USC Family Science Program

We will be running the USC Family Science Program in the summer of 2016!

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 Explorers 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, explore the Interior, and watch the sunrise and sunsets. Look for marine mammals while you kayak and some local critters while you hike! Relax, unwind and learn all at the same time!

Quick Look

Snorkeling in our Marine Protected Area

  • Big Fisherman’s Cove is a site within the Blue Cavern’s State Marine Conservation Area. This is one of the many “hope spots” that are the first in the nation in taking steps to protect the ocean from human impacts. This long enacted site of marine conservation offers pristine water conditions and environments for snorkelers to explore!

Ocean Kayaking

  • Venture out into the big blue on our kayaking trip to the nearby town of Two Harbors with USC Naturalists. You’ll get to take a good look at the unique geology of Catalina Island. We’ll also be exploring tidepools for cool marine critters!

Exploring Catalina’s Interior

  • There’s so much more than just the pristine coastline of Catalina, join us as we drive through the interior to the backside of the island. We’ll get to see some of the special native plants and animals that inhabit this island.

Engage with researchers and learn about current ongoing research projects!

  • Learn about the cool research our students, faculty and researchers are working on!
  • Come get your hands on ROV’s (remotely operated vehicles underwater!) and learn about some cool ways to science.

Under the Sea Party!

  • Pack your favorite ocean themed costume #squadgoals for some fun under the stars.

USC Family Science Programs and Rates for 2016

June 17-19
Cost: $375 per person

August 12-14
Cost: $375 per person

Program cost includes all equipment, activities, meals, and transportation. Housing is additional, with different accommodations available. There is a mandatory $100 per person deposit due at the time of booking.


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 Explorers 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) 510-0811.

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 Explorers Program, and they must be accompanied by an adult.

The Family Science Explorers 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 an additional fee based on selection.

For more information, please call (310) 510-0811 or email