Coastal Ocean Science Academy Marine Science Summer Day Program

The Coastal Ocean Science Academy (COSA) is a marine science summer day program that aims to introduce and connect young people to local marine and coastal habitats and the factors that shape them. The program is based at the Marine Science Center on the rocky shore of Nahant, with visits to coastal habitat field sites nearby. 

Registration for summer 2021 programs is closed. Learn more about COSA programs below, and stay tuned to this page for 2022 program dates and registration!

2021 Program Dates:

Middle School Program: Monday, August 9 – Friday, August 13

High School Program: Monday, August 16 – Friday, August 20

All programs run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. each day, and they begin/end each day at the Marine Science Center in Nahant.  Click on the links below to access the registration pack for the program(s) you are interested in – links will go live when registration launches soon!

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

Space is limited so apply ASAP! Applications are now being accepted for the 2021 program, and participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until all slots are filled. 

  • Middle School Program: 2021 fees are $495 for the 5-day program.
  • High School Program: 2021 fees are $545 for the 5-day program.

The program takes place at Northeastern University’s Nahant Campus at 430 Nahant Road, Nahant, MA 01908, and participants should be dropped off by 8:30 am at the check-in table inside the entrance gate to the MSC, and picked up at 3:30 pm each day.  Unfortunately, we are unsure at this time if we will be able to provide transportation to Nahant as in past years, due to COVID protocols – we will update this space if there are any changes, but at this time, participants would need to be dropped off directly in Nahant.

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.

Notification of scholarship awards will begin in early July and will continue until all scholarship funds are disbursed. 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 seventh and eighth grades 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 in different coastal habitats, all the 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 9 through Friday, August 13, 2021. Maximum group size is 15.
COSA Chondrus
First-time High School students
Students enrolled in this introductory marine biology program will learn about coastal and marine habitats and develop basic research skills. Topics covered include identifying and classifying marine organisms, monitoring water quality, measuring species richness and diversity, and analyzing survey results. Students will also explore threats to coastal and marine resources. Field studies take place in coastal environments including the salt marsh, sandy beach, and rocky shore. High School Programs run Monday August 16 through Friday August 20, 2021. Maximum group size is 10.
Returning High School students
Building on knowledge learned in Chondrus, Pagurus students will deepen their knowledge of local coastal ecology and habitats through student-led field investigation. Staff will facilitate student inquiry and research, and will facilitate exploration in a variety of marine and environmental science . Students will have access to field sites for data collection, as well as guidance in developing sound research questions, methodologies, analyzing data, and presenting results. Pagurus students will work with Chondrus students in parallel fieldwork and programs, acting as team mentors for fieldwork protocols and other activities to Chondrus students, but they will also have separate opportunities and instruction presented at a level that assumes their prior knowledge and advanced interest in marine science. High School Programs run Monday August 16 through Friday August 20, 2021. Maximum group size is 5 to ensure individual instruction and project management.
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.