2023 SBS Logistics

Welcome to Semester By the Sea 2023!
We’re happy that you will be joining us at the Darling Marine Center this fall.

There are a few things you need to do, if you haven’t already:

  1. 2023 Dates to Remember
    • By April 21 – Students receive welcome email and required forms from the Darling Marine Center
    • May 1 – Deadline for completion of all DMC forms. Students are expected to complete and submit all materials on time. Otherwise your place in SBS cannot be guaranteed.
  2. Read this web page. It highlights what you can expect and what is expected of you, during the SBS program at the DMC. It includes information and logistical details – when to arrive/depart, what to bring and what not bring. Please read it in its entirety!

Special note about SMS 324: Introduction to Research Diving. This class requires instructor permission to register and has several prerequisites. Details can be found online at the UMaine Scientific Diving website, under the Diver Training, SMS324 tabs. All pre-course documentation described on these webpages is due as required by the instructor. Note that there is an additional course fee of $700 for SMS 324, Scientific Diving, which covers course materials and certifications.

Costs to Consider. There is a $850 course fee attached to SMS 350, which covers course expenses for all the SBS courses in which a student participates. Room and board  are billed separately and in addition to this required course fee. Note that there is an additional course fee of $850 for SMS 324, Scientific Diving, which covers course materials and certifications. Semester by the Sea is a Residential Program, estimated Room and Board for 2023 likely will not exceed $6259 ($3009 for a double room or less for a triple-occupancy room, and $3250 for the required meal plan).

Note that all 2023 SBS students are required to enroll in SBS Seminar. 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. Preference will be given to those students graduating in the 2023-2024 academic year, if we reach our enrollment capacity of 30 students. Semester by the Sea is designed as a residential program and all students are expected to live on campus unless the residential facilities of the Darling Marine Center are unable to support accessibility needs of an individual as determined by working with UMaine Student Accessibility Services and DMC staff.

The Darling Marine Center (DMC)
The DMC is the marine laboratory of the University of Maine. It was founded in 1965 with the donation of a 127-acre farm by Ira C. Darling, a retired Chicago insurance executive, with the purpose of establishing a marine laboratory. Today the Center occupies more than 180 acres of largely wooded property bordering 2km of water frontage on the Damariscotta River.

The Center has two “campuses.” The upper campus is Ira’s old farmstead. The farmhouse and barns have been renovated and converted to offices, labs and library. The lower campus is on the waterfront and includes the flowing seawater laboratories, classrooms, dive building and dorm. There is about a half-mile between the two. A campus map is available here.

Where’s Walpole
The DMC is located in Walpole, on the eastern shore of the Damariscotta River about six miles from the open waters of Gulf of Maine. The Damariscotta River estuary is a tide-dominated embayment whose clean salty waters provide excellent research opportunities for DMC scientists and support a thriving oyster aquaculture industry.

Walpole is a very small village that is part of the town of a South Bristol, Maine. Walpole has its own post office and a golf course, but that’s about it! Groceries, movies and restaurants are available in the nearby town of Damariscotta, seven miles away. Brunswick is less than an hour’s drive and has more to offer as far as movies and department stores are concerned. Portland, Maine’s largest city, is 60 miles from the Center. The midcoast Maine area has lots to offer if you like exploring the great outdoors, so be sure to bring your running shoes, hiking boots, bikes and binocs.

Travel Tips
Information on plane, train and bus transportation, as well as driving directions are all available at on our travel page.

Arrival and Departure
Plan to arrive Sunday, August 27th after 4:00 pm, and before 8:00 pm. We will ask that all residents move in by 8 pm and join us the Brooke Hall meeting/dining space for a brief safety orientation at 8:00 pm. Housing assignments will be posted on the white board in Brooke Hall. You DO NOT need to stop at the Horse Barn/Admin Building to sign in. Please check in with DMC staff when you arrive in Brooke Hall. We will distribute keys at 8:00 PM during the safety briefing.

You are expected to vacate your room within 24 hours of your last final exam, or by the last Friday of finals week by 5:00, whichever comes first.

(If you need to arrive sooner or depart later, please contact dmc@maine.edu.

The Residential Life Coordinator lives in the dormitory and will be on hand to greet you when you arrive. They are also a great resource and can field many questions about the DMC and the SBS program.

Dorm Rooms
SBS students will live in Brooke Hall, our dorm/dinning facility on the lower, waterfront campus. Most students will be in triple-occupancy rooms and some will be in doubles. Each room will have two sets of twin-size bunk beds, one desk, two wardrobes, and two bureaus that must be shared. Residents are responsible for keeping their rooms and common areas clean. House-keeping supplies such as brooms and dustpans are available for your use. If you require accommodation please contact DMC Programs Manager.

  • One compact refrigerator, 1.8 cubic feet or smaller, is allowed in each room.
  • Do not bring a microwave; one is available for use in the dorm.
  • Coin operated laundry facilities are available in the dorm. $1/wash and $1.50/dryer.

Brooke Hall is a multi-use facility. Throughout the year various groups visit the DMC. Conferences are occasionally scheduled in Brooke Hall, so SBSers may share the space and eat meals with guests. Please be conscious of the multi-use nature of this facility and considerate of others. Do not leave personal belongings in common areas.

