Marine Science Institute is a gem in our community. Over the years my family has participated in the canoe trip, low tide walk, school field trips, and summer camp, including the middle school trip with an overnight stay on the Robert S. Brownlee. Every event has been very informative and fun. The staff are very friendly.
MSI provides our family and the entire bay area community a unique and positive resource for kids to learn, stay active, appreciate the natural world around us, and care for the planet. We have done beach walks, tide tours, whale watching, canoeing, camps, shark days and many other activities with them, and our kids always beg to go back. The instructors are energetic, knowledgeable, caring and inclusive, and fun for the kids. A true amenity of living in the bay area. Please join their activities and donate if you can to ensure the health of this great institution.
The family whale watching excursion was AMAZING! The stars aligned for us and we had a great day on the calm water seeing a few pods of orcas and a couple of humpback whales. The crew was very engaging and informative. Highly recommend this trip and supporting a wonderful community organization. My kids have also participated in their one-week camps and have loved it.
We had a really fun outing in Half Moon Bay with MSI to look at tidepools on 4/17/2021. The staff was so great! Really helpful, really enthusiastic, very patient with the kids. It was a wonderful experience and I would definitely recommend it to others.
We had a fantastic time at the tidepooling event last weekend with MSI’s expert instructors! Their knowledge, enthusiasm and patience with our endless questions made for a really memorable learning experience. Really impressed with the quality of this program. Can’t wait to sign up for more!
Marine Science Institute organized a virtual field trip for my students during distance learning. They offered a very informative presentation in small groups and they kept all my students engaged and interested in all the information they provided.
It was a very enriching experience for my students and a great way to promote caring for our planet.
Had great time at Shark Day program. The weather was amazing, learned a lot about sharks, were able to touch and feed them. The staff is amazing and friendly, great with kids. Felt really safe with new COVID-19 precautions. Had wonderful time outside.
Our learning pod had a great time on the Ecovoyage last weekend. Our group of two 7th graders, two 5th graders, and one 1st grader enjoyed the exploration of the bay and learning more about the local ecosystem. We got to "fish," do a "mud grab," and touch / observe several different fish species, invertebrates, and even a ray and a leopard shark. Highly recommend.
My kids and I went on the Ecovoyage last weekend and we all loved it. My daughter is a fifth grader and my son is in second grade. We learned so much about the bay and what lives in it. We even got to pet several animals including a leopard shark and a ray. It was a beautiful day on the bay and the staff was incredible. We learned a lot from the planned program but we also asked a lot of questions and got even more. Our leader (Stephanie, I think) was knowledgeable, interesting, patient, and thorough. All four members of the staff seemed to take pride in and enjoy what they were doing. I plan do do another MSI program in future. I think we all want to do the Tide Pooling next.
Our 2nd grader had a wonderful time at MSI summer camp during summer 2020. The health & safety procedures were stringent and the kids still had a wonderful time. He learned so much about the ecology of the Bay and all of the wonderful animals that inhabit it. He took me back to "camp" this weekend for a half-day canoe trip and we had a wonderful time! The expedition leaders were incredibly knowledgeable and friendly and managed our group size with ease. Procedures remained very stringent and we felt safe the entire time. We had an absolutely lovely day paddling, learning about the plant life, cleaning up the marshlands, and observing the marine life in the aquarium. Great experience; thank you, MSI!
The crew at MSI is fantastic! They have helped to spark and nurture an interest for the life, love, and well-being of our Bay Area marine friends. MSI gives our son another adventure to be able to share with us. We enjoy learning about rays, flounders, and anemones as much as he does! Keep up the great work!
Marine Science Institute is celebrating 50 years of providing hands-on (and now safe distancing in smaller groups with regular disinfecting). Reviews and support from the community have been very encouraging in this difficult time.
The children and parents I have met on the Brownlee 90' research vessel have been enthusiastic and truly engaged in the scientifically based activities that are fun for all ages. This is one of the true gems of the Bay Area environmental organizations.
Although the focus is on teaching K-12 students about marine science, the underlying purpose of the Marine Science Institute is broader: promote science literacy, give young children an opportunity to meet and interact with real scientists, and provide adult role models, especially for girls. While COVID-19 has virtually eliminated MSI's program of classroom visits, it's still holding limited classes on its campus and taking children out on San Francisco Bay on its 90-foot research vessel R/V Robert G. Brownlee.
While its curricula are aligned with state standards, the best measure of its success isn't simply the knowledge gained by the students. It's the smiles on their faces as they recognize their own competence and envision another possible future for them.
