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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

15 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful place with an excellent learning program for children of all ages. Our son has been coming here fro camp every summer since he was 4 (he's 9 now) an he loves it! We will most certainly be attending next summer as well

Keep up the great work MSI crew!!

Best - Jim and Kainoa Fotheringham

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We've sent our kids to the MSI summer camp for 4 years, and it's a wonderful way to expose them to the local marine biology. The organization is very well run.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great field trips, awesome camps! Such a unique place. My kids love how hands on it is. They have learned so much about fish and Bay conservation there. It is definitely a favorite and I feel lucky to have it close by!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Best engaging summer camps! And terrific birthday party educational program. LOVE THIS PLACE! We're annual members also.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing teaching location. The staff is so knowledgable and the science camps are amazing.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My children have been to summer camp at MSI, and we also went to an Earth Day event there in 2016. They always walk away excited to learn more about marine science. Can't really ask for more than your children excited about learning and having a good time with the staff at MSI. Big thumbs up :-)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter came here on a fieldtrip and had the best time! Everyone was very friendly, patient and engaging, and she came home excited for us to take our own field trip to Half Moon Bay. Definitely a worthwhile trip!

Mark186

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Both of our children have participated in MSI summer programs multiple times, and every summer they learn new things and have a fantastic experience! I highly recommend it to anyone!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MSI is my favorite bay area institution for taking my 6-year-old son, who loves marine animals and wants to be a scientist. They make science fun and local. What could be better?

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first met the Marine Science Institute team when I signed up for a mixed ages experience of San Francisco Bay on their boat. It was a terrific experience seeing the various ways they have of teaching about what lives in the waters and mud of the bay.

Delighted with my experience I sponsored a twelve-year old girl for a week of camp. She was thrilled and says it is the best thing she has ever done. The following fall she began to take her school work more seriously and made such good grades that she was added to the Honor Roll. The MRI experience wasn't the entire reason for her renewed interest in her school work, but I believe it opened her eyes to what doing science is like. She met the excellent staff including the scientists aboard and could imagine doing it herself after college.

I highly recommend MRI for their learning experiences and your donor dollars. This is an excellent group to support knowing you will be making a difference for the many children served.

Caroline Beverstock, Atherton, CA