AIO introduces young people to the exciting world of marine science through a unique hands-on curriculum that combines biological, physical and chemical oceanography with field, classroom, offshore, and laboratory work.
Every summer, more than 200 young people attend AIO from all over the United States and around the world. Students attend sessions limited to 44 students and spend two exciting weeks (intermediate and advanced programs) working together with our experienced staff.
While one group of students finishes a profile of the beach, another group collects specimens for the cold water tanks in our wet lab. Still other students might be busy focusing their binoculars on offshore seabirds and cetaceans. Each evening our staff or visiting speakers present special lectures that provide background information for the field activities, and mini-seminars about topics in oceanography are offered daily before dinner. There are also optional morning lessons in laboratory techniques. And all students design and maintain a saltwater aquarium.
At the heart of the AIO program is an experienced and qualified core of educators trained in the field of oceanography. These are classroom teachers, practicing scientists, and researchers -- many with advanced graduate degrees. The student to instructor ratio is approximately four to one. Other staff members include a full-time nurse, a professional chef, recreation coordinator, and interns.