Marine Biology - Research in Honduras!

Spring and Summer 2018

This was by far the best off-site learning experience that I’ve ever had. I’ve heard so many great things about this trip and thought that I should give it a try. I’m so glad that I took up this experience and that I was able to explore my interests, and after this course and trip marine biology is doubtlessly still one. This was definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity because I don’t know many other people who have been snorkeling at a place like North Rock or who have seen the most amazing and interesting looking fish like we did. One thing in particular about this trip that’s great is the ability to do hands-on work about something that you’re really passionate about. Something about taking fish data for an actual corporation made it seem so much more interesting and knowing that all our data was being used professionally made me feel like I was actually making an impact. There aren’t many suggestions that I can give for future trips because everything that we did was unbelievably cool! The trip next year sounds absolutely incredible and the opportunity to go to Honduras for two weeks and get dive certified doesn’t come around too often. I love seeing that learning is taking a different path than it used to because there’s something special about an experience like this for something that you’re passionate about. Thank you, Brian, for taking so much time out of your life to provide a truly incredible experience for kids all over Vermont and for helping to make a difference in our environment. Your passion about our environment and ocean is so inspiring and I hope there are more people out there who want to help our environment and grow up to become so passionate like you are! Thank you again for all of this!


2017 Trip Participant


Thanks for investigating Marine Biology!

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 2 intensive days to prepare us for our research with Operation Wallacea, followed by the trip to Honduras in July. Finally, a time for reflections on research in August.


During the 2-week expedition in Honduras, students research the decline of sea urchins, lion fish (an unregulated invasive species) spreading across the Caribbean that acts as a predator of reef fish, and fish populations.
This course is available for grades 9-12.
All students will have the opportunity to receive SCUBA training and certification. (This is not required. Student can choose to use snorkel equipment for data collection).
College credit is available for students who are interested! Shasta College Credit: A credit option that can work for ALL Opwall expedition locations is to register for and complete a 3 credit online/field course called Field Biology (BIOL 12) offered by Shasta College in Redding, California. For ALL high school students, whether California residents or not, these 3 transferable credits cost only $31.50 for college fees, since tuition is waived for high school students! For more information and to register for BIOL 12, please send an email to stating where you are from, whether you are a high school student or a college/university student and which Opwall expedition you will be a part of, including the expedition dates.

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 24, 2018 – May 29, 2018

3 Day Training & Trip Preparation: June

Trip to Honduras: July 18 – July 31, 2018

Research & Reflections: August

Scholarships – 
The Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative will award a limited number of need-based scholarships for the Marine Biology Honduras 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 January 5, 2018 in order to be considered. Please see below for submission addresses. February 15, 2018 is the latest date for submissions, however, the earlier applications are submitted, the more likely there will be funds available.

Total Trip Fees: Approximately $2700 (includes airfare, lodging, food, research boats & scientific and safety equipment.) This price may vary slightly as plane tickets are purchased.
Total Course Fee*: $600 (1 credit Partner School Students) OR $750 (1 credit VT Non-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.

Payment Schedule – (Payments are non-refundable)
$500 deposit due with registration (prior to 1/24/18)
1/24/18 – Course Fee*
February – 1/3 of trip fee
March – 1/3 of trip fee
April – 1/3 of trip fee

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 802-885-8331. We accept Visa, Mastercard or Discover.

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 HONDURAS 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 Honduras”.)

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 24, 2018) in order to reserve a spot for the trip. Please refer to the ‘Scholarship & Fees’ tab for details. Seats are limited! As of 9/14/17, we already have 11 students who have signed up for the trip. The maximum number is 16.

Bermuda 2017 Documentary

Bermuda 2016 Documentary

2017 Blog

2017 REEF Data

U32 Chronicle: ‘Trip “changes lives”'

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