Goals & Curriculum

Most of OSO’s work involves the core program, which is the one-day field trip supplemented by standards-based marine science curriculum for participating classes to use before and after the field trip. In addition, the Adam Webster Memorial Fund, founded by Tom & Judy Webster, provides the program for cognitively and physically challenged individuals.
The OSO program is free of charge, but all participating schools and groups must complete a community service project to earn their trip. This community service project must be completed in the school year that the students participate in the OSO program.

The OSO curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core. Teachers accepted to the OSO program will also be invited to an online workshop through the Pepper online Next Gen Teaching and Learning
Network. This optional workshop will give teachers that participate in the online O’Neill Sea Odyssey course one (1.0)
Continuing Education Unit (CEU) toward their teaching license.

OSO 3 Station Educational Format

Station 1


Learn about electronic technology for navigation, triangulation, line-of-sight, use of magnetic hand-held compasses, and other elements of navigation. Students use hand-held compasses to take 3 bearings on local landmarks. This information is recorded on a datasheet along with readings of wind speed, weather and depth as it relates to oceanic charts.

Station 2

Marine Biology

Discussion includes the life cycles of plankton, their role in the food web and the unique chemical and physical balance that helps maintain life in the sea. Students participate in a plankton tow and the specimen is taken back to the classroom for further examination. After their outing on the Catamaran, students move to the shore side Education Center to continue their research.

Station 3


Learn information about the Monterey Bay Sanctuary’s characteristics and marine life and habitats. Discussion includes the kelp forest, marine mammals, human influence on our marine habitat and related ecosystems, threats to the bay, and ideas for conservation and preservation. Visual aids are used to emphasize concepts. A water sample is taken to learn about pH.

View our Curriculum

Our curriculum is taught on the O’Neill Catamaran on the Monterey Bay and in our shore-side Jack O’Neill & Harry Hind education center. OSO emphasizes hands-on learning and experiential education with a focus on marine biology, marine ecology and navigation.

Next Generation Science Standards

OSO’s curriculum is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards which encourage students to investigate core ideas and related concepts and use evidence to demonstrate understanding.