Details - 2013 Summer Field Program

Note: The Summer Field Program will be offered again in 2013. Details will be posted later this fall. In the mean time, 2012 program details are provided for reference.

Experience the Marine Biology of the Gulf of Mexico.

Class Description and Schedule

Class descriptions and schedule are here.

Resident Faculty – Division of Coastal Sciences

Using a yabby pump and sieve to collect beach specimens during the Summer Field Program college courses in marine biology on the Gulf Coast

Summer Faculty

Summer Field Program on Facebook

GCRL Summer Field Program on Facebook Check out GCRL's Summer Field Program on Facebook.

Research Study Program

Positions are available in both the first and second terms.

Research Study Program This Research Study Program allows upper level undergraduate students an opportunity to gain valuable experience in designing a research project, sampling, analyzing data, and presenting research findings.  Research options encompass a broad spectrum of disciplines in coastal sciences that include: Marine Aquaculture, Marine Biodiversity, Marine Biomedicine, Marine Ecology, Marine Education, Marine Fisheries, Marine Pathology, and Marine Toxicology.  This course could easily form the basis of a Senior or Honors Project. 

Prerequisites: Four semesters of biology or permission of instructor. 

Special Topics: Research; COA 492.  One to six hours credit is available and is assigned by the instructor.



The Gulf Coast Research Laboratory's air-conditioned dormitory houses two students per room. Suites consist of four rooms and a common bathroom facility. Requests for housing are filled as received. Married couples must make their own arrangements for off-site housing. The rooms have Internet access via Ethernet.

The dining hall serves three meals daily. Commuting students may purchase meals at a modest cost. Students should bring linens, towels, and clothing suitable for field work, such as shorts, bathing suits, hat, long-sleeved shirt and light-weight pants, washable athletic shoes, polarized sunglasses as well as a good sunblock. Laundry facilities are available on-site.

Dormitory stays typically provide excellent opportunities to meet other students, as well as to engage in water sports, fishing, golf, tennis, biking, weight lifting, aerobics, and hiking that form some of the many summer pastimes on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

The community of Ocean Springs, as well as the neighboring cities of Biloxi, Gulfport, Gautier, and Pascagoula provide ample opportunities for shopping, banking, dining, and recreation. New Orleans is less than two hours away by care. Mobile, Alabama is about an hour drive.

Summers are hot on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and students should be prepared to protect themselves from intense sunshine. Bring a good sunblock, hat, and sunglasses.


Academic Credit

GCRL summer courses are offered by The University of Southern Mississippi and accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. All courses are offered through the Division of Coastal Sciences. Credits earned in the Southern Miss GCRL Summer Field Program are transferred to students’ home institutions upon course completion.

Course credit hours reflect extent of lecture and laboratory study time as shown in course descriptions. Marine Biology, Oceanography, Cetacean Behavior, and Barrier Island Ecology are for undergraduate credit only. All other courses may be taken for undergraduate or graduate credit. For graduate credit, courses include additional research and writing components.


Admissions Deadline

Applications for summer 2012 classes are accepted beginning the first week of January.  To apply,submit all paperwork and a non-refundable $35.00 application fee (not applicable to current USM students) by May 1, 2012, to:

Office of Student Services
Department of Coastal Sciences
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
Attn: Margaret Firth
703 East Beach Drive
Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Application Requirements

Fees and Costs


Room and Board

Fees and Expenses

Students with Disabilities

If a student has a disability that qualifies under the Americans with Disabilities Act and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Office for Disability Accommodations for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Southern Station Box 8586; telephone/voice: (601) 266-5024; telephone/TDD: (601) 266-6837; fax: (601) 266-6035.

Transcript Requests

PLEASE NOTE: Students requesting transcripts for classes taken at Southern Miss, Hattiesburg, Southern Miss on the Coast or GCRL Summer Field Program after 2001please go to

Transcripts for Gulf Coast Research Laboratory Summer Field Program coursework prior to Summer 2002 are obtained by submitting a request in writing to:

Office of Student Services
Gulf Coast Research Laboratory
703 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, MS 39564

To ensure that your transcripts reach the proper destination, we ask that you provide us with complete mailing addresses for the transcript recipients.

We accept transcript requests by fax to (228) 872-4204 or U.S. mail. Please sign your request.

For More Information

Sam Clardy, Coordinator of Educational Programs
For Admissions:
Margaret Firth, Undergraduate Programs Specialist


Sighted during a Summer Field Program Dolphin and Whale Course field trip