Field Trip Planning

How many students can I bring?

  • We can accommodate a maximum of 140 participants (students, teachers, and chaperones) per day from all school groups.
  • Class sizes are limited to 35 participants (students, teachers, and chaperones).
  • Larger groups will be split into smaller groups to accomodate the maximum class size.
  • Pricing is per group of up to 35 participants.
  • It’s recommended to split larger groups before arriving on campus to maximize learning time.
  • DISL’s educational facilities and programs are for the express use of your classroom students. Children not in your class are not permitted to attend.

What is the parents/chaperones ratio?

  • K5 -5th grade / 5 students: 1 adult
  • 6th -8th grade / 7 students: 1 adult
  • 9th -12th grade / 10 students: 1 adult

Due to limited space, parents/chaperones exceeding this ratio may not be able to attend all activities and there may not be dorm space available.

Allowances are made for students that require additional support or supervision.

Chaperone Guide

How many participants can I bring on a boat trip?

  • Maximum capacity for a vessel trip is 37. With a full class group of 35 students, only two teachers or chaperones can also attend.
  • If you have an unusually large number of parents who wish to participate in the vessel trip, we suggest scheduling two trips to accommodate all members of your group.
  • Middle and high school students (grades 7-12) can take the 4-hour trip or split larger groups into two 2-hour trips, while 5th and 6th-grade students can take the 2-hour trip.

Chaperone Guide

What is the timeline for reserving and planning a field trip?

  • Peak dates may require a one to two-year reservation before your desired date.
    • Spring: Mid-March through the first week of May
    • Fall: Mid-September through early November
  • A waiting list is available for peak times.
  • Vacancies are available throughout the year.

How do I schedule a field trip?

  • Contact the Scheduling Coordinator Jennifer Latour to book your trip, reserve dorm and cafeteria space, and pay a trip deposit.
  • Email:
  • Phone: 251-861-2141 ext. 7511

The following information will help in finding availability for your group.

  • Number of students
  • Grade level(s) of students
  • Date and length of preferred visit (day trip or overnight)
  • Arrival and departure times
  • Programs of interest

Remember when scheduling, planning, and organizing…

  • Allow adequate time to move into dorms
  • Sort students into class groups before your first scheduled activity
  • Overnight groups schedules are sent prior to arrival

What should students wear?

  • Comfortable clothing appropriate for the weather and scheduled class. (rain jackets may be needed)
  • Shoes should tie or strap on securely.
  • Sneakers that can bet muddy are best.
  • Sandal-type shoes (Crocs©, Keens©, Tevas©, etc) are not permitted for field activities.
  • Rain boots are discouraged for the salt marsh class, because students will frequently be in water up to or past their knees. This will cause the boots to fill with water, get stuck, and easily slip off feet.

Day Field Trip Packing List

Overnight Field Trip Packing List

Is there housing on campus for my overnight field trip?

  • There are two dormitories available.
  • Each dorm accomodates up to 86 people.
    • First floor: 40
    • Second floor: 46
  • Each room has two twin beds.
  • Two people per room.

Dorm Rules and Packing

Dorm information for groups.

  • Groups with 35 participants or less will be assigned to one dorm floor.
  • Groups with 36-70 participants will have an entire dorm to themselves.
  • Groups with more than 70 participants will spill over to the second dorm, and depending on total numbers, may or may not be sharing the second dorm with another group.
  • Groups will never be asked to share a floor with another school group.

Dorm Amenities

  • Communal restrooms are located at either end of each floor.
  • Lounge/common room available on the first floor.
  • Groups assigned to the second floor can request classroom space in the evenings for your group to gather.
  • Groups assigned to the second floor are discouraged from roaming the downstairs hallway or use the common room.
  • Snack machines are available in the common room.
  • Groups will need to bring linens/pillows/blankets.

Is there a cafeteria on campus?

  • May’s Cafe can be reserved for meals.
  • Special dietary needs can be accomodated with advance notice.
  • Minimum of 20 participants required for reservation.
  • Groups with less than 20 participants will be charged for 20 people per meal.
  • School Group Meal Rates:
    • Breakfast (served 7 a.m. to 8 a.m.) $6.50
    • Lunch (served 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) $8.50
    • Dinner (served 5 p.m. to 6 p.m.) $11.50

Medical and Allergy Form

Where are you located?

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab is located on Dauphin Island. Find directions and a campus map here.

Media Release Form