Coastal Ocean Science Academy Marine Science Summer Day Program

The Coastal Ocean Science Academy (COSA) is a marine and environmental science summer day program that aims to introduce and connect young people to local coastal habitats and the factors that shape them. The program is based at Northeastern’s Marine Science Center on the rocky shore of Nahant, where participants explore the rocky shore and tidepools, meet scientists and students, and tour science labs with our dedicated team of educators, then visit coastal habitat field sites nearby.  We use the incredible natural classroom around us, hands-on learning, and plenty of fun to engage young people in coastal science and inspire lifelong natural and scientific curiosity.

COSA programs will follow current Massachusetts State and Northeastern University health guidelines for COVID-19.

Registration for Summer 2022 Programs is now closed – please email [email protected] to inquire about waitlists or to be added to the mailing list to hear about Summer 2023 dates!

2022 Program Dates:

Middle School Program: Monday, August 1 – Friday, August 5

High School Program: Monday, August 15 – Friday, August 19
COSA Chondrus is now FULL – applicants will be added to our waiting list.


All programs run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, and they begin/end each day at the Marine Science Center in Nahant.

Instructions on how to submit a deposit and payments – as well as our refund policy – can be found in the registration packs (live links soon!). Fees include all equipment, student materials, t-shirt, instruction, and transportation to off-site field locations. Packaged lunch and snacks will be provided.

Applications will be accepted for the 2022 program starting this month, and participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until all slots are filled.

  • Middle School Program: $525 for the 5-day program.
  • High School Program: $525 for the 5-day program.

The program takes place at Northeastern University’s Marine Science Center at 430 Nahant Road, Nahant, MA 01908. Participants should be dropped off at the check-in table inside the entrance gate to the MSC and picked up at 4 pm each day. Unfortunately, we are unlikely to be able to provide transportation to Nahant as in past years, due to COVID protocols – participants will need to be dropped off directly in Nahant.  We will communicate closer to the program date if opportunities for transportation change.

All scholarship funds have now been allocated for COSA 2022. Congratulations to our scholarship awardees!

Thanks to the support of generous donors, we are pleased to offer a limited number of full and partial scholarships to students interested in participating in the program. Our program goals are aligned with national efforts to create and foster diversity in the pursuit of academic and career opportunities related to STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math).

Preference will be given to students who are eligible for free/reduced lunch or whose family meets the income eligibility levels based on federal guidelines. A limited number of full scholarships will be offered to students eligible for free or reduced lunch. If funds permit, partial scholarships may be awarded to other students expressing a need. Some scholarship funds have been earmarked for residents of Nahant and Lynn – applicants residing in these communities are encouraged to apply for a scholarship.

Those interested in applying for a scholarship should indicate on the program registration pack – please note the registration due dates in the packet – and submit a letter of recommendation. No additional scholarship application/documentation is required.

Please contact Sierra Muñoz at [email protected] or 617.373.2825 with any questions.

Available Programs
COSA Littorina
Middle School Program
The Littorina program exposes students entering sixth, seventh, and eighth grade to local coastal and marine habitats, including the sandy beach, rocky shore, open water/harbor, and coastal wetlands. This is a one-week, field-based program where students will learn how to keep a field notebook and take basic measurements of weather, water quality, and biodiversity all while exploring the relationship between these parameters. Participation will well-equip students to enter the research/project-based Coastal Ocean Science Academy for high schoolers in the future. The Middle School Program runs from Monday August 1 through Friday, August 5, 2021. Maximum group size is 12.
COSA Chondrus - First-time and Returning High School students
COSA Chondrus is now FULL - applicants will be added to our waiting list.
First-time students enrolled in this introductory marine biology program will learn about coastal and marine habitats and develop basic research skills. Topics covered include marine organism identification and classification, water quality monitoring, measuring species richness and diversity, and survey analysis. Students will also explore threats to coastal and marine resources.
Returning high school students will work parallel with first-time students, acting as team mentors during fieldwork and other activities. They will also have separate opportunities and instruction presented at a level that assumes their prior knowledge and advanced interest in marine science, and will learn how to collect field site data to develop sound research questions and methodologies, and how to analyze data and present results.
Field studies for all students take place in coastal environments including the salt marsh, sandy beach, and rocky shore. Chondrus runs Monday August 15 through Friday August 19, 2022. Maximum group size is 15.
Support Opportunities

Please consider making a gift to the COSA Scholarship Fund today – donations can be made directly to the fund online here, or, contact Outreach Program Coordinator Sierra Muñoz at [email protected] or 617.373.2825 to learn more.