Undergraduate Programs

students on beach at night

Every year, 600-700 university students participate in academic programs at UGAMI. These students come from colleges and universities all over the U.S. and from many countries around the globe. It is hard to overstate the impact of a visit to UGAMI for students. Come see us if you get the chance!

Visiting Sapelo Island with the Honors Science course was by far my favorite memory from my freshman year… The trip to Sapelo brought everything we studied in the classroom to life.

I will have the memories from Sapelo for the rest of my life. I learned so much and met so many amazing people. My main suggestion for the course would be to have more time on Sapelo.

Courses at UGAMI

More information on courses offered by or held at the University of Georgia Marine Institute (UGAMI) can be found by clicking the links below.

Dr. Mary Ann Moran (right) with students in UGAMI’s Coastal Summer Semester during a trawl survey aboard the R/V Spartina.

Marine Biology Spring Semester

Coastal Summer Semester

Geography of the Georgia Coast

Ecological Problem Solving Program

Interdisciplinary Field Program

Colonial and Native Worlds Field School

Fisheries Field Camp

Photo by Wade Sheldon





Student Research

Most of UGAMI’s residential academic programs give students an opportunity to conduct their own research project under the mentorship of a faculty member. Performing independent research allows students to put to use the knowledge they gained in their classes. For many students, this is their first chance to actually “do science” and it can be a life-changing experience. Research topics span a broad spectrum of topics in the fields of microbiology, biochemistry, organismal ecology, population biology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, and oceanography. Projects can be observational or experimental. Nearly all have a field study component. Some include laboratory studies.

Independent Research Projects


Measuring Immune responses of white shrimp - Ali Minning, Summer 2017
Body conditions of white shrimp exhibiting advanced black gill disease - Elizabeth Butler, Summer 2017
Shell selection by hermit crabs, Uca pugnax - Mackenzie Hay, Summer 2017
Spatial Patterns in distribution of Littoraria - Dillon Richter (Georgia Southern University), Summer 2017
Food chain dynamics of mudflats - Katie Mailloux, Summer 2017
Trophic ecology of southern stingrays - Abbey Pylant, Summer 2017
Filter feeding by ribbed mussels - Jordan Honeycutt, Summer 2017
Field measurements of filtration by oyster reefs - Kristen Mullis, Summer 2017
Tidal and spatial patterns in phytoplankton concentration and community structure in the Duplin River - Hannah Moore, Summer 2017


Organic and Inorganic Sediment Deposition in Relation to Changing Sea Levels - Melody Modarressi, Summer 2018
Ground Truthing Elevations of Habitats in a Lidar-Derived Digital Elevation Model of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve - Sadneya Ghag, Summer 2018
Distribution of Spotted Sea Trout and Atlantic Croaker in the Duplin River - Bailey Reins, Summer 2018
Seasonal and Diel Calling Patterns of Oyster Toadfish - Danielle Jenkins, Summer 2018
The Effects of Parasitic Isopods on Three Species of Sciaenid Fishes - Håkon Jones, Summer 2018
The Effect of Salinity on Filtration Rates of the Eastern Atlantic Oyster, Crassostrea virginica - Viviana García Roqueta, Summer 2018
Response of Eastern Oysters to Short-Term Temperature Elevation - Britni Hendrickson, Summer 2018
Behavioral Responses of Juvenile Permit (Trachinotus falcatus) to Low Concentrations of Dissolved Oxygen - Nicole de La Torre, Summer 2018
Reactions of Marsh Periwinkle Snails to Predatory Signals - Dylan Samsel, Summer 2018
Endogenous diurnal and tidal rhythms of melanophores in the fiddler crab, Uca pugnax - Jamie Rogers (Georgia Institute of Technology), Summer 2018
Habitat Preference of the Fiddler Crab (Uca pugnax) - Kristen Wallace, Summer 2018
Burrowing habits of the ghost crab, Ocypode quadrata, on Sapelo Island, Georgia - Lara Lindsay, Summer 2018


