Oceanography Camp Especially for Girls

Mission Statement

Mission Statement

The Oceanography Camp Especially for Girls was developed to inspire and motivate teens entering high school to consider career opportunities in the sciences. Our motto is: “Encouraging a positive sense of self, science, and the environment through ocean exploration.”

Each three week program provides hands-on, real-world experiences in both laboratory and field environments. Under the interdisciplinary umbrella of oceanography, participants are directly involved in disciplines in which women and minorities are most often underrepresented — chemistry, geology, physics, engineering and mathematics. The strengths of this program are:

  • Interdisciplinary learning that focuses on both physical and natural sciences as well as math and ecology
  • Participation in real-world research projects and problem solving
  • Graduate student mentors capable of not only teaching science but also identifying with campers on levels that both inspire and increase their confidence about science
  • One-on-one mentoring between teen-aged girls and research scientists
  • Alumni campers, who serve as peer mentors to “new” campers while enhancing their communication and leadership skills\
  • Oceanography is FUN! And having fun makes learning easy.

Why Especially Girls? In the 1990s several national studies revealed a tremendous drop in the number of women pursuing math and science degrees. To address this shortfall on a local level, the USF College of Marine Science began the first Oceanography Camp Especially for Girls. The especially girls setting dissolves social barriers to learning, creates a comfortable “risk-free” environment, and cultivates a positive sense of self.

The Oceanography Camp provides hands-on learning experience in real-world research environments and introduces participants to female graduate students, scientists and other professionals, who provide mentoring. Oceanography is a highly interdisciplinary field, combining biology, chemistry, geology, physics, math, and computer sciences & technology. This makes oceanography an amazing discipline for our unified approach to learning, both for teens with very specific interests, and for teens who may not have decided what branch they like best yet! Under the interdisciplinary umbrella of oceanography, campers are directly involved in:

  • Field Observations
  • Laboratory Experimentation
  • Analysis & Presentation
  • Water Recreation & Safety

“The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever”
— Jacques Cousteau