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Educational Programming

We have designed our education programs to be interactive to inspire the next generation of ocean stewards. Each program is two hours long and includes a discussion portion followed by hands-on activities which allows students to play an active role in the learning process. Hands-on activities include dissections, data collection, proper microscope use, beach cleanups with pollution analysis, and more. We end our programs with an observation of a sea turtle feeding, featuring our resident green sea turtles, Captain and Coral. During the feeding, students learn about their history and injuries as well as general sea turtle biology, ecology, and conservation.

The NSU Marine Environmental Education Center can accommodate groups up to 30 students on site, with one chaperone required for every ten students. The program costs $10 per student which includes one chaperone free for every ten students. Please note dissection programs cost $15 per student for materials and resources. If you are interested in a field trip to the NSU Marine Environmental Education Center, please fill out the Education Program Request Form and email it to If you have any questions about our education programs, reservation requests, etc. please email us at or call us (954) 357-5125.

The NSU Marine Environmental Education Center offers hands-on, experiential learning education programs about marine biology and ocean conservation for students of all ages. The programs are tailored to utilize science practices from the Next Generation Sunshine State Standards. Our programs cover a variety of marine science topics and can be categorized into three categories:

Current Programs

endangered species

These programs focus on animals who are at the risk of extinction. There are many causes of extinction but human actions are becoming a major cause for most animals. We discuss adaptations and morphology of these amazing critters. We identify threats these creatures face as well as highlight conservation efforts.

Sea Turtle - During this program, we discuss sea turtle biology, ecology, and conservation. We also highlight nesting season in Florida since it is such an important spot for sea turtles. Participants will meet our resident green sea turtle, Captain, and observe a live feeding of her.
Marine Mammals - In this program we highlight marine mammals and the adaptations these critters have to survive in the harsh marine environment. We discuss what categorizes an animal as a mammal as well as morphology, ecology and evolution.

invasive species

An invasive species is an organism that get introduced to a new area and has a negative impact on the environment and economy. These organisms usually outcompete native species and often do not have a predator keep their population in check. There are numerous species on land and in the water that have been introduced to the US and decimated local ecosystems. These programs highlight invasive species found in Florida and the impacts they are having on our local environment.

Lionfish - This program focuses on the invasive lionfish, a fish that is native to the Indo-Pacific. Participants will learn about the history of the invasion and what adaptations allow these fish to thrive in the Atlantic Ocean, wreaking havoc on the marine ecosystem. Our educators facilitate a lionfish dissection that students get to lead to examine external and internal anatomy of these invaders.

ecology and conservation

Nature is a complex Jenga game where every organism has a key function in the overall food web. Just like the game of Jenga, if the wrong block is removed there can be dire consequences. During these programs we highlight the importance of organisms (and resources) in the marine environment. We learn about their adaptations that allow them to thrive in their environment. Studying these complex relationships allow us to understand the interconnectedness of the planet.

Cephalopods - During this program we learn about the aliens of the sea: cephalopods which include squids, cuttlefish, nautilus, and octopus. We discuss some of their amazing adaptations and why they are important to the marine food web. Participants complete a hands-on dissection to learn about their external and internal anatomy.
Marine Debris- With an estimated 17 billion pounds on pollution dumped into the ocean each year, marine debris is one of the biggest threats to our oceans. We will discuss different types of pollution and how to become better stewards to our environment. Participants will also learn about sustainable actions everyone can do to make our Earth a healthier planet.
Coral Conservation - Is it just a pretty rock? Or is it a complex organism that has been around for millions of years? While corals only occupy about 1% of the ocean floor, they are home for over 25% of marine life! Corals are extremely important for our oceans and they are some of the most diverse(and productive) ecosystems on Earth! Thousands of species depend on them for food and shelter while humans depend on them to act as a buffer to protect our shorelines. The diversity of these reefs also support ecotourism, fishing, and more. We will discuss these amazing animals, conservation efforts and highlight one of their biggest threats: coral bleaching.
Freshwater - Earth is made up of 71%; only 3% of that is freshwater! All living things require water and we have over 7.8 billion humans as well as plants and animals on land competing for such a precious resources. This program highlights the importance of freshwater, the water cycle and the interconnectedness of our fresh and saltwater environments. 


Beach Cleanup Program


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