Marine Chemistry Student Research Program

Marine Chemistry is a four-year extracurricular scientific research program for highly capable and motivated students.

The Marine Chemistry Program is a four-year scientific research program for highly capable students. The admission process begins in March of the student's 8th grade year. Invitations to apply to the program are sent directly to students scoring in the top 15% on the placement exam. Applications are sent out during the first two weeks in March. Interested students then complete the admissions application which is due no later than April 9, 2018. Twenty-seven students are then selected from the applicant pool to attend the week long lab practical, May 7-11, 2018, 4-6 p.m., which serves as a sort of "try out" week. Invitation to apply to the program does not guarantee an invitation to participate in the lab practical. Following the lab practical, participating students are asked to write a research paper based on the data collected during the week. From the twenty-seven students participating in the lab practical, approximately 18 students are accepted to the program. This decision is based on the student application and performance during the lab practical week. Students are notified of admission to the program by the first week in August. For those students selected for the program, monthly classes begin in September of the student's freshman year. Please contact, Emily Andresen, Director of Admission and Freshmen Curriculum for the Marine Chemistry Program with any further questions. If you are interested in applying to the program and have not received an application by March 15, please email Dr. Andresen directly to request an application.


The Marine Chemistry Program is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the environment.  Through scientific research students seek solutions to scientific problems to make the world a better place for all its inhabitants.                  

Program Objectives   
• Provide students the opportunity to do exciting, original scientific research outside the normal classroom setting.       
• Develop skills necessary to do authentic original research culminating in writing of a research paper to be published in local and national writing contests.
• Provide opportunities for students to distinguish themselves for acceptance into more competitive universities and winning of financial scholarships.  
• Provide outdoor enrichment activities that promote social interaction with peers and develop appreciation for the environment
Course Outline:

Freshman:  Students spend a week prior to their freshman year learning chemical oceanography.   Monthly follow-up sessions are conducted at the Titlow Marine Sanctuary during the course of the year. After a school year collecting data, the rising sophomore students spend a week in the summer learning ways of analyzing data and how to present findings.  

Sophomores:  Spring of 2nd semester students are introduced to NW fish and invertebrate identification.  This is followed up in the summer with two online classes; Statistics and  Introduction to Scientific Research.

Juniors:  Research projects are selected.  Topics are researched, problems and hypothesis developed and data collected over the span of the school year and summer.

Seniors: During the fall semester students analyze results, write a research paper and present research findings at the Senior  Symposium.  Students will enter research papers into local and national science competitions in the spring.

Candidate Selection Criteria
  • Bellarmine entrance exam score
  • Math/Science recommendations
  • Student essay
  • Prior grades
  • "Tryout" week
Enrichment Activities
  • Skin & Scuba Diving
  • Class Campouts
  • Trip the University of Hawaii @ Momoa
  • $440 per year - 1/2 credit honors credit earned
  • Fee is charged to your Bellarmine account
  • Christmas fundraising event


Raising Megalops for Microphotography - Bessler & Witecki 2018