MSI is my son’s happy place! He can never get enough! The programs are well run, affordable, educational, and most of all, very fun! I also appreciate the dedication and caring nature of the counselors.
MSI offers outstanding camps and classes. My son has learned so much through his experiences here and always wants to go back. As a parent I feel safe dropping off my son here since they are so organized with a mature staff. My son has a passion for marine biology and this is the only organization I found to meet his needs.
Marine Science Institute is a gem of the Bay Area. Their programs bring marine science to life and teach kids to be in touch with the wonders of their environment. Their staff are amazing - uplifting, excited, responsible, communicative, and smart. My second grade son absolutely loved his week long day camp this fall, a prior day camp in summer 2019, and my whole family has enjoyed visits to MSI on weekends in the past. Max endorsement!
We sent two kids to Marine Science Institute camp for Fall Break October 2020. We chose this camp due to it being outdoors in nature and the covid protocols they are following (our chosen criteria). The kids had a blast! Outdoors everyday exploring marine life, playing and catching fish. We heard many stories of the marine life, about different fish, rays and sharks. The staff were great and looked after the kids. One of my kids now wants to be a marine biologist when she grows up! We will certainly be back.
Kids had a great time at the one week camp at Marine Science institute. The couldn't stop talking about all the fish they saw and touched. Camp was also very well organized with masks, temperature checking outdoor setting and social distancing.
My two homeschooled kids had an awesome week at MSI. The staff was very professionally educated about Covid protocols and executed them on every detailed items. That really gives us parents a peace of mind knowing kids are safely having outdoor camps.
The curriculum was well designed with live sea animal captures and studies. My kids thoroughly enjoyed this camp.
Marine science has been my kids' favourite instittue for field trips in school. They were thrilled to go to MSI fall camp when they heard about it. MSI camp did a great job while keeping kids outdoor and super engaged . It also made them chance to touch marine animals with care. The staff was amazing , practiced covid safety protocol well. Staff also got kids super engaged in nature walk , outdoor games and fun activities thru out the day. My kids had 10k Steps goal met every day before lunch which was incredible. Thank you MSI staff .
I have been volunteering for the Marine Science Institute for around 4 years now. The atmosphere is great for new volunteers, as well as for the kids, who get to learn new thing about marine life every day. Each one of the counselors and instructors are very kind, and try their best to make everyone feel included. Overall, I could not imagine volunteering for any other organization other than MSI, due to the community being such a great and supportive one!
I've been a summer volunteer for 2 years, and plan to come back for another 2. I started volunteering here because I attended one of their camps when I was younger and fell in love with the camp. I absolutely love volunteering. They have a beautiful facility and are extraordinarily dedicated to their jobs. I have only met kindhearted staff members since I started volunteering and they helped me to become much better at working with young children. I'm very glad I decided to come back!
I've been a summer volunteer at MSI for 4 years now and it's just an amazing place over all. The counselors and staff are super friendly and easy to work with, everyone is passionate about about what they do, and the kids always seem to have so much fun. Would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in science and works well with kids.
My son Izaan has been a Junior Volunteer for 1 year and a summer camper for 5 years at MSI. It is hands down his most favorite thing to do in the summer. He thrives on the learning opportunities and loves the people who work there. I expect he will be volunteering there for years to come. Thank you MSI for further developing his passion and helping him develop so much over the years.
I had such an incredible volunteer experience here I decided to major in Environmental Management and Protection at Cal Poly! I love MSI and they taught me so much!
My 4th Graders had an fabulous time at the Marine Science Institute's summer camp this summer (2019). It was a wonderful learning experience combined by traditional camp fun.
The Marine Science Institute provided my son an amazing summer camp experience! He was excited by the opportunity to participate in the Underwater Investigators session to learn about biomimicry - a perfect topic for his age group - and was fully engaged in the content which was so thoughtfully put together during the week. Each day he shared his excitement around what he'd done and all he'd learned - from canoeing through the local sloughs and interacting with marine life in the MSI aquarium, to an amazing day aboard MSI's research vessel to investigate marine life in the San Francisco Bay. I was so impressed with camp staff - their knowledge about and passion for marine science is truly inspiring. I was equally impressed by camp leadership and found Alex, in particular, to be responsive, always accessible, and a wonderful ambassador for MSI and the summer camp experience. My son enjoyed every minute with MSI and this was by far the most excited and engaged I’ve seen him in any summer camp session. He now considers himself a Marine Biologist in the making and looks forward to staying involved with MSI and its work. My sincere thanks to Alex, Maddie and the rest of the crew for providing such a fantastic and memorable experience !
