High School Adventures

Curaçao Curaçao Marine Biology Adventure

Immerse yourself in a marine biology adventure. Live the life of a marine science researcher and contribute to ongoing reef restoration efforts. Take advantage of the unique opportunity to live at a research center. Earn scuba certifications and complete shore dives each day to observe species you’ve only seen in books. Join new friends on a summer adventure to a unique Caribbean island.

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Teen holding crab on marine biology summer program Curacao
Teens swimming in cave on marine biology summer programs
Colourful buildings along dock in Curacao seen on Broadreach marine biology summer programs

Sun-filled days of scuba diving and protecting coral reefs

  • Experience the underwater world through hands-on tropical marine biology projects.
  • Help restore and protect coral reefs by building a coral nursery and evaluating the health of the marine ecosystem.
  • Swim past brilliant marine life during the day and witness bioluminescence at night with the help of your PADI dive and marine biology instructors.
  • Come together as a team to learn how to scuba dive and practice group research.
  • Live at the beach and watch the sunset over the ocean every night.
  • Explore Curaçao by visiting historic Willemstad, kayaking through mangroves, paddle boarding over crystal clear water, hiking to the top of a mountain and losing count of all the Caribbean wildlife you see.
PROGRAM DATESCOSTAVAILABILITY
June 18 - July 7, 2022$6,180AvailableEnroll Now
July 11 - July 30, 2022$6,180AvailableEnroll Now
“This program is perfect for anyone full of wanderlust with a strong passion for the ocean and marine science. Being able to expand my knowledge on coral was an eye-opening experience that only further reinforced my love for the ocean and the beauties of the natural world. The ability to dive with such magnificent creatures including octopus, squid and sea turtles is amazing. For aspiring marine biologists this course is great to better understand working in the field.” Jules, high school alumna

This summer programs for marine biology offers:

2

Credits Available

3

Certifications Available

9

Service Hours

Two natural science credits available through Lesley University.

Course description: This course examines the biology and ecology of tropical marine communities and demonstrates research techniques and equipment that marine biologists commonly use. Interactive labs and scuba dives give you the opportunity to explore the environments you study through coursework.

Course objectives:

  • Gain a greater understanding of the oceans and marine life.
  • Develop an appreciation for the importance of life in the oceans to the history of life on the planet.
  • Learn to identify and describe the diversity of life found in the oceans.
  • Understand how individuals, populations and communities interact with each other and their physical environments.
  • Learn about the fragility of marine communities and the major threats to the health of marine life.
  • Gain experience conducting group research and presenting on a marine science topic of your choosing.
  • Practice collecting, analyzing and interpreting data.
  • Understand how marine biologists conduct research in the field and in labs in order to better understand ecological and evolutionary relationships.

Three PADI scuba certifications available:

  • PADI Open Water Diver
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • PADI Coral Restoration Diver Specialty

Nine hours of service learning through projects dedicated to coral reef conservation.

Requirements:

  • Available to students completing grades 9-12. No additional experience necessary.

Itinerary

Day 1-4

Settle into paradise

After landing at Curaçao’s International Airport, head directly to one of the largest marine research stations in the Caribbean (and your home for the next three weeks!). Hop into the warm, turquoise blue water and get ready to learn how to dive if you’ve never done it before, or go on some refresher dives if you’re already certified. Snorkel and dive in beautiful coral patch reefs and seagrass beds that host a variety of fish and invertebrate life including barracuda, parrotfish and butterflyfish. Let the adventure in marine biology begin!


 

Day 5-9

Behold your underwater classroom

The best way to learn about corals and fish is up close and in the water. The reefs of Curaçao  are a rich ecosystem that is quickly accessible from shore. Take time to learn about the lionfish epidemic around the island, and how local stakeholders are fighting against invasive marine species. Learn how to recognize coral diseases and colonies experiencing bleaching and algal overgrowth. Analyze and discuss the feeding habits, life cycles, symbiotic relationships and ecological concerns of a coral reef system. Participate in a fish dissection. As your skills in the water progress, head out on wall dives. Check out a spectacular reef which drops dramatically from 35 to 6,000 feet, keeping your eyes peeled for angelfish and turtles cruising by.


 

Day 10-16

Help save coral reefs

Brimming with knowledge and fresh dive skills, participate in a Coral Research Foundation course and help replant vital staghorn and elkhorn corals on the reefs of Curaçao. Above water, the exploration continues with a visit to the historical center and cultural hub of Curaçao, Willemstad. Take a break from your studies to kayak the majestic mangrove systems that fringe the island and take a plunge into the stunning Blue Room cave.


 

Day 17-20

Officially a marine biologist-in-training

Spend your last days in the Curaçao wrapping up your marine biology studies, enjoying some fun dives, paddleboarding and beach games. Celebrate your final night and all you have done as a group. In this beautiful setting, marvel at how much you’ve learned, explored and accomplished.