YOE logo

- Program Description -                                                                                                                  

Youth Ocean Explorers is a 4 week, hands-on marine science program for middle to high school-aged students interested in studying coastal, marine & environmental science, natural resource management, and conservation. The program involves a combination of short presentations and lectures daily from UVI faculty, staff, and community partners along with field activities utilizing scientific tools to supplement those presentations. Participants report to the UVI Center for Marine & Environmental Studies but can expect to travel with staff to other on-island locations for field work and activities. Snorkel gear and other instructional materials are provided for student use during the program. 

- 2018 Highlights and What's new for 2019! -

YOE newyoe new
YOE students learning about marine life in various interactive approaches. 

For the 2018 Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program, students were able to take advantage of training to become SCUBA certified as well as obtaining their own snorkel gear, provided by the Coki Dive shop. This new addition ensures that students leave the program with the gear necessary to continue their underwater exploration.
In 2019, we hope to continue this trend as well as offer this amazing program to students on St. Croix. 

- Mission Statement - 

The Youth Ocean Explorers (YOE) Summer Program aims to provide students with hands-on, STEM-based (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) training that fosters career development. Using the ocean as our classroom, students enrolled in YOE develop a sense of environmental stewardship, acquire new skills, and establish long-lasting connections with fellow students and STEM professionals.  

SEAS Your Tomorrow Logo

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 YOE 2016     YOE 2017

New to the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program for 2017! We received supplemental funding from the National Science Foundation's INCLUDES (Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science) program. The SEAS (Supporting Emerging Aquatic Scientists) Your Tomorrow project which is funded by the NSF INCLUDES program aims to transform the face of STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) within the Virgin Islands and the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is proud to be a component of that project. Click here for more details about this partnership. 

- Eligibility Criteria / Important Information -   
                                                                            

  • The Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is open to students in junior high to high school with an interest in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) (Grades 7-12). 
  • The maximum capacity of the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is 25 students (Not including interns/mentors).  
  • A mandatory, 1-week training session will be facilitated for all selected mentors. 
  • Lifeguard training provided by the American Red Cross will be provided to those mentors who are interested in receiving their certification. 
  • Students who previously participated in the program are eligible to apply to participate again.  
  • The 2019 program will accept students from St. Croix. Students that apply from St. Croix will be housed in the universities dormitories.  
  • The dates for the 2019 Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program have not yet been selected. 
  • There will be a mandatory orientation meeting (July 6th) for both parents and accepted students prior to the start date of the program.
  • Students are expected to be in attendance daily (9AM - 4:30PM) and any scheduled absences should be immediately brought to the attention of camp counselors/coordinators.
  • There is a one-time program fee of $300 which covers all program materials and lunches.  
  • Scholarships are provided each year! To be eligible for a scholarship, the student should submit a copy of their most recent report card.  

 - Program Materials -

Registration Deadline: May 1st, 2019 

Step 1: REGISTRATION CLOSED: The registration period for the 2018 Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program is now closed. While the application for the YOE Summer Program is still accessible, please do not fill it out as decisions have already been made for the 2018 Program. Interested applicants should contact Howard Forbes Jr (howard.forbes@uvi.edu) for more details.   

Step 2: SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS: These documents are required for your child to participate in the Youth Ocean Explorers Summer Program. They detail specific language about assuming any known risks associated with any of the field activities covered during the program as well as giving our team permission to take photographs and/or video of students.

  • STUDENT ASSESSMENT FORM: This form contains questions that the student should answer and help us to gauge the applicant's eligibility into the program.
  • MINOR MEDIA RELEASE FORM: This form authorizes our team to use any photographs or video taken during the YOE to help promote our program.    
  • RELEASE and WAIVER of LIABILITY: This form should be read and signed by both the parent/guardian and the applicant and informs all parties of possible risks associated with participation in the program.
  • CODE of CONDUCT: This form should be read and completed by both the parent/guardian and the applicant and details unacceptable behavior and possible repercussions for such. 

- Program Funding / Sponsorship -

Our program operates each year via small grants from private foundations and federal agencies as well as donations (monetary or in kind services) from the Virgin Islands community. If you are interested in providing a donation or to sponsor a student to attend, contact us using any of the methods listed below. The University of the Virgin Islands is a 501c3 institution so all donations are tax deductible.  


- YOE Student Application -


- YOE Counselor Application -


- Contact Us -   new

Office Phone: St. Thomas (340) 693-1672
E-mail: St. Thomas (howard.forbes@live.uvi.edu)
Website: http://vimas.uvi.edu
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Virgin Islands Marine Advisory Service
Center for Marine and Environmental Studies
University of the Virgin Islands

St. Thomas
#2 John Brewers Bay
St. Thomas, USVI 00802