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The program I participated in with Ocean Matters was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I received hands-on experience with marine life research in Utila, Honduras while also improving the ecosystem itself. This experience was very unique and helped cultivate and enhance my passion for wildlife and the environment in general. I often refer back to this experience in my work as an environmental engineering student as it reminds me of what’s important to me in life. – Kelsey Leskinen (Florida), an Ocean Matters alumna of the Utila, Honduras project.



Ocean Matters turned out to be a very formative experience for me academically. Experiencing ocean life first hand furthered my passion for marine biology hundredfold. I also met some amazing people! All of which I remain friends with. I highly suggest this program for anyone interested in the marine sciences—it’s fantastic. —Jina Malone (Alaska), an Ocean Matters alumna of the Oahu, Hawaii project

It was a dream come true to view the ocean deep with in and get a one on one experience. The underwater world changes your life and how you view the life on land. Ocean Matters was a great program to meet life long friends who share this experience and the love for the ocean, as much as you do. You even fall more in love with the sea water that you wish you could never leave. —Jazmyn Gentry (Illinois), an Ocean Matters alumna of the Oahu, Hawaii project


Travelling with the Ocean Matters group is an experience that I will cherish for a long time. On the trip to Hawaii, I gained not only knowledge of our oceans, but skills and friends that have changed my life for the better. Having the opportunity to meet other students from around the United States who were interested in the same things as I was became the highlight of my high school career. I learned how to scuba dive, a lifelong dream of mine, because of Ocean Matters. I’ve made friendships that would otherwise not be possible because of Ocean Matters. As a sophomore in college, I’ve declared a minor in Sustainability, all because I had the chance to travel with and learn from the Ocean Matters team about the ways that we as humans can help the Earth. I highly recommend researching and getting involved with Ocean Matters, who, at their core, are a group of talented, intelligent individuals who hope to make the world a better place, one student at a time.  – Catherine Shuff (Pennsylvania), an Ocean Matters alumna of the Oahu, Hawaii project.


The Ocean Matters Pacific program was a tremendous learning opportunity. As one of 20 students from all across the USA we traveled to the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology located in Oahu. With the purpose of studying endangered ecosystems, we tackled topics such as coral reef health, trash and marine debris, effects of noise pollution on marine animals during classroom lectures by local experts. We learned so much about Hawaiian culture and spent a day performing community service on an ancient Hawaiian Fish Pond, removing invasive species of vegetation. What makes Ocean Matters stand out is the opportunity to apply classroom knowledge by performing research on SCUBA. Diving in Hawaii was incredible! – Chase Linsley (Massachusetts), an Ocean Matters alumnus of the Oahu, Hawaii project.


The two trips I took with Ocean Matters in high school (Hawaii and Utila, Honduras) were both wonderful opportunities where I made great memories. They helped to give me more insight into the marine science field, and the experiences I had were a great asset as I pursued my degree in marine science. — Nikki Cronen (Florida), an Ocean Matters alumna of both the Oahu, Hawaii and Utila, Honduras project


The program got me a lot of confidence. I was about to go to college and meet 3000 new people. I had no idea what to expect. I still think to this day that the extra confidence may have given me a little bit of an edge when I arrived at college.

— Josh Peck (Massachusetts), an Ocean Matters student from the Grand Cayman project


team-buildingI got three credits, learned a lot, got SCUBA certifications. But it’s the friendships, and the talks in the middle of the night, and the confidence I gained from learning, and the passion I built up that was the glue that held all the pieces together . . . I definitely think the whole was greater than the sum of its part.

— Robyn Perkins (New Hampshire), an Ocean Matters student from the Grand Cayman project


The program gave me more self-confidence and a higher self-image — the ability to say, ‘Yes, I can do this’ — by giving me a challenge I didn’t think I could handle and letting me prove to myself that I could handle it, and do it well.

— Katherine, an Ocean Matters student from our Grand Cayman project


fun03The program involved a lot of group/team work, which taught me a lot about dealing with others, leadership, being cooperative, adjusting to circumstances, listening to what others have to say, and learning from them. . . In many ways, Ocean Matters helped me to learn about myself.

— Isabel, an Ocean Matters alumna from the Grand Cayman project

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