Marine Ecology Research Program

We're like pioneers, going out and doing research that people haven't done before.
Jayme, boarding student from Alamo, California


Santa Catalina sits just two miles from the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, an environment so rich in biodiversity it's known as "The Serengeti of the Sea." Because of our location, we have developed a signature program that exposes our students to the wonders of Monterey Bay and allows them to take full advantage of its great educational value. Watch the video below to get a peek at the range of experiences offered in our Marine Ecology Research Program.


Our three-year Marine Ecology Research Program provides an intensive focus on marine science for a select group of students beginning in their sophomore year. Students study in and around the ocean, doing research, learning by observation, testing hypotheses, and experimenting in the bay itself.

We need to experience a new setting to notice our own place.
Dr. Christian Reilly and Dr. Lisa Marrack

Hawaii Research Trip

After every school year, students take a trip to Hawaii to monitor the health of coral reefs, an ongoing research project in which each year's students build on the observations of the last. Students also hike across volcanic craters, walk through native rainforests, swim among juvenile reef fish, and explore green sea turtle habitats.


The Faculty

Christian Reilly

Christian Reilly

Degrees: B.S., The Evergreen State College
M.A., Boston University
Ph.D., Stanford University
Lisa Marrack

Lisa Marrack

Degrees: B.A. (magna cum laude), Williams College
M.A., Moss Landing Marine Laboratories
Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley