Marine Biology – Study Abroad
This year, due to Covid-19, students will be traveling domestically.

“The trip to Bermuda was one of the most life-changing things I have experienced this year. I always heard things about how beautiful Bermuda is but I never knew what they meant until I was standing on a ledge looking out over the light blue, almost clear water washing up against the rocks. I have always been interested in water and the animals that inhabited it but I couldn’t seem to find many opportunities to study these things until I heard about this class. Not only did I get to learn about so many fish and incredible animals with this class, but I also had one of the most amazing opportunities to go to this beautiful place and swim with these creatures. My favorite part of this trip was by far the snorkeling, I don’t think anyone who was there could’ve chosen something they enjoyed more. Every site we went to had something different and unique about it and this made every snorkel more memorable than the last. We also did a lot of collecting data for the REEF organization. This made data collecting feel even more remarkable because I felt like we were actually helping out. All these things are the reason why I’m looking forward to going to Honduras where I’ll be able to explore new areas that I have never gotten the chance to see. I’m also looking forward to meeting the people and learning about their culture as well as the ecosystem and creatures they have there.”– Jett A. (Burlington HS) 2019

This Marine Biology course offered by VTVLC is a 1 credit course taught by Brian Slopey. This is a hybrid course with online and face-to-face learning. The online portion will run from January – May. We will also have a few meetings and classes during this time. In late June we will have two intensive days to prepare us for our research in Key Largo, Florida.

  • Trip Dates: June 29-July 7, 2021
  • Location: Key Largo, Florida
  • Available for Grades 9-12
  • Collaboration with REEF (Reef Envirionmental Education Foundation)
  • SCUBA Training & Certification (This is not required. Students can choose to use snorkel equipment for data collection).

You will need to obtain good quality fins, mask and a snorkel. Waterfront Diving in Burlington will give you 10% discount if you tell them you are in the VTVLC Marine Biology class. Also, many of our students have been able to borrow equipment from former students, friends and/or relatives.

Dive skins such as Henderson Hot Skins® are made from either Lycra® or Polyolefin. Designed primarily as an outer garment, Dive Skins® help protect you from sun, abrasion and stings. We strongly recommend, but do not require, you look into buying one of these suits.

Online Course: January 18, 2021 – May 28, 2021

2 Day Training & Trip Preparation: June

Trip to Key Largo, FL: June 29 – July 7, 2021

Research & Reflections: July & August

Tentative Itinerary

June 29th – Students, Chaperones and Teachers will depart from the Burlington Airport (BTV) on  at 6:11am with a layover in Philadelphia then arriving in Miami, FL 12:07pm.

They will take an hour (+/-) ride from Miami to their accommodations at Sunset Cove Beach Resort in Key Largo, FL and surely will have plenty of natural attractions and wildlife viewing opportunities along the way.

Students will be studying daily (classroom and in water) with Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF) experiencing Marine Biology in its natural habitat.

July 7th – Everyone will begin their journey home departing Miami Airport at: 9:05am with a layover in Philadelphia reaching their final arrival in Burlington, VT 3:37pm.


Scholarships – 
The Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative will award a limited number of need-based scholarships for the Marine Biology Bermuda trip. If you receive a scholarship, the amount awarded will be reflected on the final payments. Students must maintain a minimum of 85% average and must provide evidence of financial need. To be considered for a scholarship, please download and complete the Marine Biology Program Scholarship. Application and student essay must be submitted to VTVLC by November 30, 2020 in order to be considered. Please see below for submission addresses.

Total Trip Fees: Approximately $3500 (includes airfare, lodging, food, research boats & scientific and safety equipment.) This price may vary slightly as plane tickets are purchased.
Total Course Fee*: $500 (1 credit Partner School Students) OR $600 (1 credit VT Non-Teaching Partner School Students). There are cases where the school will cover the cost of the course fee. Please contact the school counseling office to inquire and for confirmation. If the school is going to cover the course fee, please notify Nancy Goodrich at VTVLC as soon as possible at

Payment Schedule – (Payments are non-refundable)
10/18/2020 – $500 deposit
1/18/2021 – Course Fee*
6/4/2021 – Balance of trip

Payment Options –
Checks should be made payable to: VTVLC c/o RVTC, 307 South Street, Springfield, VT 05156

Credit card payments can be processed through the student account in VTVLC’s student information system or by calling 802-885-8351. We accept Visa, Mastercard or Discover. (Convenience fees apply).

VTVLC Contact Information for submission of scholarships, payment and forms –
Mailing Address: VTVLC c/o RVTC, 307 South Street, Springfield, VT 05156
Scan & Email: (please write KEY LARGO/REEF in the subject line)
Fax: 802-885-8454 (please include a cover sheet and send attention to Nancy Goodrich)

Because of the nature of this course, registration is a little more complex than VTVLC’s traditional enrollment courses. In order to make this an easy process, we’ve outlined the steps below. You must complete all steps.

1.) Register online. Login to VTVLC’s student information system, Maestro. If the student does not have a user account with VTVLC, they must first Create an Account in Maestro. If the student has an account, simply follow the instructions for Requesting a Course. (The course name to search for is “Marine Biology Trip to Indonesia FY21”.)

2.) Once the student has requested the course in VTVLC’s student information system, the request will be sent to the school counselor for approval.

3.) A deposit of $500 will be due with registration (no later than January 18, 2021) in order to reserve a spot for the trip. Please refer to the ‘Scholarship & Fees’ tab for details. Seats are limited!

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