USC Family Science Program

The University of Southern California Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies invites you and your family to embark on a journey of scientific discovery at our very special Family Science Program! Join USC faculty, staff, and researchers at USC’s “other” campus, the Philip K. Wrigley Marine Science Center on beautiful Catalina Island. Snorkel in a Marine Life Refuge with marine scientists. Hike the “off the beaten track” trails of Catalina. Look for marine mammals while you kayak. Relax, unwind and learn all at the same time!

For more information, please call (310) 510-4090 or email

USC Family Science Programs and Rates for 2014


Session 1: June 13-16
Session 2: August 8-11


$550 (12 and over), $325 (ages 5-11)
The programming price includes all equipment, activities, meals, and the transportation to and from Catalina Island. Housing is additional.


A variety of housing options are available for your family. The Wrigley Marine Science Center has several types of accommodations available for participants in the Family Science Program or you may stay aboard your own vessel.

  • Dormitory-style housing with two-room suites joined by a bathroom, perfect for a family of four or five.
  • Dormitory-style rooms with private bathrooms and twin beds, perfect for two or three people.
  • Furnished one-bedroom apartments (and one furnished two-bedroom apartment) with kitchen facilities.
  • Lodging in our Boone Center for Environmental Leadership. These accommodations are "island elegant" units that are truly a home away from home. We have two-bedroom houses equipped with full fridges and light prep kitchens with microwave ovens.

Linens and bath towels are provided for all units.

For availability and rates, or more information on the housing options of our program please call (310) 510-4090.

Answers to frequently asked questions

Participation in the program is open to all. You do not need to be a USC student or graduate to take part in the Family Science Program.

All children must be at least five years old by the time they attend the Family Science Program, and they must be accompanied by an adult.

Activities include:

  • Snorkeling with USC staff biologists
  • Lectures by USC scientists
  • Ocean kayaking
  • Science workshops and labs as well as arts and crafts
  • Experience scrutinizing microscopic organisms in our labs
  • Experience building an ROV (remotely operated underwater vehicle) together with your family
  • Outdoor exploration of Catalina Island with USC naturalists

The Family Science Program does not include scuba activities.

The basic program price includes all equipment, activities, cafeteria meals and transportation from San Pedro to Catalina Island and back. Housing is additional.