Ocean Explorers summer camp at Seymour Center is a week your child will never forget. Just ask the professional marine scientists who attended Ocean Explorers 20 years ago.

Our marine science summer camps give youth ages 7 to 14 opportunities to actively explore the ocean, investigate the animals with which we share Monterey Bay, and experience the thrill of scientific discovery at a world-class marine lab.

Invertebrate Investigators (ages 7-9)

Backbones are overrated! Explore the awesome diversity of fascinating marine and terrestrial invertebrates along the Santa Cruz coast. Search for marvelous macroinvertebrates in the river’s riffles at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, then dig for shy sand crabs at Natural Bridges State Beach. Join our Aquarium Curator to learn how we care for our incredible invertebrates at the Seymour Center. Tap into your scientific observation skills to discover what’s special about your favorite spineless friends. Tide-pooling adventures and fun “crabby” crafts make for an amazing week for any kid who has the science “bug!”

Marine Science for Girls (ages 9-11)

An amazing camp designed to inspire girls with a deep love of ocean science. Girls go behind the scenes with Long Marine Lab’s expert marine mammal scientists and trainers. Learn from special seals, sea lions, and dolphins participating in conservation research. We travel south to hike and explore restored ecosystems at Elkhorn Slough and enjoy camping at Sunset State Beach on Thursday night. Our week wraps up with a fun kayak adventure in search of sea otters and more!

Please note: This overnight camp requires all participants to be fully vaccinated (or provide proof of an approved medical exemption with routine testing). Participants supply their own sleeping bags and sleeping pads. Restroom facilities are available at the campground.

Thank you to Rachel & David Kliger for sponsoring Marine Science for Girls

Masterful Marine Mammals (ages 9-11 and 12-14)

Discover how dolphins, seals, and sea lions cooperate in conservation research to help protect wild marine animals around the globe. Work alongside researchers and trainers to learn about Long Marine Lab’s extraordinary marine mammals. Gain first-hand experience in marine mammal care and training techniques and enjoy outings to investigate scientists’ favorite coastal field sites. We top it off with a kayak adventure to search for harbor seals, sea otters, and other local marine life at Elkhorn Slough.

Schedule

Invertebrate Investigators (ages 7-9)

Age Week Time
7-9 yrs June 6-10
July 4-8
9 AM-3 PM

Marine Science for Girls (ages 9-11)

Age Week Time
9-11 yrs August 1-5 9 AM-4 PM

Masterful Marine Mammals (ages 9-11)

Age Week Time
9-11 yrs June 13-17
June 27-July 1
July 18-22
9 AM-4 PM

Masterful Marine Mammals (ages 12-14)

Age Week Time
12-14 yrs June 20-24
July 11-15
July 25-29
9 AM-4 PM

Cost
  • Invertebrate Investigators: $485
  • Marine Science for Girls: $680
  • Masterful Marine Mammals: $680

Fees include all transportation and field excursion costs. Participants bring their own lunches and snacks.

The Seymour Center strives to provide equitable access to our programs. Need-based scholarships for Ocean Explorers are currently available thanks to generous donors to our scholarship fund. To be considered for scholarship funds, please submit an online Ocean Explorers Scholarship Application.

Scholarships

The Seymour Center strives to provide equitable access to our programs. Need-based scholarships for Ocean Explorers are currently available thanks to generous donors to our scholarship fund. To be considered for scholarship funds, please submit an online Ocean Explorers Scholarship Application.

How to Apply
  1. Complete an online Ocean Explorers Camp Application by 3 PM on April 18 to be included in the lottery for camp spaces.
  2. Please submit a separate application for each child.

Confirmation and Payment

  1. Applications submitted by the lottery deadline (April 18 by 3 PM Pacific Time), will be contacted by email by Monday, May 2, to confirm enrollment or placement on a waiting list.
  2. Selected applicants will be asked to supply payment by Tuesday, May 10.

Special Precautions
The health and safety of our Ocean Explorers and staff are of the utmost importance. Our COVID safety precautions follow protocols and guidelines for youth day camps by the CDC, CDPH, and Santa Cruz County, along with additional UC Santa Cruz requirements.

  • Vaccination is highly recommended for all Ocean Explorers participants.
  • Masks are required while being transported in vans and in certain indoor and outdoor locations. Masks are highly recommended whenever indoors.
  • Due to overnight camping, Marine Science for Girls participants are required to be fully vaccinated (or provide proof of an approved medical exemption with routine testing).
  • Currently, all visitors entering the Seymour Center, including Ocean Explorers, are required to complete a daily UCSC visitor symptom check to screen for COVID.

Additional safety measures may be required or adjusted at any time to meet changing conditions and health guidelines. This MAY include:

  • Masking required at all times while indoors and in certain outdoor situations
  • Required COVID testing

Specific details and requirements will be provided in confirmation packets. For additional questions, please contact Youth Programs at discover@ucsc.edu

Cancellation Policy

When notified of a cancellation at least two weeks in advance, we will attempt to fill the vacancy. If a replacement is found, we will refund the program cost minus a $60 cancellation fee. If we do not find a replacement, we are unable to refund any portion of the program fee unless due to COVID. Cancellations due to COVID will be refunded the amount paid minus a $60 cancellation fee. If your child must stop attendance during camp due to COVID, you will be refunded a prorated amount minus a $60 processing fee.

If the Seymour Center cancels your program before it begins, you will receive a full refund. If your program must be canceled after your camp week has already begun, you will receive a prorated refund.

Questions?

Contact Youth Programs at discover@ucsc.edu