Marine Specimen Collecting Trip for High School and College Students

Immerse your class in science!
Take a two-hour marine specimen collecting trip*

aboard the MBL’s vessel, R/V Gemma

  • Learn why the Woods Hole area is world-renowned for its rich diversity of marine species.
  • Take a first-hand look at how local organisms are collected for scientific study worldwide.
  • Hear the history of how marine biology developed in Woods Hole.

Board the Gemma at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) dock in Eel Pond, Woods Hole, and head out to Vineyard Sound, passing historic Nobska lighthouse commissioned in 1876. The Gemma will travel approximately two miles offshore. Deploying a scallop dredge and plankton net, MBL marine educators will collect a variety of marine specimens for students to examine.

Excursion leaders will also:

  • Identify the organisms and discuss the biology of each animal and how they are used for research at the MBL
  • Provide a history of the local area
  • Point out local landmarks along the shore
  • Discuss commercial fishing and research equipment, biological collecting methods, the history of the Woods Hole community, and the Gemma’s state-of-the-art navigation system.

Round out your trip with a more in-depth look at MBL marine specimens with a behind-the-scenes tour of the MBL’s Marine Resources Center specimen tank room. For an additional fee, a lecture and microscope lab activities are available.

For booking information and a complete fee schedule, contact Rob Reynolds at

*Tours are geared toward high school and college aged students.

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