As both a teacher and a parent, my experience with Marine Science Institute has been exceptional. I have found the staff very knowledgeable, incredibly professional, and extremely engaging. As a teacher, the depth of subject matter was impressive. The students were fully involved in the lessons thanks to the planning and energy of the staff. As a parent, my child has continually wanted to return to the summer camps each year. He comes home each day of camp with energy and so much to share!
I highly recommend Marine Science Institute and commend the staff for their hard work and dedication.
I have been going to MSI for about three years now and it has been an amazing experience. It will change your way of thinking about the ocean and you really learn how to respect it. And the most exciting -THE FIELD TRIPS! They take you on a lot of field trips. Last time I went to MSI for one week and three out of five days, we were on a field trip. I especially like their field trip that takes you on their research vessel, the Robert G. Brownlee. On the vessel, we do catch and release, a mud grave and we look at plankton under a microscope. It is really fun!
MSI is an amazing organization that provides incredible opportunities for kids and families. We have attended their beach days where incredible naturalists lead adventures educating kids on marine life. We went to ano nuevo to see the sea lions during their annual birthing season. Each summer, my daughter attends their camp, which is a highlight of the summer. The counselors are energetic, fun, educated, and inspiring. The camp is substantive and a truly unique opportunity for kids.
Can't say enough nice things about MSI and its staff. My daughter started out as a Camper there, and with that instilled a sense of respect for our environment.. She had gone there almost every summer while growing up. She has become a Steward of the Bay, she has taught other students a love of our Bay and how to protect it. An environmental warrior with the drive to teach others and have lots of fun along the way. Still today she is a staff member, along with so many other wonderful staff members.
MSI offers an engaging, hands-on experience with well trained, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable instructors who just love to working with children, and it shows in the time and effort that is put in to each of their programs so that they make learning fun, and the kids retain the information.
They have a unique learning experience that gave my daughter the love and enthusiasm for Environmental Issues, both at home and abroad.
She went from Summer Camper, to Intern to her dream job as a full-time staff member.
Can't say enough great things about MSI, just so very happy that they are a part of our life and out community!
Marine Science Institute - Kelp Forest Presentation -
Being a Special Ed Teacher, I usually attend assemblies with the assumption that I will take many (or all) of my students back to class before the end. I am surprised, impressed, and, proud to say that all of my students stayed until the end of the assembly, and they were engaged most of the time.
The staff was amazing with our students, and they were able to meet our students at their skill set. We are so thankful for this opportunity!
We have had many experiences with MSI through the years - summer camp, a school field trip, EcoVoyages and most recently a canoe trash cleanup. My daughter has loved summer camp - she can't wait until she is old enough to do a sleepover on the boat. Due to a mix-up by our school, our field trip 2 years ago could have been a disaster. However, MSI was very accomodating, and the field trip was a success. During our last EcoVoyage, our son was finally old enough to participate. The captain had heard of my son's current obsession with shipwrecks and navigated to one in the bay, so we could see it up close - my son was in alt. My children also really enjoyed a bay trash cleanup... in a canoe! They were so excited about the balloon, plastic bag, and other trash they found that they nearly toppled the boat. MSI has allowed each of my children to develop a personal relationship with the bay. Thank you!
We have worked with MSI for 17 years, the Discovery Voyage is the highlight of our school year! The students really enjoy the hands-on education and high level, local connections to the curriculum. I really appreciate how much the MSI curriculum has grow and adapted to my needs as an AP science teacher. I also appreciate that he students are able to see a broad range of science research pathways and opportunities.
Marine Science Institute is a fantastic organization. I've brought my nephew to their public events and he loved the interactive activities, especially pulling in the net with the other children onto the beach to see what bay critters they could catch. The instructors are wonderful with children (my nephew is 7) and can take complex ideas and simplify for their understanding. The aquarium was also a highlight. My nephew loved seeing the sharks, sea stars, and other fish. We can't wait for the next event!
MSI is such a great place or kids and adults to learn about the San Francisco Bay and all of its wildlife. The kids remember it for years and love to come back again and again.
I first visited MSI for a school trip in the third grade, and absolutely loved it. In fact, I loved it so much I begged my mom to sign me up for summer camp right away! I had always been interested in science, but MSI sparked a real love for marine biology and conservation that's still with me to this day. I went to MSI summer camp every year until I aged out of their camp programs, at which point I started volunteering.
The staff at MSI are great people who love their jobs and have a passion for education and conservation. The programs themselves are fun and hands-on, encouraging kids to put on their "scientist goggles" and learn by doing, not just listening. Personally, I cannot recommend it enough, especially for budding scientists who like the water and don't mind getting a little dirty.
My son and nieces and nephews have really benefited from and enjoyed MSI camps and the Earth Day celebration. They provide hands on access to the creatures in our Bay which is very engaging for the kids (and me!). I am also completely confident in the science-based management & professionalism of their programs. As a parent, there is no icky feeling that the animals here might be harmed at the expense of giving kids a learning experience. Yay!
The Marine Science Institute in Redwood City offers some incredibly unique and rare opportunities for kids in the bay area to experience local marine life and marine biology education first hand. Having participatied in several boat trips with school groups of all ages, I saw the wonder and excitement both kids and teachers experienced as they helped bring in fish like bat rays and halibut. The crew made every part of the experience educational and extremely safe. Highly recommend this to every school in the bay area and beyond.
The Marine Science Institute has been a huge part of my life for almost 20 years. I worked at MSI for 7 years and believe so much in the mission that I didn't stay away for long! For the last 10 years, I have been serving on the Board of Directors. MSI offers students the chance to have hands-on experiences with local marine life through their top-notch school programs and summer camp. There is a reason why MSI has such great reviews! The instructors are knowledgeable, experienced educators who provide students with opportunities to explore and make their own observations. I have friends who went on MSI's research vessel when they were in school and still rave about the trip. And there are teachers who participated in the program as students who now bring their classes every year. MSI is a well-loved organization and a huge value to the Bay Area!
My 3 children have had a fabulous time at MSI's Camps. The camp offers an unique experience - engaging, fun and experiential learning. I highly recommend. We are now excited to try some of the family experiences available during the school year.
Wonderful place for my teenager son to develop his love for the environment and the marine life. We treasure it very much!
We took our 5 yr old on an ecovoyage on the Robert G. Brownlee and loved the whole experience. The staff that welcomed us aboard were very friendly and accomodating. My son loved that he got to touch a bat ray which he helped catch straight from the bay! Lots of hands-on experiences suitable for his age. He learned a lot and still talks about it, two weeks later! Will definitely be back and recommending to friends and family :)
An absolutely Fantastic Day canoeing with the MSI staff; Kaitlyn and Ashley! Not only were they great instructors on safety and technique, their wonderful energy brought out perfect weather :). There were fun and educational activities for all ages as well. I highly recommend this guided event for anyone!
The Marine Science Institute is a very important community partner on the peninsula. Their field trips are designed for the Next Generation Science Standards and provide students with wonderful local phenomena and hands-on experiences that help them become better stewards of the environment. MSI is also helping teachers transition to the Next Generation Science Standards. I greatly appreciate all they do.
I first became aware of the Marine Science Institute as a parent. My family used to attend the Earth Day celebration and was lucky enough to go out on the Robert G. Brownlee. My kids were delighted to see all the creatures that live in the bay. Pulling in the net and making the mud grab made them feel like scientists and adventurers. When I returned to teaching, I was delighted to see that MSI was working with local schools to learn about and teach the Next Generation Science Standards. The educational experiences offered through MSI are a very valuable part of student learning, but also fun. Now I am a science coach for my district. I am recommending all the teachers look into field trips, classroom visits and collaboration with the Marine Science Institute.
My daughter and I took a trip on the Robert G. Brownlee one Saturday. We learned so much about the Bay and our often-overlooked local marine environment. The best part were the MSI leaders, whose enthusiasm was contagious. More outings and volunteer work are planned.
We're so lucky to have the MSI.
The Marine science does in school fieldtrips at our school each year, TK -grade 6. All of our students love the experience and get so excited when they know they are coming.
We also take our6th graders out on the boat and the trip is one of the highlights of the year. Students get so excited to pait their faces with bay mud and collect fish specimens in the net.
We are a Title I school and without donations from companies and individuals we would not be able to afford these wonderful programs.
The Marine Science Institute was highly enjoyable and informational! I went here as part of the NGSS initiation program. I learned a lot about the creatures that lived in the San Francisco Bay and why they chose to live there.
