students in marsh working on oyster study

Ecosystem Engineers: Ages 9 -10

Must have completed 3rd grade and turn 9 by June 1st

Ever wonder why there are so many fiddler crabs in the marsh? Or why we sea oats grow on dunes?  If so, you are thinking like a Marine Ecologist because these are examples of ecosystem engineers – organisms that can create a habitat that serves an entire ecosystem!  Join us for a week of ecological fun exploring different marine ecosystems and discovering more of these very special organisms that are able to engineer some of the most important habitat and structures in the marine environment.

Field excursions include:

  • Going to the beach, barrier island, marsh, fouling station, coquina outcrop, Center for Marine Science, kayaking and NC Aquarium

Highlights include:

  • Boat trip to Masonboro to investigate dune engineering; learn how oysters provide hard bottom structures; fiddler crabs aerate the marsh; and so much more.

Program Dates and Tuition

Day of Week:

Monday - Friday


8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.

Friday pick-up/final presentation at 12:00 p.m.

Staff / Student Ratio:

Location: UNCW Campus - drop off at Isaac Bear Early College
Summer 2017 Dates:

Session 1: June 19-23

Session 2: July 10-14

Session 3: July 24-28 

Tuition: $340
Gender: Co-ed

Program Registration

You must register by 5:00 p.m. the Wednesday before your program is to begin.

Still have questions? Check out our FAQ page.

• Note that prices, content, dates, and times are subject to change without notice.
• Questions? Call 910.962.2640 or send an e-mail to
• Website and program content © UNCW MarineQuest