USF Unique Oceanography Camp for Girls Marks 25 Years at Marine Science Campus

In the 1990’s several national studies revealed a tremendous drop in the number of women pursuing math and science degrees. To address this short fall on a local level, the USF College of Marine Science began the first Oceanography Camp for Girls (OCG) in 1991, a National Science Foundation Model Program for Women and Girls.

The all-girls setting dissolves social barriers to learning, takes place in an authentic science environment and advances a positive sense of self.

OCG Director Teresa Greely recalls “Our Camp on the USF St. Petersburg campus was developed to inspire and motivate young women entering high school to consider career opportunities in the sciences. Each three-week program provides hands-on, research experiences in both laboratory and field environments. “Under the interdisciplinary umbrella of oceanography, participants are directly involved in disciplines in which women and minorities are most often underrepresented; chemistry, geology, physics, engineering and mathematics.” “Strengths of this program are: interdisciplinary learning that focuses on the physical sciences as well as math and biology; participation in real-world research projects and problem solving; graduate student mentors capable of not only teaching science but also identifying with campers on levels that both inspire and increase their confidence about science; one-to-one mentoring between teenaged girls and research scientists; alumni campers, who serve as peer counselors to”new” campers while enhancing their communication and leadership skills.

”Registration Details All girls in Pinellas County schools who are completing the 8th grade can learn science while having fun experiencing the Ocean World. Be an oceanographer during field and lab explorations, including a day at sea aboard a research vessel, coastal marine field trips, “real-world” research projects, career interviews and behind the scenes at SeaWorld. Science mentors include graduate students, research scientists, educators and camp alumni as teen counselors.

Session is three weeks from June 12-30, 8 am-4 pm daily at the USF College of Marine Science,140 7th Ave. South, St. Petersburg. There is no cost, only daily transportation (limited to 30 girls)

Apply to the 2017 OCG until March 31:

  1. Download an Application at
  2. Complete application & return by March 31 deadline via mail to: USF Marine Science, 140 7th Ave. S. St. Petersburg, FL 33701 (postmarked March 31st)OR email to Angela Lodge,
  3. Participate in an interview at your school the month of April
  4. Letters mailed to all applicants about the outcome the week of May 1.

For any questions on the Application, call 727-553-3921. Greely offers this final note, ”Probably the best way to describe the benefits of our all-girls camp is to share what one camper’s parent had to say: ‘I have never seen my daughter so excited to come home muddy, sun-kissed, exhausted, and ready to wake up early to begin again the next day!’ or perhaps a quote captured from a recent camper, ‘…how fun it was to get our hands dirty and not be concerned with our appearance, because there were no boys, just girls with the same interest in learning’.”  PN

Story by STEVE TRAIMAN•  Photos by OCG

[Editors’s Note: Special thanks to Teresa Greely, Angela Lodge and Rhonda Sanborn at the OCG for their excellent comments and photos.][Steve Traiman is President of Creative Copy by Steve Traiman in St. Pete Beach, offering freelance business writing services. He can be reached via email at]

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