Looking for options outside the house for your family. A day trip to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab can create an adventure to remember for all ages. 

Check out our Summer Excursions, Day Camps and Educator Workshops offered throughout June and July. 

Summer Excursions 

Only $12 per person (adults and children)! Payment is due the morning of the excursion. Children 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult; adults are responsible for their children. Space is limited so reservations are recommended. Please note that Estuarium admission is separate. DISL reserves the right to cancel in case of inclement weather or insufficient participation.

For questions, e-mail summerexcursions@disl.org or call (251) 861-2141 ext. 7545.

Salt Marsh Excursion

2017 Dates: June 15, June 29, July 12, July 20, and July 27 

Salt marshes are not monotonous expanses of grass; they are fascinating coastal wetlands that are critical to our estuary system. After meeting outside the Estuarium, you'll be transported to the Dauphin Island salt marsh to explore this vital ecosystem.

You'll be a marine scientist for a day, using seine nets, yabby pumps, and sieve boxes to collect samples, including crabs, snails, and fish. We’ll leave what we collect because we want our marsh to remain healthy. You'll learn about the important role salt marshes play in the Gulf of Mexico and how they support the seafood we enjoy.

Because of the danger posed by sharp oyster shells, participants need to wear closed-toe shoes that tie or strap on, such as old tennis shoes. Please no flip-flops, Crocs or rubber boots as they get eaten by the marsh mud. Showers and changing facilities will be available after the marsh trip. Due to sharp shells, pointy plants, and other potential dangers, we do not recommend this trip for pre-school children.

Beach, Dune, and Maritime Forest Excursion

2017 Dates: June 1, June 6, June 20, and July 6


A barrier island is not just sand and water – the beach is a thriving habitat with a dynamic dune system and fascinating plants and animals, and higher elevations are covered by lush forest. After meeting outside the Estuarium, we'll walk through the Audubon Bird Sanctuary's maritime forest, then on to the dunes and beach.

You will learn about plants that Indians and colonists used and the benefits of an intact dune system. You're sure to see many coastal animals; occasional highlights include osprey, alligators and dolphins. You'll dig for mole crabs that live in the surf zone and chase scuttling ghost crabs. We'll bring hand lenses, critter containers and hand nets, so we can get up close and personal with the flora and fauna.

We'll walk about a mile and a half, and feet may get wet, so participants should wear comfortable walking shoes they don't mind getting wet.

Day Camps

Oceans Alive!

For ages 5-8
June 16, July 21 or July 31, 2017
Program Cost: $35 per student

The Gulf of Mexico offers a wealth of material for developing minds and curious senses in "Ocean's Alive," a half-day adventure for children ages 5 through 8 and their parents/grandparents. Combining arts and crafts with a beach walk adventure, the educators at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab usher children and adults into a deeper appreciation of the marvelous Alabama coast. Lessons in marine biology, ecology and zoology are introduced in hands-on activities so fun, your children will discover that learning can be a blast! 

Bio Blitz

For ages 8-10
June 9, June 23, or August 1, 2017
Program Cost: $50 per student

This day long camp for ages 8-10 turns campers into Barrier Island Observers. Campers will set out on an expedition across many of the diverse habitats of Dauphin Island, including the beach, salt marsh and maritime forest. They will document their findings, through various creative media, along their journey. While exploring barrier island ecology, students should be prepared to get wet, sandy and muddy!

Survivor: Dauphin Island

For ages 10-13

June 16 (FULL), July 28 or August 2, 2017
Program Cost: $50 per student (parent attendance permitted, but not required)

Join us for a "reel" adventure and put your survival skills to the test. Campers, ages 10-13 years old, will learn about Alabama's fishes, and which ones are edible, how to toss a cast net, how to bait a crab trap, how to drag a seine and how to bring in the catch of the day while pier fishing. Campers will also get up close and personal with their catches as they learn about each different species brought ashore! You never know exactly what you’ll reel in! There will be swim time and an afternoon snack provided in addition to frequent water breaks. 

Educator Workshops

Technology in Marine Science ROVs

Dates: June 11-15, 2017
Deadling for Registration: Open until full

Are you a middle or high school teacher? Do you teach environmental science, marine science, engineering, physics, or physical science? This may be just the workshop for you! Teachers will learn about ROVs, remotely operated vehicles, and how they are used to explore, research, and work in ocean waters too deep or dangerous for humans. Fun field experiences include a trip aboard the R/V Alabama-Discovery and seeing a fully functional ROV at work. Teachers will be provided with ROV materials to take back to their school, where they will assemble a team of students to build and improve a basic ROV. Teams will return to the Sea Lab the following spring for an ROV competition! 

Two teachers per school required, and must have administrative support for team component. 

Fins, Fishes, and Fisheries

Dates: June 18-22, 2017
Deadline for Registration: Open until full

Seafood business is well-known and booming, but how is it all handled? Come to Dauphin Island and learn about fisheries management and the sustainability of the seafood industry. Learn about current fisheries research, trawl in Mobile Bay and offshore areas, visit local aquaculture facilities and practice being a fisheries manager. 

Climate Change in the Gulf of Mexico

Dates: July 16-19, 2017
Deadline for Registration: Open 

The study of climate change is now part of most state’s science frameworks, including Alabama’s new standards.  Our scientific understanding of climate change and its potential impacts is growing quickly.  How up-to-date is your knowledge?  Are you looking for exciting and engaging activities to do in the classroom and in the field with your students?  Join us for this multi-day workshop to learn more about climate change from researchers, conduct related hands-on activities suitable for your students, explore data-rich online resources you can use in your classroom, and develop lesson plans.