Alaska Coastal Summer Institute

Alaska Coastal Summer Institute (postponed due to COVID-19)

KBNERR fish SSWS monitoring sea otter      

The Alaska Coastal Summer Institute (AK-CSI) is a unique, immersive field study opportunity for undergraduate and continuing education students!  During this intensive, five-week program, you will gain diverse hands-on experiences:

  • Race against the tide to finish a transect line in one of the most biodiverse rocky intertidal zones on the planet.
  • Discover new juvenile salmon habitat using a seine-net.
  • Collect plankton samples and assess them for species that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning and other harmful algal blooms. 
  • Participate in the marine mammal stranding network and marine mammal outreach/education activities. 
  • Go on a sea star hunt, searching for evidence of sea star wasting syndrome and potential recruitment of juveniles and population recovery. 

These are just some of the field study opportunities that AK-CSI students engage in during their five weeks in Kachemak Bay. 

Water Quality sampling phenology intertidal monitoring

AK-CSI is built around core experiences (each about a week in duration) hosted by local research agencies and community-organizations in the Kachemak Bay area.  These core experiences provide a fun, fascinating, and highly effective way to learn how scientific knowledge is being built and used in Kachemak Bay.  You will also attain job-related skills in research design, data collection, analysis, and scientific communication. Plus, you can grow your professional network and become familiar with a number of the research agencies working in Kachemak Bay, exploring different career options and build connections with organizations that offer seasonal internships, as well as research/graduate school positions! Each core experience determined by the partner agencies offers students insight into their most interesting and important research, community-based monitoring, and science communication work.

A 2-Credit Science Communication Course (ENGL 278: Sharing Science with Diverse Audiences) is woven into each week of AK-CSI.  NEW THIS YEAR, all students successfully completing the core experiences and required reflection activities will also receive 3 internship credits (BIOL 495A: Internship in the Biological Sciences) through the Kachemak Bay Campus-Kenai Peninsula College.  Students participating in AK-CSI also have the option to study at the Kachemak Bay Campus in the semester prior to or following AK-CSI through Semester by the Bay*.  

Fee of $4,000** covers instruction, supplies & equipment, housing, & travel across the Bay, as well as groceries during time spent in remote locations (about 2 weeks). For more information contact: Katie Gavenus, Program Director, CACS at 907-235-1974 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Due to the COVID-19, the Alaska Coastal Summer Institute has been postponed until summer 2023. If you would like more information about AK-CSI, please see below.

An individual consultation with an Alaska Coastal Summer Institute advisor is the best way to determine if the program is right for you. Please submit an Application of Interest Form to help us know a little more about you.  Once we have your form, we will contact you. During the initial session you will discuss your educational goals and your academic history and how the program can best fit into those goals.

* Contact Dr. Debbie Tobin (907-299-8380, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more details about Semester by the Bay.

** Fee subject to change, contact Katie Gavenus for updates (907-235-1974, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)


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