MARINE SCIENCE INSTITUTE

Rating: 4.8 stars   65 reviews

Issues:

Location: 500 Discovery Pkwy Redwood City CA 94063 USA

Mission: MSI's mission is to cultivate a responsibility for the natural environment and our human communities through interdisciplinary science education.
Results: MSI has been conducting watershed education programs on and around the San Francisco Bay and Coast for 42 years. We estimate that a total of 1 million students have enriched their understanding of science and the environment through our programs, and as a result are living their lives with a greater sense of responsibility for the environment. MSI currently works with 50,000 students of all ages each year. At least 75% of teachers rebook our services year after year. Most our growth can be attributed to word of mouth promotion by satisfied teachers and other educators. More than 3,000 teacher surveys collected in the last 3 program years reveal an extremely high satisfaction rate. Teachers rated MSI with a nearly perfect score of 3.9+ on a scale of 1-4. On those same surveys, teachers also scored our programs an average of 3.3 on a scale of 1 - 4 when asked “How likely is this program to increase your students’ understanding of science?” The most common remark by teachers is about how impressed they are at MSI’s ability to engage students in active learning of science, and capture the attention of even the toughest cases of wandering minds or disinterested students. Students we taught in our early years are now in their 50’s. They have passed on their love and appreciation of the environment to their children and grandchildren. Teachers who went through our program when they were students come back to us to provide the MSI experience for their students. Science teachers using the Institute programs have been awarded Presidential Science Teaching recognition, and then commented, “It all began on that ship on the Bay”.  Many MSI “alumni” students and staff play active roles in environmental conservation or in other sciences. Some are even captains of industry.
Target demographics: Students of all ages and schools throughout Northern California
Direct beneficiaries per year: 55,000
Geographic areas served: Northern California
Programs: MSI serves 55,000 students each year by making them marine scientists for the day by putting them in touch with their local habitat and using scientific equipment on our 90-foot research vessel and hands-on programs on our San Francisco Bayside beach.
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EIN 94-1719649
650-364-2760
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

My son loves MSI...and his two younger sisters can't wait for the day when they are old enough to experience their fisrt voyage on the Robert G. Brownlee. We are so thankful for the opportunity for our children to cultivate a love and appreciation for the ocean through MSI's camps and family events.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Ensure they have the financial resources to continue to play a key role in educating Bay Area children about the marine environment and cultivating a love and respect for the ocean.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I was a student for the Marine Science Institute in my 6th grade year. I had been a struggling reader and felt stupid most of my childhood. When we were on the boat, a world of science opened up to me. We collected a previously unidentified species and I really wanted to know what it was. The captain plunked down a huge book in front of me, showed me the basics of fish ID, and I set about figuring it out. It was hard, but not a struggle. When I figured out what it was (the black-finned sucker fish) I beamed with joy. I finally felt like I was good at something: Science.

In high school, I volunteered for the summer. One day, an instructor was suddenly sick and I had to teach a station on the ship. It was the first time I had ever had to teach somebody something, and it was the second big life lesson I learned from my time at MSI: I could share my knowledge with others.

I studied environmental science and geology in college, returned to MSI as a marine instructor. For two years I worked on board the ship and was transformed by the experience. I became a science teacher after I moved on from MSI, and always look back on how my time at MSI shaped me. I cannot think of a better organization to learn and grow from.

MSI nurtures the curiosity of young scientists, for creates a wealth of data free for scientists to analyze, and raises awareness of environmental issues. Their contribution to the lives of people who explore with them is priceless.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Give them a second ship!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

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Rating: 5 stars  

I was a volunteer for Marine Camp for 6 years and it was always the highlight of my summer. I was originally interested in volunteering because I had such a great experience when my 6th grade class took a trip out on the bay on the Robert G. Brownlee. MSI has a way of inspiring kids to love science and the bay as much as they do and I believe it is because of the passion that all of the people there have. I have watched hundreds of kids come into camp on a Monday morning not knowing anyone and looking rather scared and shy, and by the end of the week they have mud from the bottom of the bay on their face, are grinning from ear to ear, and are begging their parents to let them stay just a little bit longer. MSI is truly top-notch.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

My daughter and son loved going to camp at MSI at ages. They had a great time and learned so much about our local waters. Great program.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

My 7 year old has been doing MSI programs for 3 years now. He has done low tide walks, summer camps, and after school classes and loved all of them. The instructors have such deep knowledge of Marine Science, I feel lucky that they choose to teach and share that love of the water with our children. At the camps, he always comes home happy, dirty and tired - what more could a little boy want from summer!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

MSI has terrific events as well as summer classes for kids to learn and explore our lovely bay.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2007

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

I have a six year old daughter who absolutely loves going to the marine science expeditions that MSI organizes. They are absolutely invaluable in terms of the exposure my daughter gets by going to them.The staff is super dedicated and enthusiastic. Could not say enough good things about them!! they absolutely amazing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

We go to MSI several times a year and love the educational value. Marine Science Institute does so much with a tiny budget and has a very dedicated group of youth and adult volunteers. They are super passionate about educating people about the Bay and Pacific. They have been very generous and accommodating with the underserved kids that I've been involved with.

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I first discovered MSI when I went there for a teacher training during the summer. I was impressed by the facility, the level of care for the animals, and the knowledge of the staff. When I found they subsidize the cost of a bus to take my students, I arranged a field trip then and there. I took two classes of low income mostly second language learner third graders to the shoreside program. For many, it was the first time they went to a beach, the first time they held an animal, and the first time they were able to touch a shark. The children had a great time, learned a lot, and got really flithy... all signs of a great field trip. We had four docents assigned to our groups. All four had different styles and covered the information differently; but all four were very knowledgable and adapted the information to meet the differing needs of some challenging learners. I highly reccomnd The Marine Science Institute as a destination for school field trips as well as family excursions. I am taking my students again next year!

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My six year old went to Marine Camp this year and had an absolute blast. He ended up sponsoring a little shark that we end up going to visit a couple times a year. I've been on the board for about two years now and really enjoy helping MSI.

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?