We love having Marine Science come to our school. The cost of a school bus for field trips is around $700 for 3-4 hours. But when MSI visits are school with their marine life our students are so excited. They get to touch, observe, and learn interesting facts about the marine life they've been hearing about or reading about but most of them have never seen one. It's interesting to see the students interact with the sea creatures, some are very timid at first but then begin to get braver and encourage their classmates to touch a crab, or pet the shark. In addition to the hands-on experience the MSI staff also tell the children about how they can help keep the marine life safe. It's wonderful to see the students walk away with ideas of how they can help protect the marine life. They also hold a teacher event where we can register for them to come visit our school, explore the tanks of live marine life. I Love MSI, they are informing our next generation how they can help to make our world a better place for human and animal life to coexist.
One of our kids has attended MSI summer camp for 3 years , and the other kid attended once so far -- they love the MSI camp counselors and all the fun (educational) activities they do. The kids really enjoyed the camp field trips (beach, California Academy of Sciences, boat trip). As a family, we've gone to Earth Day at MSI, which was filled with different fun activities (including fishing with the big net). We also went on an elephant seal nature walk with MSI at Ano Nuevo beach - the staff are extremely friendly and knowledgable. All of our experiences have been positive with MSI -- they have inspired our older kid to aspire to be a marine scientist one day!
My daughter first discovered the Marine Science Institute on a school field trip and loved it. She since set her mind on being a Marine Biologist. We started attending outings as a family and have had great times observing and learning about a variety of marine life. As a middle schooler, she's now looking forward to volunteering next summer and learning more about the field. Thank you for giving our daughter and other kids so many opportunities to have hands-on experiences learning about science and the environment!
The staff are well informed and the activities that I have attended so far have been awesome! Fun and educational.
My son attended an excellent 1 week camp for middle school students. He thoroughly enjoyed every activity, and got to do experiments, take samples, and learn about the marine wildlife of our bay. The highlight of the camp was the Thursday-Friday overnight aboard the research vessel, where they visited Angel Island, the Golden Gate Bridge and other sights on the SF Bay.
MSI's team of dedicated, intelligent, and kind people make this non-profit stand out. Through education and outreach, MSI engages kids and adults and educates the community through awesome programs, curriculum, special events and boat trips. These are the kind of programs that kids remember their whole life, what wonderful resource for teachers, students and the general community.
I work at a local brewery, and we often partner with MSI for special events and fundraisers. MSI is truly one of the coolest orgs in the Bay Area, showing that through engaging education, we learn about the interconnection of all things and our responsibility to conserve and care for our planet. Go get on the research vessel boat tour of the Bay! Do a mud trawl, donate and volunteer!
My high school classes have benefited tremendously from our partnerships with MSI over the years - be it as a part of a middle school mentorship program, or studying the marine life of the SF bay. Their staff is incredibly accommodating and helpful in tailoring programming to my specific group of students.
I volunteered to help beach cleanup at Ocean Beach and a few other smaller events. I think MSI does a great deal with what they have to further the mission of educating and inspiring young local minds about their impact to the world they live in. The best way to inspire global change is to make young people aware and responsible for their local environments.
The Marine Science Institute is one of the best nonprofits in the Bay Area. The programs are detailed to the students, the instructors are passionate about their craft, and the activities are interesting, engaging, and fun. My students (over 120) know more about their surroundings now than they ever will.
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
Marine Science Institute summer camps offered my three children the chance to get dirty and learn about marine life in the San Francisco Bay through fantastic hands-on activities. No other program has had such impact on my kids, now young adults. I believe the MSI summer camps instilled values including the importance of protecting living creatures and their environments and brought about a curiosity about nature which is still seen in them. MSI has a dynamite program with extraordinary staff that is not only exciting and fun, but really takes “hands-on” experiences to the highest level! A ride on the Brownlee 90-ft research vessel is a MUST! There is nothing like being out on the Bay for a day, never happier than when we drag the net up to the touch pools and we get to lean in and see a bat ray and a leopard shark and everything is exciting!! We even met Alexandra Cousteau at the 40th Anniversary Party! I hope MSI is still going strong in another 45 years!! We are so glad to have been a part of this wonderful organization!
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.
A FULL 5 STARS! MSI is the best. I have helped out as a volunteer there numerous times, and also took the boat trip out on the bay. The staff is fantastic, and knowledgable, and what they teach about the bay and marine life is a must learn for both adults and children a like. I cant say enough about how great they are and an asset to the Bay Area!
My daughter loved her years at camp. Now she wants to be a camp counselor there! That says something.
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.
What a wonderful experience for kids, my daughter loved it and learned so much!