MARINE SCIENCE INSTITUTE

Rating: 4.8 stars   65 reviews

Issues: Animals, Technology, Education, Environment

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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 94-1719649
650-364-2760
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I recently participated in MSI's "Ecotour" program, a two-hour, on-water experience to help the general public better understand the San Francisco Bay's functions and characteristics. The tour was informative, well-organized, and engaging. Adults and children seemed to have a good time. I will be taking a group of adults on the tour in a few weeks and am very excited about this program!

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

MSI's summer camps are fantastic. Full of fun and science, 3 field trips in 5 days were a huge hit with my 7 year old. We'll definitely send him back year after year, and his younger sister is begging for her own chance to attend Marine Science Camp (next year!)

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

observing the amount of science knowledge gained by my child after just a week of science camp.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-7-01

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Rating: 3 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

My daughter loved spending time at MSI both as a student and as a camper. She especially liked touching the shark and being on the boat. She thought the only improvement would be fewer games and more Marine Science stuff.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughter's knowledge of and enthusiasm for marine science.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

My daughter attended Ocean Explorers Summer Camp. Last year she attended as well, but as a entering first grader. She thoroughly enjoys herself, comes home telling us interesting facts about ocean life, and loves the counselors and staff. I couldn't be happier with this camp. There are two field trips to the beach and tide pools and a trip aboard their boat. It's fantastic!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

summer camps.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I recently participated in a Discovery Voyage aboard the Marine Science Institute's boat in San Francisco Bay. I was truly impressed by the quality of the program. The staff do an excellent job of keeping the kids engaged and getting them excited about science and the environment. The program gets the kids to actively participate in collecting the samples and analyzing them. They have four science stations aboard the boat -- one each for plankton, large fish, sediment, and water quality. The children end up learning a ton without even realizing it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I participated in a "Discovery Voyage" aboard the Marine Science Institute's boat in San Francisco Bay.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

Learning about marine science and enjoying an afternoon on a boat in San Francisco Bay.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Outstanding.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-8-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Camp is awesome. *This review was collected during a boat trip and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

going on the boat

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I think Josh [a counselor] is fun

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy fish and boats for us. No, buy an iPhone for us.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

I think I learned a lot about other types of animals and what lives in the ocean that I didn't know was there. I really like being on the boat. *This review was collected during a boat trip and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

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

maybe do a little bit more with the actual animals and a little bit less with field trips.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

going on the boat and catching the shark.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

really nice, energetic, and funny.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do swimming with the dolphis for everybody!

Ways to make it better...

when we go on the field trip we didn't have to ride for such a long time. We spent lots of time on the bus.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

I know they try really hard to not litter, so cutting back on trash is a challenge.

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I learned stuff about fish and megalodons and sharks and plankton. One more thing that's really cool about Marine Science Institute is the Free Willy whale. One thing that I think they could improve is letting us in the water. *This review was collected during a boat trip and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

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

add a function so that they could help animals. So if someone found an animal that was hurt, they could call the Marine Science Institute.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

instead of just sitting around listening to the teachers, we also get to pass stuff around and it's more interactive. Also, I like the field trips.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

nice. Jenny was really happy when they found the plankton. Funny.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

get a real megalodon tooth. They only have a fake one but a real one would be cool. And more boats.

Ways to make it better...

we got to have an overnight on the boat. And a picnic would be fun.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

Camp is awesome and Josh [the counselor] is awesome. *This review was collected during a boat trip and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

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

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

going on the boat

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I like Josh and also Josh is awesome and super

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

buy things to help kids learn

Ways to make it better...

they would let us take off our shoes. I wish we could have kept the fish.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I really liked it. I would do it again. *This review was collected during a boat trip and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

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

let kids go swimming in the ocean.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

catching fish, so far.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

they did a really good job.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

get more fish.

Ways to make it better...

I wish we could have looked at fish more and fed them.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful?