Most coastal environmental management students visit Duke Marine Lab once or twice before moving to Beaufort full-time for their second year of classes. There is the option, however, to take Summer Term 2 classes at DUML tuition free before you even arrive at the Nicholas School. Let me say that again, tuition free. With classes like Biology and Conservation of Sea Turtles, Marine Mammals, and Drones in Marine Biology, Ecology and Conservation, how could I say no to that?
Imagine being at summer camp but for all things marine. I lived in a cabin-style dorm with six others. We slept in bunk beds and had a bathroom to share. You learn quickly to never leave that air-conditioned oasis without a good coat of sunblock, then bug spray. Meals were served every day from 8-9 a.m., noon-1 p.m., and 5-6 p.m. After lunch or dinner (sometimes both), there would be a pilgrimage to the swim dock. Even if you only had an hour for lunch before your next class, it was worth showing up soaking wet just to jump in once. Later, we’d catch the routinely stunning sunset and then gather in the Boathouse to watch a movie while attempting to do homework. Other activities included kayaking to the Rachel Carson Reserve, fishing off the dock and a watermelon eating contest (that I won).
It may be cheesy, but the best part of this Summer Term 2 were the friendships made. Duke’s main campus in Durham can be overwhelming. Coming in with these connections made the transition to a new city and school exponentially better. You do not have to be a CEM or even a Duke student to take classes at the marine lab! These courses are available to all and, if you have even the slightest of interest in the Duke Marine Lab, I urge you to visit their website for more information.