Students’ Perspective on the Program


Imagine being fully immersed in the world of marine sciences, having faculty readily available to help build the skills necessary for you become a research scientist. Imagine having the ocean and specialized laboratory facilities as your “classroom.” If this sounds appealing, then consider applying for the “Semster by the Sea”(SBS) program at the Darling Marine Center. Your playground is the ocean and your mentors are world renowned for their research. You will learn about concepts and theories and then explore these concepts “hands on” in the surrounding environment. With the use of the research vessel the “IRA C”, and the extensive local intertidal regions, nothing is unreachable. Virtually every day you will be able to experience marine science in its natural realm, providing far more understanding and clarity then ever possible from a book and blackboard. All this combined with a beautiful campus, up-to-date facilities and — importantly — very talented chefs, can culminate into an experience of a lifetime.

Student-Faculty Interactions

In typical years, SBS class size ranges from around 10-15 students, allowing plenty of time for one-on-one interaction with the professors. Also, students only attend one class per day, allowing for both a lecture and actual field experience nearly five days per week! There is no better way to learn than to discuss ideas and concepts in class then — after lunch — go see them “in action.” The setting also houses leading researchers who are always willing to help, whether it is something to do with a project, something in their field of specialty, or helpful advice on applying to grad school. Relationships that are built between students and teachers can also lead to promising internships and very personalized, convincing letters of recommendation. Past SBS students have dubbed the accessibility of Darling Marine Center faculty as an “open door policy”.

Student Life Beyond the Curriculum: Having Fun at / around the DMC

The Darling Marine Center (DMC) is located on over 190 acres of wooded land. There is a fully maintained trail system — great for hiking or mountain biking — covers the relaxing and picturesque terrain. The campus is surrounded by the Damariscotta estuary. Although the waters are slightly chilly, there is plenty of access for swimming and kayaking around the region. The DMC has multiple kayaks and canoes available for student use. Up and down the coast are breathtaking scenic areas and tourist towns waiting to be explored. The region also host many islands which can be visited by ferry: for example, the famous Monhegan Island and nearby populations of puffins. The DMC also provides an on-campus supply of free air for qualified student divers. A full-time Dive Safety Officer helps ensure that students are properly trained and certified.