DHP Site

Program Dates: June 21 - July 17
Deadline: April 10, 2015    
Program Cost: $2250 (Includes meals and housing)


2015 Application Available in January
View 2014 Application
All program information is sent via email unless otherwise requested. Please add sejohnson@disl.org to your address book.

Meet our program counselors! FAQ's

During the Summer months, the Discovery Hall Programs offers a course in marine science to high school students. The length of the course is four weeks, during which time the students live on campus and participate in over 150 hours of supervised academic activities. Classes are taught in an academic setting and are designed to give the student a better understanding and appreciation of the various fields in marine science.  The Alabama State Department of Education approves the Discovery Hall Programs' Marine Science Course and recommends that local systems grant participating students credit toward either an Advanced or Standard High School Diploma.

The Marine Science Course is an intense program, introducing the student to the marine environment through classroom lecture, laboratory and field activities.  
     Topics covered include:  
  • Barrier Island formation and Ecology
  • Beach and Dune Ecology
  • Plankton Communities
  • Principles of Oceanography           
  • Human Interactions with the Marine Environment
  • Taxonomy and and Identification of Marine Organisms
  • Estuarine Ecology
  • Marine Botany
  • Marine Invertebrates
  • Marine Vertebrates
  • Salt Marsh Ecology

Students participating in this course spend much of their time in the field exploring and examining different marine communities.  A few of the field activities include the exploration of a salt marsh community, beach profiling, reef fishing and trawling aboard the Sea Lab's 65 foot research vessel, the R/V Alabama Discovery.  Students will observe and work with such gear as a shrimp trawl, bottom dredges, plankton nets, seine nets, water sampling bottles, refractometers and water quality test kits.  Other activities include set-up and maintenance of a marine aquarium, collection and identification of marine species from various habitats, lab and field dissections, an individual research project and a panel discussion with professionals in marine science. 

Special field trips include an overnight snorkeling trip to St. Andrews State Park in Panama City, Florida.  Being a highly academic course, students participate in lectures, individual and group assignments, laboratory investigations, field projects, oral presentations and written and practical examinations.

  • Students from previous summers have kept a blog, along with their educators, to share their experiences with family, friends and future students. Take a look here!

Course Prerequisites
Any high school student currently in grades 9 - 11 (2014-2015 school year) is eligible to apply for admission into the Discovery Hall Programs Marine Science Course. Completion of high school level biology is strongly recommended, but not required. Selection for the program is based on interest, grades, teacher recommendations and a student essay.

There are currently no scholarships available for the 2015 course. Check back frequently for updates.

Need Financial Assistance?
Support may be as close as your neighbor! Seek sponsorships from youth groups, Kiwanis clubs and other service clubs, student organizations, local businesses, booster clubs, and more. Ask the registrar for further details.                                 

For further information, please contact DHP Registrar, Sara Johnson (251)861-2141 x7515.

MESC/Dauphin Island Sea Lab provides equal educational opportunity to, and is open and accessible to, all qualified students, without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, or qualified handicap/disability, with respect to all of its programs and activities.

Disabled students will be provided "reasonable accommodations" when they have identified themselves and validated their special need(s). Complete confidentiality is maintained, unless authorization for release of information has been given in regards to disability.


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