Student Field Trips

Learn how RJD is providing over 1000 high school students each year with hands-on scientific field experience.

Experiential Learning for Future Leaders

One of the core components of the RJD Program is providing experiential learning opportunities to young adults, whether it’s tagging a shark or billfish, planting a coral, or measuring a mangrove. The RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program offers amazing, educational experiences to groups of high school students all year long. Your class will take an active role in real scientific projects, learn the scientific method, and assist in protecting some of the world’s most threatened resources.

High school students connect with marine science in an exciting, participatory setting, augmenting traditional classroom education. RJD scientists, staff, interns and volunteers serve as mentors and teachers during field trips. With a ratio of one mentor per every four students, RJD trips are personalized learning experiences.

“Things you wouldn’t get inside a typical high school class are brought to our interest, in the most extraordinary way.”— Vilma Sooknanan
South Broward High School Student

Many students enjoy learning first-hand about the various career paths possible within the field of marine conservation.

“I have studied the scientific aspect of marine biology since the 6th grade, but one opportunity I have recently come across from shark research is as a marine photographer/videographer. Therefore, aside from gaining personal skills that help me in life, and benefiting the marine environment, I have been introduced into new career paths that I may take up in the future.”– Chelsea Currie
South Broward High School Student
National Ocean Science Bowl – Team President

Real Science, Real Inspiration

The most long-standing field trip is shark tagging. High school and outreach programs partner with RJD to bring groups of young adults onto the water for a day of shark research in the Florida Keys. Students work side-by-side with scientists to collect data through measurements, tissue samples, and tagging. This data is used for ongoing scientific projects at the University of Miami. By studying apex predators, we can better understand and protect our marine ecosystems.

When students learn that their participation yields valid scientific results, their confidence blossoms, their interest peaks, and their smiles brighten. The goal is inspiration through participation.

Participating Schools & Organizations

  • American Heritage School
  • AMIkids Miami-Dade
  • Archimedian Upper Conservatory School
  • Boca Prep International School
  • Branches
  • City Year
  • Coral Shores High School
  • Experience Aviation
  • Island Christian School
  • Key Largo Community Center
  • MAST Academy
  • Miami Dade College
  • Miami Museum of Science Upward Bound IMPACT Program
  • Our Lady of Lourdes Academy
  • Palmer Trinity School
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • South Broward High School
  • Trinity Preparatory School
  • UM Global Academy