Residents at the DMC are expected to act in accordance with the code of conduct and policies outlined in the University of Maine’s Residential Life Student Handbook. Please take special note of the following:

  • Alcohol and drugs. Persons 21 years of age and over may use alcohol in the privacy of their own rooms. The consumption of alcohol or possession of an open container is prohibited in all public areas. The use of alcohol is a privilege that may be lost. The possession, use, manufacture, or distribution of illegal drugs are prohibited at any time on University property (this includes marijuana).
  • The Darling Marine Center is a smoke-free and tobacco-free campus. This UMaine policy applies to all tobacco, vaping, e-cigarettes, and smoking products. These products are prohibited both inside and outside on University of Maine owned or operated property.
  • The possession and/or use of fireworks is prohibited on DMC property.
  • The Darling Marine Center community is committed to maintaining a respectful, fair educational and work environment, free from discrimination and harassment. We have an equal opportunity complaint procedure to deal promptly and fairly with concerns about discrimination and harassment. If you have questions or concerns, please contact the DMC Director, other SMS faculty or the DMC Laboratory Manager.

Upon arrival dorm residents will receive a key to their room. If this key is not returned upon departure you will be charged $85.00 for a lock replacement.

You may have at car at the DMC. No parking permit is required, but we do need to know which vehicles belong to which students. You will be asked the make and model of your car on the Emergency contact form.

SBS is a residential program. Students living in the dorm are expected to participate in the meal plan, which includes 19 meals/week. Meals are served in the Brooke Hall dining hall. There is no cash allowance for off-campus food purchases and there is no cash allowance put on your MaineCard.

Please let us know if you prefer vegetarian entrees or have any food allergies on the Residence Hall and Dining Agreement.

The first meal is breakfast on Monday, August 28th.

SBS students are expected to be on time for meals. Unlike in Orono, where the cafeterias are open for extended periods, we have set times for meals: breakfast, lunch and dinner are served at 7:30am, 12noon and 5:30pm, respectively. On the weekends Brunch is served at 11:00 and Dinner at 5:30. Our chefs work hard to make sure meals are served on time and we expect SBS students to be timely as well.

What to bring
Pack as you would for living in Orono with respect to clothing and bedding (x-long twin sheets, blankets, pillows and towels.) In addition, please be prepared to work in the field under inclement weather conditions. We recommend that you bring full rain gear, rubber boots, and layers of warm clothes. You may also want to bring binoculars for getting better views of seals and seabirds. Bicycles, kayaks and other recreation equipment also are encouraged.

What not to bring
DO NOT BRING:  pets (except well behaved fish in appropriately sized tanks no larger than 10gal), toasters, hot plates, microwave ovens, candles, or incense.

Orientation, safety and academics
SBS begins Monday, August 28th. A mandatory orientation meeting and basic safety training will take place immediately after Breakfast, at 8:30 a.m. in Brooke Hall. All SBS students must attend.

On Friday, September 1st there will be a mandatory vessel operations/waterfront safety training. All SBS students must attend.

Each SBS class is assigned a full day for teaching, allowing for longer lectures, labs and field trips. The location or time of a class may change to take advantage of tides or special laboratory needs.

We recommend that you purchase your textbooks before arriving at the DMC. Required texts are available through the UMaine Bookstore.

Internet Access
“eduroam” the University of Maine’s wireless Internet network is available across campus. UMaine students should be able to access the network without a problem. If you are from another college or university, you can access the Internet via the “UMS Guest” network when you first arrive. Once you are settled in, we’ll get you on the full network. The DMC  has two common use computers and a printer in the library.

Diving & Snorkeling
The DMC offers opportunities for snorkeling and scuba within the SBS academic program. For more information contact Chris Rigaud, the DMC’s Dive Safety Officer at crigaud@maine.edu.

The Darling Marine Center has a long tradition of being a safe place for students. However, we cannot be responsible for your personal belongings. We suggest that you decide what to bring based on these guidelines. We view theft and vandalism as intolerable and would act swiftly and severely if such activity were to be uncovered.

General Policy: the Darling Marine Center is part of the University of Maine and we follow the same safety and residential regulations, as detailed in the online Student Handbook umaine.edu/handbook.

Alcohol, Tobacco, and Marijuana Policy
Alcohol is not allowed in public areas of the DMC, including the dining hall, grounds and fire-pit picnic area, without appropriate permits. Persons 21 years of age or older are allowed to consume alcohol in their dorm room.  Please be responsible with your consumption, as this is a privilege that can be lost.

Marijuana possession and use, regardless of form, is prohibited. This includes medical and recreational marijuana products because of our federal funding.

University of Maine, including the Darling Marine Center, is a tobacco-free campus. The use of tobacco and all smoking products is prohibited in university buildings and on university owned property, including parking areas, walkways, and university-owned vehicles. Tobacco use by definition includes the possession of any lighted tobacco products, the use of any type of smokeless tobacco, and vaping.

Mailing Address & Phone Number
The DMC gets daily service (Monday-Friday) from the U.S. Postal Service, UPS and FedEx.

Your address will be:

“your name”

c/o Darling Marine Center

Semester By the Sea

193 Clarks Cove Road

Walpole, ME 04573


The DMC phone number is 207.563.8144.

In case of an emergency, family members can dial extensions 563.8220, 563.8202, or 563.8330. People at these extensions are often at their desks during work hours and can relay messages.

For SBS academic information contact:
Dr. William Ellis  •  william.ellis@maine.edu  •  207.581.4360
Jodie Feero  •  jodief@maine.edu  •  207.581.4851

For DMC facility and research opportunity information contact:
DMC Director  • dmc@maine.edu •  207.563.8144
DMC Programs & Communications Manager  • dmc@maine.edu •  207.563.8144