Magic Mountain, museums, the beach, ball games, etc. Guest scientists will discuss career options and their particular interests with the students, and the Oxy Admissions Staff will also give a seminar on how to select a college, prepare your personal statement for your college application, and discuss financial aid. The program provides a strong introduction to marine biology, a taste of college life and a fun summer in the Los Angeles area.

Tuition (for 4 College semester units) $3,840
Room & Board + Course Fee (includes books, ID, accident policy, lab materials) $1900
Total $5,740

Students live in a college dorm along with 5 Oxy students that assist with the course work and arrange social activities. The program provides a strong introduction to marine biology, a taste of college life and a fun summer in the Los Angeles area.

Program Dates:
June 25th to July 29th, 2006.

Send your material to:
Dr. Gary G. Martin
Department of Biology, Occidental College
1600 Campus Rd, Los Angeles, California, 90041-3314

Phone: (323) 259-2890; FAX (323) 341-4974; email: Website:

Completed applications are evaluated on a first-come, first served basis. Selected students will be contacted and a $50 deposit (which is applied to the tuition) is then needed to reserve your spot in the class. A packet of detailed information on how to get to Oxy, what to bring, etc., will then be sent to you.

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