About the Course

Marine Ecology

  • Grades 5-6
  • CTY-Level

Ninety-four percent of life on earth is aquatic, yet we have only explored 5 percent of Earth’s oceans. Marine ecologists aim to reduce this knowledge gap while using biology, chemistry, physics, geology, geography, and meteorology to study oceans and the hundreds of thousands of known species that live below their surface. In this field science course, you will learn the geography of ocean floors, and the physical and chemical properties of ocean water; visit local habitats to collect and test water samples and examine microscopic organisms; and explore how the slightest changes in salinity and temperature can impact entire species. You and your classmates will conduct field observations and dissections in the lab, and observe and analyze plants and animals and the adaptations that allow them to live underwater. Field experiences may include an aquarium trip, visits from marine life experts, or a boat excursion in local waters. The course ends with an analysis of human impact and how to protect marine ecosystems now and in the future. 

Typical Class Size: 14-16

Testing and Prerequisites

  Math Verbal
Required Level CTY-Level Not required
Check your eligibility using existing test scores If you do not have existing test scores:

Students must achieve qualifying scores on an advanced assessment to be eligible for CTY programs. If you don’t have qualifying scores, you have several different testing options. We’ll help you find the right option for your situation.

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Cost and Financial Aid

  • Tuition
    • Varies
  • Application fee
    • Nonrefundable Application Fee - $50 (Waived for financial aid applicants)
    • Nonrefundable International Fee - $250 (outside US only)

Financial Aid is available

We are committed to serving all talented youth regardless of financial circumstances. Financial assistance is available based on need.

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Course Materials

Please acquire all course materials by the course start date. If you have questions about these materials or difficulty locating them, please contact ctyinfo@jhu.edu.

Course Extras (Lab fee info, etc): Lab and field trip fee: $225

About Science and Engineering at CTY

Explore space and our planet

In our Introduction to Astronomy course, we’ll visit a nearby observatory or planetarium, see what the cosmos looks like through various spectra, and immerse ourselves in the science and technology that bring the universe closer to home. In Marine Ecology, we’ll visit local wetlands and tidepools, observe flora and fauna, collect water samples and analyze them for clues about their health and humans’ impact. And in The Global Environment, we will explore the human impact on our environment and generate proposals for addressing climate change.

Bond over chemistry

Our chemistry courses help you see the world differently, starting at the atomic level. The Edible World gives budding chefs and science lovers a glimpse into the chemical reactions that happen when we make food, and the chemical makeup of meals and treats we eat every day. In our Crystals and Polymers course, we’ll synthesize slime, grow rock candy, and isolate strawberry DNA to learn about the molecular structure of naturally occurring gems and human-produced plastics. In Chemistry in Society, we’ll consider how the chemicals in products can both enhance and degrade the world around us; produce biodiesel in a lab to understand alternative fuels; and prepare aspirin to learn about the healing and toxic properties of pharmaceuticals.

Meet our instructors and staff