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Alaska Coastal Summer Institute

Alaska Coastal Summer Institute

KBNERR fish SSWS monitoring sea otter      

The Alaska Coastal Summer Institute (ACSI) 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 assist with a sea otter necropsy. 
  • 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 ACSI students engage in during their five weeks in Kachemak Bay. 

Water Quality sampling phenology intertidal monitoring


ACSI is built around four 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.

Students participating in ACSI also have the option to study at the Kachemak Bay Campus in the semester prior to or following ACSI through Semester by the Bay*.  

The Partners:

● Center for Alaskan Coastal Studies (CACS) and the Peterson Bay Field Station

● The Kachemak Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

● US Fish & Wildlife Service

● NOAA Kasitsna Bay Laboratory


Fee of $3,000** covers instruction, supplies & equipment, housing, most meals & travel across the Bay. 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.

Interested in being a part of the Alaska Coastal Summer Institute in summer 2019 or summer 2020?  

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.

* Internships may be conducted for university credit. 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.

** 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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