Structure of the Fish Community in the Duplin River - Alaina Davis, Summer 2019
Distribution of Loggerhead Turtle Nests Along Nannygoat Beach in Relation to Elevation and Beach Slope - Abbey Vanderpoel, Summer 2019
Filtration of Chlorophyll a by Crassostrea virginica, - Anya Jaye Lesser, Summer 2019
Biomass Enhancement of Spartina alterniflora by Geukensia demissa Mounds - Ivy Francis, Summer 2019
Soil Organic Matter and Heat Capacity in Airport Marsh, Sapeo Island - John Kolb, Summer 2019
Effects of Flood Duration on the Relative Abundance of Benthic Diatoms in the Tidal Creek Banks - Lauren Faircloth, Summer 2019
Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Fertilizer on Benthic Microorganisms on a Salt Marsh Creek Bank - Bradley Macket, Summer 2019
Does the Amount of Algae Coating the Shells of Salt Marsh Periwinkles (Littoraria irroratta) Affect their Risk of Predation by Blue Crabs (Callinectes sapidus)? - Britney Pepper, Summer 2019
Bioaccumulation of Nanoplastic Particles in Ribbed Mussels (Geukensia demissa) in a Georgia Marsh - Brady Griggs, Summer 2019
Distribution of Ghost Crab (Ocypode quadrata) Burrows with Respect to Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Nests - Rachel Krunkosky, Summer 2019
Acoustic Response of Spotted Seatrout, Cynoscion nebulosus, to Sounds Associated with Predation - Kyle Craig, Summer 2019


The Effect of Tidal Phase on Variability of Trawl Catches in the Duplin River - Braden Biddy (University of North Georgia), Spring 2020
Impacts of Seismic Airgun Blasting on Marine Organisms off the Georgia Coast - Hannah Mone, Spring 2020
Fish Communities of the Duplin River, Sapelo Island, GA - McKenna Johnson (University of North Georgia), Spring 2020

Field Trips

UGAMI is a destination for University of Georgia courses, as well as other University System of Georgia institutions, and beyond. Field trips are generally arranged over a weekend, although some classes visit for longer periods of time.

College or university-level instructors who are interested in arranging a class field trip to UGAMI should fill out a UGAMI education request form (please download, complete and save the form, then email it to graciet@uga.edu) or contact the Program Coordinator, Gracie Townsend.

Classes that have visited UGAMI:

University of Georgia

Course IDCourse Name
ANTH 2120HIntroduction to Anthropology
ECOL 3300Field course in Ecological Problem Solving
FISH 4650Georgia Fishes Field Class
GEOL 2010Life, Ecology and Environments of the Past
IFPHonors Interdisciplinary Field Program includes a visit to UGAMI
MARS 1010LIntroduction to the Marine Environment
MARS 3450Marine Biology
WILD 3580Vertebrate Natural History

Other Universities

NameCourse IDCourse Name
Armstrong State University (GA)BIOL 4970Barrier Island Ecology
Ball State University (IN)BIOL 420/520Coastal Ecology
Brown University (RI) BIO 144Marine Ecology
GA College & State University (GA)GEOL 4951Hydrogeology
Georgia Gwinnett College (GA)BIOL 3150 Temperate Biology
Georgia Perimeter College (GA)BIOL 2108Principles of Biology II
Middle Georgia State College (GA)BIOL 3360Plant Biology
Middle Georgia State College (GA)BIOL 3450General Microbiology
Middle Georgia State College (GA)BIOL 3666Entomology
Oglethorpe University (GA) BIO 380Conservation Biology
University of North Georgia (GA)BIOL 4461Marine Field Study
South Georgia State College (GA)BIOL 2107Principles of Biology I
South Georgia State College (GA)BIOL 3545Vertebrate Zoology
South Georgia State College (GA)SCIE 1111Environmental Science
Valdosta State University (GA)BIOL 3250 Ecology and Evolution
Valdosta State University (GA)BIOL 3650Plant Systematics
Valdosta State University (GA)BIOL 4020Coastal Biodiversity
Valdosta State University (GA)ISCI 3103Natural History of Georgia

Academic Programs

UGAMI does not grant degrees. However, several academic programs at University of Georgia partner with UGAMI for part of their programming.


The Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER project runs a summer internship program, with opportunities at UGAMI.