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  

I was lucky enough to have been invited as an adult volunteer to two of many field trips held through an MSI grant with a sixth grade class. One was a tide pool expedition and the other a search for the endangered snowy plover. Once beachside, the MSI volunteers launched right into hands-on activities which were both educational and fun. This experience was especially exciting for those children who had never seen the ocean, and introducing them all to science in a hands-on method made a positive impact on everyone.

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?

A lot

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I spent a few weeks volunteering for MSI over the past two summers and it is always a highlight of my summer. The field trips we go on with camp create a wonderful background for learning about our bay and oceans and adds to the invaluable hands on learning experience available to campers. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of learning the counselors and instructors are able to pack into one week while still making the camp exceedingly fun. Not only that, the camp is able to instill a lasting environmental awareness and morals that I have now had for more than half of my life.

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Volunteering for the Marine Science Institute for summer of 2014 was nothing but fun! I really enjoyed seeing kids of all ages have a great time while learning all about our oceans, bay and environment. I learned a lot this summer and am very happy that I chose to volunteer. I went to MSI as a kid and loved it. Being around our younger generation and seeing them enjoy it as much as I did was heartwarming. We went out on the Robert G. Brownlee, Planted gumplants at the Lucy Evans Nature preserve, went tidepooling at the Bean Hollow State Beach, learned about native plants at Pescadero State Beach and visited the Gulf of the Farallons Marine Sanctuary. I couldn't picture myself enjoying anything as much as I enjoyed helping out with the Marine Science Camp. Volunteering for the Marine Science Institute was a wonderful experience. I would do it all over again but am hoping to become a conselor next summer.

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

No major changes.

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?

A lot

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am so glad that i decided to volunteer at MSI this summer. It was such a great experience, and I loved working with the kids! Not to mention, I had a lot of fun participating in all their activities as well, and learned quite a lot from them. It amazed me how much these tiny kids knew! I also loved working with the counselors and instructors. They were all so friendly and nice to talk to. The program itself is also very enriching. It is filled with field trips, fun educational activities, games, hands on interactions with different marine animals, and lots and lots of FUN!

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?

A lot

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I volunteered at MSI camp all summer and had so much fun! The people are amazing to be around not only because they are fun but because they are helpful and want to help everyone learn. I have learned a lot this summer and can not wait to go back as a counselor next year. I will hopefully also be sending my sister back to camp again next year. She had an amazing time as well. When I have kids, they will most definately be at this camp. Absolutely love MSI and can not reccomend it enough!

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

Not make any. It is awesome!

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?

A lot

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?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
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: 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: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

It has been lots of fun on the boat today. I got to teach the kids a lot which was really cool. *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...

probably keep things as they are, for it is running very smoothly. I would also start studying brown smooth hounds more.

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

everyone here is unique in their own way and fun to work with.

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

expand more and make some renovations like building a larger fish lab.

Ways to make it better...

it were closer to my home, but otherwise it's great.

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

keeping the young kids under control

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

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

9 people found this review helpful

The boat trip was was fun, but we should have done more fish things. *This review was collected during a boat trip and entered by GreatNonprofits staff on behalf of the reviewer

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

the interactive learning

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

not change anything

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

nice and funny

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

PAY the volunteers and buy a high tech boat

Ways to make it better...

the volunteers could do more

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

keeping the kids in control

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  

7 people found this review helpful

I have been going to camp here every year since i was five, a total of 12 years now and I enjoyed myself every time. I worked my way up to volunteer and now counselor in training. I enjoy pretty much anything that keeps me involved, but mostly I enjoy working with the kids. *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...

make sure it keeps running so more kids can enjoy it

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

funny, amazing, geniuses--the best people i have ever met

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

get new and better equipment, purchase the strip of land it is on, hold more camps and activities year round

Ways to make it better...

they would let me be a counselor at 15 instead of 18

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

raising enough money, keeping the kids under control and saving the world

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

everyone puts a lot of hard work and effort into maintaining MSI. It is a great place to be a part of.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2008-7-01

Was this review helpful?