Edmund F. & Virginia B. Ball Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp

Spend a week scuba diving and snorkeling at one of the world’s most stunning coral reefs. High school students (13-17 years old) will learn about tropical marine ecology and conservation in our interactive programme where no day will be the same! Students will benefit from lessons and frequent interaction with experts in marine ecology including researchers and resident graduate students. Divers and non-divers are accepted into the programme.


CMEC Level 1: July 16 – 22
CMEC Level 2: July 23 – 29


$2,395 USD
(Excludes flights and DAN insurance for scuba divers)

What participants are saying:

“My favorite experiences each year during CCMI’s camp is getting to swim with the incredible animals and fish in the sea. This year we saw lots of eagle rays and even got to watch a relationship called ‘nuclear hunting’ which is when other fish join the ray to eat leftover food it’s done with while swimming alongside it.”
Anna Symens – United States of America (CMEC 2017, 2018, 2019)

“I really enjoyed the whole week of diving and conducting research, but one of my favorite things throughout the week was going out and planting staghorn coral on the reef. I know this kind of restoration will be a great benefit to the our local economy in a few years time and I just can’t wait to come back to CCMI in the future to see how the outplanted corals are doing. I hope to leave Cayman to get a higher education so that I can come back and do more diving and research on all of our corals and help cull the lionfish.”
Jesse Jackson – Cayman Islands (CMEC 2015, 2016, 2017)

“Aside from the great knowledge I gained by attending CCMI’s week long CMEC, I also gained unforgettable experiences from the warm-hearted staff, who felt like more than just instructors…they are really cool role models and definitely now my friends to say the least!”
Jacob Whewell – Cayman Islands ( CMEC 2017)

“Thank you once again for another great reef study experience for our daughter, Amanda.”
Karen Weissman – USA (Mother of CMEC 2018 & 2019 Camper)

CMEC Level 1

Spend a week at CCMI’s Little Cayman Research Centre diving and snorkelling in Little Caymans famous waters! Students (age 13-17) will be living amongst scientists and educators, learning about tropical marine ecology and engaging with the world around them. Divers and non divers are accepted into the programme.

What students will gain from the experience 

Camp activities include dive and snorkel outings where the students will ID fish and coral; observe a lionfish dissection; participate in classroom lectures about the deep sea, threats to coral reefs and native species; take part in a night snorkel; play beach games; share memories around an evening bonfire, and more.

CMEC Level 2

Spend a week at CCMI’s Little Cayman Research Centre diving and snorkelling in Little Cayman’s famous waters! Level 2 of CCMI’s Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp is perfect for students who have already participated in CMEC Level 1, as it builds on the information and activity from that experience. Students will spend a week living amongst scientists and educators, building on their prior knowledge and developing new and more specialised skills amongst peers that are equally as passionate about the marine environment.

What students will gain from the experience

Camp activities include dive and snorkel outings where students conduct mini surveys on our reefs to practice and enhance fish and coral ID skills/knowledge. They will learn coral nursery care and gain hands on experience in one of CCMI’s coral nurseries during some of the dives and snorkels. Students will dissect their own lionfish at this level (under careful supervision by staff). Students will practice their underwater photography skills, participate in a night snorkel to see bioluminescence, and end their action-packed week by participating in the Ocean Olympics, a variety of ocean themed challenges!

2023 programme dates

Summer sessions

CMEC Level 1: July 16 – 22
CMEC Level 2: July 23 – 29

Camp cost: $2395 USD (all flights and DAN insurance for scuba divers separate)

Download the CCMI CMEC registration packet HERE.

Email completed registration packets to education@reefresearch.org; these courses are appropriate for both divers and non-divers)

Cost: $2395 USD (excludes flights and DAN insurance for scuba divers);  deposit of US $500 is required at the time of booking to secure placement in the programme.

Ocean Science Scholars Need-Based Scholarship Information 

Thanks to the generous support of the Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation, we are able to offer five need-based scholarships to attend the Caribbean Marine Ecology Camp. Please download the application HERE.

Completed scholarship applications should be emailed to our education team.

For more information about CCMI’s Ocean Science Scholars and to be notified when scholarships are available for this course, contact CCMI’s education team directly via email.

All CCMI staff, interns, and volunteers who work with minors have been trained and certified through the Cayman Islands Government – Child Protection Unit Training, Second Step: Child Safeguarding Programme and/or Darkness to Light – Child Safeguard Training.

This programme outlines the responsibilities of the Cayman Islands Government and public officials to protect and safeguard children and young people. A Safe Environment Policy helps prevent situations in which children are at an increased risk for abuse because of the physical characteristics of a building. A safe environment is one that increases visibility, ensures adequate supervision and controls access. The Ministry of Education is committed to working with the Department of Education Services (DES) and schools or education institutions to develop welcoming, supportive and inclusive learning environments that promote the well-being of all students and staff. The Ministry of Education wishes to promote a ‘spirit’ of child protection and establish the baseline expectation of supervision of students. The Safe Environment Policy dictates what the responsibilities of staff are in protecting and perpetuating a safe environment for students.

All CCMI staff, interns, and volunteers who work with minors have also been trained and certified in First-Aid, CPR & AED delivery, and water-related emergency management.

For further information on CCMI education staff, interns, or volunteer training please contact our education team: education@reefresearch.org