girls in saltmarsh with mud on their faces

Sea GEMS: Girls Only Ages 12-14

Girls Exploring Marine Science - Leadership Academy

Must have completed 6th grade and turn 12 by June 1st

Swim in the wake of some truly inspirational marine scientists as you explore the contributions women have made to our understanding of the ocean. Discover their scientific achievements and learn how they have changed the way we explore the marine environment. Begin your own journey from bikini to wetsuit by participating in a research cruise, operating an ROV, investigating morphological and behavioral adaptations in marine life, and exploring Discover Scuba Diving. Did you know female faculty, associates, and students at UNCW are actively conducting research on topics such as marine mammals, sea turtles, corals, sharks, and more-and include an original member of the all-woman aquanauts team who served on the Tektite II mission? Meet and learn from some of these ocean jewels with Sea GEMS (Girls Exploring Marine Science)!

Field excursions include:

  • Ocean research cruise; discover scuba pool session, exploring coastal habitats; field trips to the beach, kayaking, UNCW Center for Marine Science, and other marine facilities.

Highlights include:

  • Participate in a research cruise. Get real hands-on experience with some of the latest research tools such as Vernier probeware and data collectors. Try out diving by participating in a PADI Discover SCUBA diving course. Operate a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) as you explore ocean technology. Learn how to map the ocean floor and analyze side scan sonar data. Develop skills and confidence in leadership roles. Discover the accomplishments of women in marine science. Meet inspirational female marine scientists.

*New leadership curriculum

Program Dates and Tuition

Day of Week:

Sunday - Friday


Friday pick-up/final presentation at 12:30 p.m.

Staff / Student Ratio:


SCUBA Ratio: 1:4

UNCW Campus

Summer 2017 Dates:

June 11 - 16 *NEW

June 25 - 30 Full

July 2 - 7 Full

Residential Tuition:


Gender: Female

Program Application & Registration

Before completing your application, please review the Cancellation Policy | PDF and the expected MarineQuest Student Code of Conduct | PDF.

To complete the teacher recommendation, please have your teacher click here  to submit their recommendation.

Please Note: A completed application does not register you for your program. All applications will first be reviewed by the MarineQuest Staff and upon acceptance, you will receive an e-mail explaining the next step in the registration process.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page.
• Note that prices, content, dates, and times are subject to change without notice.
• Questions? Call 910.962.2640 or send an e-mail to
• Website and program content © UNCW MarineQuest