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Acadia Institute of Oceanography


Acadia Institute of Oceanography
P.O. Box 285
Seal Harbor, Maine 04685


Acadia Institute of Oceanography teaches young people in the best classroom of all--nature. The two-week program at Acadia is a unique, hands-on camp designed to teach attendees and instill in them a love of sea life. Based in the village of Seal Harbor on the southern end of Mount Desert Island, Maine, AIO is just three blocks from the beach and docks and close to Acadia National Park.

The waters off of Mount Desert Island are rich in plankton and a variety of species of fish and marine mammals. There is an entire ecosystem for Acadia students to learn about oceanography, including rivers and estuaries which serve as ocean nurseries, rocky tidal pools that shelter invertebrates and small fish, and mud flats and marshes with entirely new environments and species for study.

The Acadia Institute of Oceanography staffs an experienced and qualified core of educators who provide hands-on instruction and fun activities. The staff is made up of classroom teachers, practicing scientists and researchers. Also on staff are a full-time nurse, a professional chef, a recreation coordinator and interns. The Acadia curriculum includes evening lectures that provide background information for field activities, mini-seminars about topics in oceanography, also optional morning lessons in laboratory techniques and a student project of designing and maintaining a saltwater aquarium.

Students of Acadia stay in the 1931 Dunham Schoolhouse, built by John D. Rockefeller as a gift to the village of Seal Harbor. It is a restored classic American red brick schoolhouse with comfortable dormitory accommodations and school facilities including a lecture hall, recreation room, a research wet laboratory, library, director's office, nurse's office, dining room, bathrooms and showers.

Quick Facts

  • More than 180 young people attend the Acadia Institute of Oceanography each year.

  • Individual sessions are limited to 44 students.

  • The student to instructor ratio is approximately four to one.

  • Over the summer, AIO offers one-week introductory sessions, two-week intermediate sessions and two-week advanced sessions.

  • Prior oceanographic experience is neither assumed nor required.

  • In addition to the summer program in Maine, AIO offers a program in Belize every other winter and a winter Florida seminar.


  • This school profile has been compiled and updated by The CollegeBound Network. The school is not affiliated with The CollegeBound Network and shall not be considered a sponsor of this program.

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