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- Program Description -                                                                                                                  

Youth Ocean Explorers is a 4 week, hands-on marine science program for middle to high school-aged students interested in studying coastal, marine & environmental science, natural resource management, and conservation. The program involves a combination of short presentations and lectures daily from UVI faculty, staff, and community partners along with field activities utilizing scientific tools to supplement those presentations. Participants report to the UVI Center for Marine & Environmental Studies but can expect to travel with staff to other on-island locations for field work and activities. Snorkel gear and other instructional materials are provided for student use during the program. 

- Mission Statement - 

The Youth Ocean Explorers (YOE) Summer Program aims to provide students with hands-on, STEM-based (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) training that fosters career development. Using the ocean as our classroom, students enrolled in YOE develop a sense of environmental stewardship, acquire new skills, and establish long-lasting connections with fellow students and STEM professionals.  

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 YOE 2016     YOE 2017

New to the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program for 2017! We received supplemental funding from the National Science Foundation's INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) program. The SEAS (Supporting Emerging Aquatic Scientists) Your Tomorrow project which is funded by the NSF INCLUDES program aims to transform the face of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) within the Virgin Islands and the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is proud to be a component of that project. Click here for more details about this partnership. 

- Eligibility Criteria / Important Information -   

  • The Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is open to students in junior high to high school with an interest in marine biology / science (Grades 7-12). 
  • The maximum capacity of the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is 20 students (Not including interns/mentors).
  • At this time, housing is not provided for this summer program. 
  • The Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is currently only available on St. Thomas. Students from St. Croix and St. John are eligible to apply. 
  • Dates for the 2018 Program are still pending post hurricanes. 
  • There will be a mandatory orientation meeting (Date to be determined) for both parents and accepted students prior to the start date of the program.
  • Students are expected to be in attendance daily (9AM - 4:30PM) and any scheduled absences should be immediately brought to the attention of camp counselors/coordinators.
  • There is a one-time program fee of $250 which covers all program materials and lunches. 
  • Applications will be made available after an assessment has been made regarding the condition of UVI's Center for Marine and Environmental Studies facilities.  
  • Scholarships are provided each year! To be eligible for a scholarship, the student should be attending a local public school and submit the required video for the application.  

 - Program Materials -

Step 1: (REGISTRATION CLOSED): By clicking on this link, it will redirect you to the online application where you can register your child for the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program. The application does contain essay questions that the student should answer and a required video of the interested applicant explaining why they would like to participate in this program. The student's most recent report card is also required such that our program can track any in-class science improvements post program. All required materials can be uploaded during the completion of the application process.                

Step 2: Supporting Documents: These documents are required for your child to participate in the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program. They detail specific language about assuming any known risks associated with any of the field activities covered during the program as well as giving our team permission to take photographs and/or video of students.

- Program Funding / Sponsorship -

Our program operates each year via small grants from private foundations and federal agencies as well as donations (monetary or in kind services) from the Virgin Islands community. If you are interested in providing a donation or to sponsor a student to attend, contact us using any of the methods listed below. The University of the Virgin Islands is a 501c3 institution so all donations are tax deductible.  

- Contact Us -   new

Office Phone: St. Thomas (340) 693-1672
E-mail: St. Thomas (howard.forbes@live.uvi.edu)
Website: http://vimas.uvi.edu
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Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
University of the Virgin Islands

St. Thomas
#2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, USVI 00802