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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Education, Educational Services, Environment, Environmental Education, Marine Science & Oceanography, Technology, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

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.

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

MSI has been our field trip of choice for the last several years. They have adapted with us as the science standards have changed, more recently to those of Common Core. We attend yearly and use the field trip as a frontloading opportunity to our unit on animal traits and characteristics, how they have adapted to survive, etc. The lessons are understandable for English learners as well as English speakers. Academic language is used, with the docents explaining their word choices and showing how they apply to the specific area we are studying--the sharks, the mud, fish, etc. The teaching and learning is sufficiently arresting that we schedule a year in advance to make sure we get "our" time. In my 35 years of teaching, this is the only trip that we very consistently plan for each and every year, due to to its high quality, high interest, and accessibility to our children. We also use the scholarship each year, to be able to provide this enriching experience to all of our first grade children.

1 Linda441

Client Served

Rating: 4

My daughter loved her years at camp. Now she wants to be a camp counselor there! That says something.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

What a wonderful experience for kids, my daughter loved it and learned so much!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Marine Science Institute is doing a fantastic job of getting young kids excited about science in general, and marine science in particular. I love it and my son loves it! We've gone to numerous events and camps they've put on and look forward to doing more.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

LOVE MSI! My kids had the best time at summer camp & can't wait to go back! They come home and teach us so much about our local wetlands, have such a great excitement and love for our environment, and best of all, are happy & exhausted! It's their favorite camp!

1 Hayley U.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I worked at MSI for 9 years. It is an amazing organization. At my new job I am bringing my students here so they can learn and experience marine life. MSI gives so many schools, families, communities the opportunity to learn about the nature in their own backyard.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My children have attended summer camp at MSI for the last 3 years and loved it. They came home everyday full of stories about what they saw and learned, and they were able to apply the knowledge directly when we visited the nearby Monterey Bay Aquarium. Great job Felicia and team! We can't wait to come back next summer!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Marine Science Institute comes out to our school every year for their Inland Voyage program. My students always are engaged while they are here presenting their lessons. The reach students who would not normally be able to see live marine organisms. It is a wonderful program!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My fifth grade students took the voyage last year out on the Bay and it was extremely beneficial to their learning. My students ranged from never having been on the Bay to some that go out monthly, but very few actually knew about the life in the Bay. The students walked away with language they continued to use in the classroom and a deeper understanding of our ecosystem. This was absolutely a phenomenal trip and we will be doing it again this year.

Maggie47

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our school LOVES Marine Science institute. One of the great things about them is that when we bring our groups, all special education students, they learn so much!! The hands on experiences really help our students absorb information.