High School / College


High School, College, & Adult

Maritime Field Trip 45 Minutes

Private Pilgrim Tour
All Ages

Step back in time and explore the journey around Cape Horn as described by Richard Henry Dana in Two Years Before the Mast.

What you’ll see: View the galley, stern, and bow of the ship before heading below decks to the main hold, where the ship’s cargo would have been stored. Explore the ship in detail while learning about the shipboard life of sailors of the past.

Science Field Trip 4 hours

Advanced Floating Lab
Grades 9-college 

Student oceanographers apply sampling and research protocols for water chemistry and biological monitoring. This course is flexible and can be modified to meet individual teacher requests. For advanced students, an optional research component can be added as students participate in a chlorophyll productivity analysis. Equipment available includes an otter trawl net, plankton net, benthic grab sampler, water capture bottles, secchi disk, forelule scales, and a weather navigation station.

Maritime Field Trip 3-5 days

Catalina Odyssey: A Voyage of Discovery
Grades 4-adult

Embark on an exciting voyage to Catalina Island. On this dynamic sailing adventure, students are trained to work as crew of a 100-ton schooner Spirit of Dana Point. They explore Catalina and surrounding waters while they snorkel, hike, and live the life of a tallship sailor. This program is adaptable to fit curriculum needs in the fields of ecology, water quality, oceanography, biology, and history.

Science Field Trip 4 hours

Earth’s Changing Climate Lab/Cruise
Grades 8-12

Students conduct an in-depth study of the relationship between Earth’s dynamic geologic history and global climate change. They investigate the creation of the Isthmus of Panama and its effect on global currents and climate, look for clues in deep-sea sediment cores, and explore the effects of the burning of fossil fuels on ocean acidity and marine ecosystems. Onboard the R/V Sea Explorer, students use marine sampling equipment to retrieve a sediment core, conduct water chemistry testing, and investigate plankton productivity.

Science Field Trip 1 hour

Ocean Institute Tidepool Junior Naturalist Program
Grades Pre-K - 6th

A one hour lab program ideal for small groups (up to 25 participants) including homeschools, scout troops, and special education groups. The curriculum is based on good tide pooling rules.

Science Field Trip 4 hours

Human Impact on Coastal Ecosystems Lab/Cruise
Grades 9-college

This is an advanced program designed for high school and college students to investigate impacts on our local marine ecosystems. The lab includes ocean chemistry, invasive species of Dana Point harbor, and a fish necropsy. Students will use scientific tools including water quality probes, iPads, quadrats and microscopes to determine the magnitude of ecological disturbance.

Maritime Field Trip 1 hour

Pilgrim Tour
Grades Pre-K - adult

This walking tour explains the mechanics of the vessel and the voyage around Cape Horn as described by Richard Henry Dana in Two Years Before the Mast. Explore the ship in detail while learning about the shipboard life of sailors of the past.

Distance Learning Site visit

Special Needs
Grades Pre K-12

Nine different programs are designed to meet your students’ interests and ability levels, whether you want the excitement of live marine animals or the challenge of a squid or fish dissection. Through observation and interaction, students will dive into the world of hands-on science!