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Marine biologist camps involve children and college students taking in part in fun activities and classes that are focused on marine wildlife and science. Some of these camps are largely land-based and theoretical while others are mostly composed of ocean-based activities. Additionally, the length of marine biologist camps varies greatly since some educational establishments run sessions that last for a few hours, while others offer courses that last for several weeks.
In some instances, marine biologist camps are held in schools and other land-based locations. Depending upon the complexity of the course, it may be taught by a school teacher or a university professor. Students are given books and materials and the syllabus normally focuses on ecosystems in different parts of the world or on particular types of animals such as fish, marine mammals or crustaceans. Samples of shellfish, starfish, coral and other types of ocean-based life may be presented to the students during these sessions, and the attendees may be asked to draw pictures or write essays about the life forms they have studied.
Many marine biologist camps are held in coastal areas and students are given the opportunity to interact with sharks, dolphins and other animals while scuba diving, swimming or kayaking. Typically, trained water sports coaches or lifeguards lead these sessions and divulge some basic scientific information about animals and the habitat while showing attendees how to dive, swim or canoe. Camps for young children are usually more oriented to activities while sessions for high school or college age individuals are often more science based as outdoor activities may be interspersed with classroom-based tutorials. As with land-based camps, these programs are taught by school teachers or college professors.
Camps are often arranged during breaks between college or school semesters and these programs are often designed to be both educational and fun. On some occasions, marine biologist camps may serve a more practical purpose; some non-profit groups run camps that are tied in with conservation projects. Attendees may be taught about the impact of pollution while being asked to remove garbage from bodies of water or help to remove algae or invasive plant life that can threaten animal habitats.
Some camp operators organize a series of one-day events while others arrange sessions that involve students staying in dormitories or tents for several weeks. In such instances, parents and guardians may be asked to act as chaperones while some groups of children are accompanied by school teachers. The cost of marine biologist camps varies greatly with some organizations subsidizing camps to enable people from low-income families to attend. Sessions held in more remote areas are often relatively expensive when compared with other similar types of activity-based vacations.