The Marine Education Center and Aquarium provides public programs for visitors and families to learn more about the Georgia coast with the whole family.
Public programs offered by the UGA Aquarium are a fun way for individuals and families to get involved in marine science while enjoying a day at the aquarium.
Recurring programs are listed below, though additional programs are offered throughout the year. For a complete schedule of events at all locations, visit our Events Calendar.
Programs range in cost and age-appropriate formats, but all require a reservation. For more information about program opportunities, email our Public Programs Coordinator, Kayla Clark, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 912-598-3345.
Coastal Stewards (Adults)
Coastal Stewards Program
In 2017, University of Georgia’s Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant responded to the need for expanded public programming by creating the Coastal Stewards Program, a series of environmental education workshops designed for adults and short format programs for families living on or visiting the Georgia coast. The goal of the program is to engage these audiences in activities designed to improve their knowledge of coastal ecosystems, enhance understanding of current issues impacting coastal communities, and inspire stewardship of natural resources.
This is an ideal program for someone interested in gaining in-depth knowledge and relevant skills for enjoying and using natural resources in coastal Georgia. Each workshop includes lecture, lab and field activities designed to increase content knowledge while also enhancing skills for using scientific and recreational equipment. An emphasis will be placed on incorporating strategies for stewardship of resources and environmental leadership. Class offerings change seasonally. Check the online event calendar or contact Kayla Clark for topics.
Coastal Stewards Curriculum
The Coastal Stewards Curriculum grew out of the Coastal Stewards Program and supports a growing movement of informal adult and family environmental education opportunities across the region. While there are many environmental education programs and curriculums serving k-12 students in the state, few of them specifically target adults and multi-age audiences. This curriculum includes a compilation of activities and resources that can be used to build stewardship topics and activities into programming for adults and families.
Stewardship Shorts are 1-2 page PDF documents designed to communicate conservation challenges and stewardship solutions along Georgia’s coast. Each provides background information, stewardship actions, and connections with coastal organizations that do similar work.
Winter Science Series (Adults)
Winter Science Series
What’s in your water? This winter, learn all about what you can find in the waters around Savannah! The UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium will be offering a series of science labs and field experiences from December through March. These hands-on labs are designed for adults (18+) and each class will focus on using different methods of sampling using microscopes, dissecting scopes and trawling. All labs, except the cruise, will be held from 9-11 a.m. The cruise will be held 9 a.m.- noon. Classes can be taken individually or as a series. To register, contact Kayla Clark at email@example.com or 912-598-3345 no later than one week prior to each class. Check back later to see the 2019 schedule.
Summer Programs (Children)
June and July Programs
Turtle Tuesdays, Every Tuesday at 2 p.m.Meet a turtle that’s found on the Georgia coast each Tuesday in July at the UGA Aquarium! Each week, we’ll introduce visitors to one of the aquarium’s ambassador turtles. Learn about diamondback terrapins, loggerhead sea turtles, gopher tortoises and more!
Toddler Touch Tanks, Every Thursday from 10 – 11 a.m.Cost: $6
Behind the Scenes Aquarium Tours, Every Thursday from 2-3 p.m.Cost: $10
Ocean to Table (Adults)
Ocean to Table Workshops
Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant is partnering with the University of Georgia’s Cooperative Extension Program in Chatham County to offer a series of Ocean to Table workshops that focus on various seafood topics, from shellfish to blue crab. The series aims to increase popularity and interest in local foods and sustainable seafood in Georgia. During each workshop, participants sample seafood products, enjoy cooking demonstrations and receive information designed to help them make more informed decisions when purchasing, handling and eating seafood products. To find out about upcoming ocean to table programs, visit our event calendar at gacoast.uga.edu/events.
Super Museum Sunday
Every year, over 40 cultural institutions throughout coastal Georgia participate in the Georgia Historical Society’s Super Museum Sunday. Georgians and visitors alike are invited to experience the rich history and cultural life found in Georgia as historic sites, house museums, art museums and other sites in Savannah and coastal Georgia open their doors to the public, providing an excellent opportunity to visit and experience the history in their own backyard.
The UGA Aquarium is open to the public during this event.
On April 22 of each year events held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth’s natural environment. The Savannah Earth Day Festival is held each April in Savannah’s Forsyth Park. The festival emphasizes reducing waste and increasing sustainability. Nearly 100 Earth Day exhibitors share earth-friendly information, food prepared with local ingredients is offered and the Forsyth Farmer’s Market provides fresh produce sold by local vendors. Free educational workshops are held throughout the afternoon, demonstrating popular urban homesteading topics like beekeeping and backyard chickens.
World Oceans Day
Each year, the UGA Aquarium celebrates World Oceans Day on June 8. Throughout the day, visitors can tour behind the scenes at the aquarium, encounter reptiles, interact with horseshoe crabs and learn about the incredible animals of Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.
UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant participates in CoastFest in Brunswick, Ga., in October. This free, family-oriented educational festival is Georgia’s largest outdoor festival celebrating our state’s coastal, environmental, historical and cultural resources. Over 9,000 excited visitors enjoy interactive exhibits and activity areas provided by 80-plus local, regional, state and federal agencies, non-profit organizations and institutions of higher learning. Touch tanks with live coastal animals, educational information, games and activities for the whole family are just part of our offerings.
Skidaway Marine Science Day
Skidaway Marine Science Day is held annually each October. This campus-wide open house offers activities geared for all ages. Programs, tours, displays and hands-on activities, primarily related to marine science and the coastal environment, are all part of the day’s educational fun. Open to the public at no charge, the event is presented by UGA’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography, the UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium, UGA’s Shellfish Research Laboratory and Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary.
UGA Marine Education Center and Aquarium is open to visitors during this event, with no admission fee. In addition, the aquarium education staff offers interactive reptile displays, touch tanks, microscope fun and behind-the-scenes peeks of the aquarium. The Skidaway Institute of Oceanography offers a wide variety of activities for both adults and children, including tours of the R/V Savannah and smaller research vessels, science displays, talks about current research programs and hands-on activities.