Ocean CHEMystery (Ages 15-17) heading banner

Click here to ApplyClick here for our cancellation policyClick here for our code of conduct

Must have completed 9th grade and turn 15 by June 1st. Must not turn 18 before July 31st.

Prerequisite: must have completed at least one basic chemistry class.

Discover the underlying chemical basis for some of the ocean's most mysterious environmental challenges. Why do tuna contain mercury? Why do whales have blisters? Why are corals dissolving? Experiment with analytical techniques that forensic chemists use to solve these kinds of mysteries. Learn how chemicals cycle through our atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere to impact life in the ocean. Understand the importance of ocean chemistry for all biological life forms. Investigate the chemical basis for different types of marine pollution. Explore a variety of coastal habitats while collecting data to monitor the marine environment.

Field excursions include:

  • Ocean research cruise; going to the beach, fouling community, marsh; tours of Center for Marine Science.

Highlights include:

  • Interact with UNCW scientists involved in ocean monitoring; experiment in university labs; learn how to use field equipment for sampling and analysis of water and sediments; monitor potential algal blooms; kayaking; boogie board oceanography; shallow water snorkeling.

Useful Links:

Program Dates and Tuition

Program Dates and Tuition

Day of Week:

Sunday / Monday - Friday


8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

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

Residential students must arrive on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. while commuting students join the program Monday at 8:00 a.m.

Staff / Student Ratio:



UNCW Campus

Summer 2019 Dates:

June 23 - 28

July 14 - 19

Commuter Tuition:


Residential Tuition:




Program Application & Registration

You must register by 5:00 p.m. the Wednesday before your program is to begin.

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.

Residential Information

MarineQuest Airline Information | PDF

The MarineQuest staff is more than happy to pick-up and drop-off students at Wilmington International Airport at no cost. An airline request form is required (see above link for more details).

Residential FAQ's

  • Linens are provided - DO NOT bring sheets, pillows, and blankets.
  • Laundry facilities are available at no cost - bring detergent
  • No electronic equipment (including cell phones) is allowed.
  • You will receive a Welcome Packet with detailed information on what to bring after registering.

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