Semester@Skidaway Field Study Program

Students in hard hats and life jackets stand near the starboard rail of a research ship. The water surface is visible to the right. The students are holding on to a carousel rosette that is being maneuvered over the side of the ship.

Semester@Skidaway students get hands-on experience with research. Here students are preparing to lower sampling bottles over the side of the RV Savannah.

The Semester@Skidaway Field Study program places students on the Georgia coast for a unique learning experience. Learn methods and concepts from leaders in marine science research and visit all the ecosystems and environments which make the region special. Students will participate in field trips to scientifically and culturally relevant locations, explore the coastal area on the Skidaway Institute’s fleet of small vessels, and cruise on the R/V Savannah for an overnight research expedition. 

Designed for students enrolled in the University of Georgia’s B.S. degree in Ocean Science, this program will include classroom and field activities which satisfy portions of the core and elective course requirements.

Students from other institutions may be able to apply for this program and should email Bev Vantine at for more information.

Five students wearing life jackets are sitting aboard a skiff. One male and one female student site on the port side and three female students sit on the starboard side. There is a white cooler between the groups.

Semester@Skidaway students explore the local environment aboard one of Skidaway Institute’s research skiffs.

Courses – 17 Credits
MARS 4500/6500: Field Study in Oceanography and Marine Methods (4)
MARS 4520: Quantitative Analysis of Ocean Data (3)
MARS 4810/6810: Global Biogeochemical Cycles (3)
MARS 4800/6800: Regional Oceanography of the South Atlantic Bight (3)
MARS 4530: Oceanographic Field Expedition (3)
MARS 4850: Field Excursions (1)

Students may have the opportunity to register for research credits (MARS 4960R) and work in the laboratories of Skidaway Institute scientists. Contact the program director for details.

The Albert Dewitt Smith, Jr. Observational Laboratory will host students while they learn methods for collecting data from marine samples.

Students bring samples they have collected in the field to Skidaway’s research laboratories for further study.

Housing at Skidaway Institute
Students will live on Skidaway’s 700-acre campus located along the Skidaway River. Housing units are recently renovated and include air conditioning, WiFi, and kitchen areas along with other amenities. Rooming costs are included in the program fee, but program participants will need to purchase their own food. 

Skidaway Institute is located a short drive from downtown Savannah. Students will find Savannah to be a welcoming city that is home to excellent restaurants, museums, and historical sites. The beaches of Tybee Island are 45 minutes from campus.

One of several housing units, The Commons includes four bedrooms. The kitchen and living areas are common to all.

Program Details
Fall 2024 Program: August 19 to December 11
Cost: $3800 (estimated) includes housing, one group meal per week, field trips, and laboratory supplies. UGA students are eligible to apply for scholarships to offset a portion of this cost. Details are available at the UGA Experiential Learning website.
Program Director: Dr. Clifton Buck
Office: 912-598-2418
Department of Marine Sciences Contact: Bev Vantine  at

Funding has been provided by the UGA Parents Leadership Council.