DEEP Ecology

Middle School

DEEP Ecology Summer Science Adventure


sailboatDEEP Ecology: Summer Science Adventure is a hands-on, project-based classroom at sea in which students:

  • Live aboard a floating science classroom in the Bahamas.
  • Earn scuba certification in Michigan and then take their skills to the world-class diving in the Bahamas.
  • Learn reef and ocean ecology firsthand.
  • Participate in real scientific study, adding to the body of research used by marine biologists actively working to protect our oceans. Projects include reef research, reef rehabilitation, and invasive species removal.

DEEP Ecology is also an adventure program in which students:

  • Develop deep community, caring and supporting each other as they “camp at sea.”
  • Learn real skills as they earn scuba certification and then sail, dive, and live aboard a 65’ sailboat.
  • Face meaningful challenges that push them and help them grow.
  • Grow personally, relationally, and spiritually.

Scuba schoolWhy An Ocean Environment?

Ocean conservation is at the center of 21st century ecology. The coral reef environments in the Bahamas are world class, and, sadly, are already bearing the marks of remarkable changes going on around us.  Students will experience extraordinary beauty while at the same time learning about our relationship to the marine world and our need to protect the oceans.

How Is It Connected To School?

DEEP Ecology is at its core an educational program as students learn science in our “classroom at sea.” Each and every day, students will participate in real-world scientific work that has lasting value to the larger scientific community.

Is There Going to be any Time for Fun?

Of course! In addition to science, we’ll have fun dives, snorkeling, fishing,  swimming, and shore bonfires.

scuba fishWhat Is Blackbeard Cruises?

Blackbeard Cruises has chartered sailboat diving operations for over 30 years. They have significant experience with college, high school, middle school, and Scout groups. They know kids, are expert sailors and divers, and they are able to create a custom trip for us.

So, is it a “Cruise”?

Not at all. Each boat has a captain, first mate, cook, and 1-2 dive masters—and then us! Students will live aboard the boat and participate in cooking, cleaning, and sailing. Doing so teaches real-world skills and helps us grow closer as a community.

How Hard is Scuba?

Students must be good swimmers, but other than that, most students are able to learn scuba rapidly. Late spring, we’ll begin certification which includes bookwork, pool work, and 4 open-water checkout dives. Students will hit the Bahamas ready to dive, and we will structure the dives so that students progress and develop their dive skills. Best of all, scuba certification is something students carry with them for the rest of their lives!

Scuba poolWho is Able to Go?

20 students. Students must be current 7th or 8th graders, with an equal  balance of boys and girls.

What is the Itinerary?

Pre-trip programming:  6 weekday evening scuba classes beginning in March

June 29-July 5, 2013: 7 days aboard the sailboat, up to 3 dives daily

How Much Is Tuition? $2700

Tuition is all-inclusive:  student materials, dive training and certification, transportation, meals, and Blackbeard fees. Students are only responsible for meals en route. Financial aid is available–we are committed to offering need-based assistance to families interested in the program.

DEEP Ecology Information Handout

DEEP Ecology Application


Program Dates: Summer 2013 and Summer 2015