– Marine Biology is available to rising juniors and seniors. It will count towards .5 of the 1 credit senior science elective requirement.

– The first two weeks will be spent at Jesuit. Students will complete a survey course that is structured around a variety of marine topics, including: oceanography, climate change, marine vertebrates and invertebrates, and ecosystems. This will incorporate multiple science disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, & physics), in addition to writing, reading, and understanding contest

– The third week will take place on Grand Cayman Island. Students will participate in classroom and field projects, as designed by Jesuit instructors and staff from Dive BVI. They will participate in research to support the international efforts of various conservation organizations  through education, advocacy and action. A community service project will also take place on Grand Cayman.

– Chaperones for the trip will be Todd Gruninger PhD ‘98, Madison Mathews, Corey Marr, and Mr. Max von Schlehenried ’06

– The students will receive a grade for the course. In addition to participating in discussions, students will be required to complete assessments, assignments, research proposals, blog entries, and video diaries. A detailed syllabus will be distributed to students on the first day of the course.


  • Students will learn about research techniques and validity, human impacts on coral reefs and Caribbean marine ecosystems, fish identification and anatomy, and the application of science
  • Student will be provided experiences that incorporate science, culture, and service
  • Students will participate in international research project(s) and data collection
  • Students will become informed members of society and contribute to the preservation and understanding surrounding a precious and vulnerable world resource, the oceans.

Below are the cost estimates for the course.  This does not include passport fees (if applicable) and open water certification costs (if applicable).

Item Estimates (2018/19)
Room and board – 7 nights; Dive packages (~10 dives), transportation fees (land and sea taxi), park and boat fees, gratuity, and supplies $2112
Airfare (Dallas to Grand Cayman) ~$700*
Tuition $700
TOTAL Approximately $3,500

*cost dependent on date of booking and enrollment numbers


Week One (@ Jesuit)

The students will learn about the ocean currents and how they influence climate.  They will also learn about the substrates present in the ocean and how they are related to marine and terrestrial life.  They will do research on the many interdependencies that exist within and with marine ecosystems.  This will include several labs and projects that focus on water, shorelines, pressure, temperature, and salinity.

Week Two (@Jesuit)

Students will learn about how organisms coexist in the ocean.  This will include dissections and research reports on a variety of invertebrates and vertebrates.  They will also learn about the techniques scientists use to study changes, etc. in the ocean.

Week Three (at Grand Cayman Island) *TENTATIVE*

2019 Dates: Group 1: July 13-July 20th and July 20th-July 27th (Students will choose one of these two travel weeks)

Day 1: Arrival and orientation session.

Day 2: The morning will include an orientation session about the schedule, diving policies, course expectations, and boat/resort rules.  The afternoon will include shallow reef dives for acclimation and checkout dives.  Peak Performance Buoyancy will be conducted for divers to help fine-tune body position in the water.

Day 3: The morning will include a classroom session on fish, invertebrates, and coral identification.  Students will learn the social, political, economic and intrinsic value of coral reef ecosystems.  Students will also learn basic Caribbean fish and coral reef identification.  Before lunch, students will participate in a 2-tank dive

Day 4: A 2-tank dive at artificial reef site

Day 5:  The morning session will consist of a 2-tank coral experience.  This will be followed by on-board lunch and a possible excursion.  Details TBA.

Day 6: This day will be dedicated to service.  We will be performing a service project

Day 7: Our last full day will include a morning trip to learn about the turtle tagging program.  The evening will include our Dinner Banquet

*Both groups will attend Mass on Saturday or Sunday

All students interested in applying to the program should complete the online application provided in the link below. Dates for parent informational meetings will be posted soon.


Dr. Ben Kirby ’00
Assistant Principal of Academics
972-387-8700 x560

Dr. Todd Gruninger ’98
Science Department Chair
972-387-8700 x302