Darling Marine Center
193 Clarks Cove Road
Walpole, ME 04573

207-563-3146
207-563-3119 (fax)

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Semester By the Sea
For more than 20 years adventurous undergraduate students have convened at the Darling Marine Center for a semester of total immersion in the marine realm. You, too, can be a part of the fun. SBS is full of hands-on, field-oriented courses that will prepare you for a career or an advanced degrees in marine science.

Though most of our students hail from the UMaine's School of Marine Sciences, SBS is open to students from other University of Maine System campuses and outside institutions.

Pictures and videos of SBS can be found here.

Hands-On Learning
SBS courses are unique. They meet one day a week, most for the whole day, with lectures, labs and field trips scheduled around the tides. Ready access to a myriad of marine environments and faculty mentors makes the DMC is the perfect venue for capstone and honors projects.

Outstanding Faculty
SBS courses are taught by faculty who are internationally recognized experts in their fields. They didn't just read the text books; they helped write them!

Excellent Facilities
The DMC is one of the leading marine research stations on the eastern seaboard of North America. We have research vessels, flowing seawater classrooms/laboratories, electron microscopes, marine library and dormitory/dining facilities.

Outstanding Faculty
SBS courses are taught by faculty who are internationally recognized experts in their fields. They didn't just read the text books; they helped write them!

Excellent Facilities
The DMC is one of the leading marine research stations on the eastern seaboard of North America. We have research vessels, flowing seawater classrooms/laboratories, electron microscopes, marine library and dormitory/dining facilities.

SBS Courses (course descriptions can be found here)

  • Undergraduate Seminar
  • Marine Ecology
  • Biology of Marine Invertebrates
  • Marine Biomechanics: Designs of Marine Organisms
  • Human Impacts on the Ocean
  • Zooplankton & Ichthyoplankton in Marine Ecosystems
  • Introduction to Research Diving
  • Maritime History and Archaeology of New England
  • Archaeology of Shipwreck Sites
  • Marine Fisheries Ecoology
  • Independent Study/Capstone Research

Some courses are offered every other year. Additionally, courses on special topics may be added to the offerings each fall. The above link lists courses for the upcoming year.


Prerequisites, Application & Contacts
To participate in Semester by the Sea you must have at least a sophomore year standing, or equivalent background, with one year of biology and one year of chemistry. Upon acceptance to the SBS program, students not currently enrolled at the University of Maine will be sent additional paperwork required by the University.

To apply: download the SBS application (pdf) and
return the completed - before registering for classes - to:

SBS/Undergraduate Coordinator
School of Marine Sciences
5706 Aubert Hall, Room 360
University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469-5706

For academic information contact:
Dr. William Ellis
207.581.4360
wge@umit.maine.edu

For DMC information contact:
Linda Healy
207.563.8220 or 207.581.5220
lhealy@maine.edu


Is SBS only available to marine science students at the University of Maine?
No. SBS is open to any student at the University of Maine, as well as students from other campuses of the University of Maine System or any other academic institution.

If your university is a member of the National Student Exchange program, you can work through your study away program and NSE to come to UM for the semester. This is the easiest route, because all of your financial aid would stay the same and stay with your home institution. The National Student Exchange program has their own website that may be helpful: http://www.nse.org.

Students from outside institutions should contact Dr. William Ellis by phone at 207-581-4360 or email at wge@umit.maine.edu for more information.

Do I have to take all of the SBS courses?
No, though you must take at least 12 credits to be a full-time student in the SBS program the one-credit SBS Undergraduate Seminar. Aside from that, you can mix and match classes as you wish.

Where will I live?
SBS students live in the waterfront dormitory at the Darling Marine Center in the housing adjacent to laboratories and classrooms. Requests to live off campus will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Where is the Darling Marine Center?
The Center is 106 miles from the Orono campus. It is located on a large wooded property along the Damariscotta River Estuary in the small village of Walpole, Maine. The nearby town of Damariscotta offers shops, restaurants and a cinema.

How much will it cost?
SBS students pay the normal University of Maine tuition and fees plus a $250 program fee. Costs of room and board are based on those charged for double occupancy and full meal plan at the University of Maine.

What about recreation?
Outdoor recreation predominates at the Center’s rural location. Canoeing, kayaking, hiking, bicycling, picnicking, volleyball, and basketball are popular activities. The town of Damariscotta has a YMCA with fitness facilities. Portland, Maine's largest city is about an hour away.