Semester By the Sea

In 2021, Semester By the Sea courses will be offered in a variety of modes so as to connect as many students to the ocean as we can during the global pandemic.

We have adapted existing SBS courses and created new ones, to enable more students to gain hands-on experience in marine and environmental science in summer and fall 2021. While we will not have students in residence for the full fall semester in 2021 due to the constraints created by the pandemic, we are offering a number of five-day residential learning opportunities for small numbers of students in summer and fall 2021 (SMS 309, SMS 450) as well as a variety of remote and in-person research internship opportunities that fulfill the SMS capstone requirement (SMS 400).

Students from throughout the University of Maine System are encouraged to apply, as are all advanced undergraduate or post baccalaureate students with a passion and background in science.

Courses offered in 2021 will include:


  • Shellfish Biology (SMS 309)
  • Scientific Diving (SMS 324)
  • Independent Study/Capstone Research (SMS 400)
  • Observing marine ecosystems: A field course in measurement and instrumentation (SMS 450)


  • Scientific Diving (SMS 324)
  • Independent Study/Capstone Research (SMS 400)
  • Observing marine ecosystems: A field course in measurement and instrumentation (SMS 450)
  • Estuarine Oceanography (SMS 484)
  • Aquaculture (SMS 491)
  • Biology of Marine Invertebrates (SMS 491/598)
  • Sea Change: Anthropogenic shifts in ocean systems (SMS 491)

Check out the full course descriptions HERE

Given the challenges created by the pandemic, no SBS course fees will be charged for 2021. However, room and board and its associated fees, are required for the five-day residential courses (SMS 309, SMS 450), and there is an additional course fee for SMS 324, Scientific Diving, which covers course materials and certifications.

UMaine students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor to ensure course selections fulfill their degree requirements. Non-UMaine students should contact Dr. William Ellis, Associate Director of SMS, for additional information.

Prerequisites & Participation
Semester By the Sea courses are open to students with sophomore-year standing, or equivalent background, with one year of biology and one year of chemistry. Students admitted to the program must create a course wish list in MaineStreet. When registration for the fall semester opens, Jodie Feero will enroll students based on class rank in the order their application was received.

2021 Dates to Remember

  • March 1, 4 PM – SBS 2021 informational meeting via zoom. All interested students are encouraged to attend. Contact for details.
  • March 15 – Deadline for completing online application form for Summer and Fall 2021 residential courses.
  • Late March – Notification of acceptance to SBS courses
  • April 1 – Students receive welcome letter and forms from the Darling Marine Center, if enrolled in Summer and Fall 2021 residential courses (SMS 309, SMS 450 only)
  • April 20 – Deadline for completion of all DMC forms, for the residential courses. Students are expected to complete and submit all materials on time. Failure to do so will remove a student from the roster and a wait listed student will be moved into that seat.

For SBS academic information contact:
Dr. William Ellis  •  •  207.581.4360
Jodie Feero  •  •  207.581.4851

For DMC facility and research opportunity information contact:
Dr. Heather Leslie  • •  207.563.8299
Matt Norwood  • •  207.563.8220