Undergrad/ Summer Programs

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab University Summer Programs consist of three sessions of undergraduate and graduate courses in Marine Science.

Download Summer Bulletin

The session dates are:

Coral Reef Session March 1-May 19, 2023
May Session May 8-19, 2023
1st Session May 22-June 23, 2023
2nd Session June 26-July 28, 2023
Neurobiology Session July 17-August 4, 2023

During these sessions, more than two dozen marine science courses of varying amounts of credit are offered. There are scholarship and work-study opportunities listed below.

During the summer, a majority of students are in residence on the DISL campus. Class schedules and field trips often require students to spend some evening and weekend time working in the laboratory, on class projects, or on extended field exercises. These courses emphasize learning through 'hands-on' laboratory and research experience.

For campus tours or questions related to courses, email Regina Kollegger at rkollegger@disl.edu.

In-State Class Registration

The application deadline for priority registration is February 10, 2023.

DISL will accept applications until the first day of class. However, students are encouraged to apply by the priority registration date, because classes will fill early. For help, speak with your campus liaison officer. A list can be found here.

Please follow all the steps below to secure your summer course enrollment.

Non-payment of fees will result in a late fee charge of $50 to be added after March 31, 2023.

1. Complete DISL application online:

  • To apply online, please first complete the short registration form below. This form will register you in our student application portal called Populi.
  • You will receive an email with a link and instructions regarding your student username and password and login instructions to disl.populiweb.com to complete the full application.

2. Applications and Forms

  • Complete the full student application form online as stated above.
  • Upload a digital image or scan of your signed advisor's sheet and notarized waivers (vessel and medical).
  • Make your course selections in the student portal in Populi.

You will be invoiced the $75.00 application fee within your student account in Populi.

3. Confirmation of course enrollment at DISL

You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your enrollment at DISL shortly after the priority registration deadline of February 10, 2023. It will include an acceptance statement and instructions to log in to your DISL Populi student account via disl.populiweb.com.

Once you log into your student account, you will be able to:

  • View a listing of the course(s) that you are enrolled in.
  • Your DISL bill, payable online (amount due upon arrival at DISL for fees, room, and board). 

DISL fees may be paid on a session-by-session basis if arranged beforehand with the DISL Bursar Daphne Wood. Please note: your tuition will be charged by your home institution and will not appear on your DISL Populi account.

4. Enrollment at your home campus

In order to receive academic credit for your DISL summer courses

  • You MUST also register at your home campus and pay your home campus tuition (not applicable for Birmingham Southern Students). 
  • You MUST submit proof of home campus tuition paid and a schedule of courses registered for at your home campus to the DISL UP registrar. This can be done via email, online via a student Populi account, or in person during summer DISL registration. The registrar is Regina Kollegger.
  • In cases when your home institution does not permit you to register for classes before DISL classes begin and you fail to register at your home institution, you will be obligated to pay DISL directly for the cost of tuition.

5. On-Campus Registration and Orientation at DISL

All DISL summer students, new and returning, must attend an on-campus registration and orientation session at DISL before your session begins. 

At registration you will:

  • Pay DISL charges (i.e. fees, room, board) if you did not pay online via your student Populi account.
  • Provide the UP Registrar with a receipt of tuition paid at your home institution and a schedule of courses you registered for at your home institution, if you did not upload them online via your student Populi account. (You must register at your home campus to receive this proof of tuition paid and the schedule of courses registered for.)
  • Turn in all required forms/waivers if you did not complete them and upload these online via your student Populi account. All waivers can be notarized at DISL registration.

Out-of-State Class Registration

Students enrolled in an out-of-state college or university may receive credit by arrangement between their institution and the DISL. 

Please contact the DISL University Programs Registrar, Regina Kollegger (251) 861-2141, ext 7526 or by email at rkollegger@disl.edu for assistance with these procedures.

Registration/Orientation Schedule

  May Session (May 8-May 19) First Summer Session (May 22-June 23) Second Summer Session (June 26-July 28)
Check-in: Challenger Dorm Saturday, May 6 after 12 p.m. Saturday, May 20 after 12 p.m. Saturday, June 24 after 12 p.m.
Orientation: Shelby Auditorium Monday, May 8, 8:30 a.m. Monday, May 22, 8:30 a.m. Monday, June 26, 8:30 a.m.
Classes Begin After Orientation After Orientation After Orientation



The Dauphin Island Sea Lab offers scholarships and work-study positions for summer school students to defer educational-related costs.

Scholarships-  Applicants will be considered for all scholarships.

The Rita George and George Crozier Scholarships provide 12 weeks of room and board for students enrolled in DISL summer courses.

DISL Foundation Scholarships waive academic fees for summer school.

A completed scholarship application must be completed online and will include:

  • A cover letter (2-page max) describing background, qualifications, and financial need.
  • Transcripts from all colleges or universities attended (unofficial transcripts accepted).
  • Three (3) Letters of recommendation. These letters should be from individuals that can evaluate academic potential such as professors or employers.
  • A CV or resume describing relevant coursework, research/work experience, honors, and extracurricular activities.

For more information contact Regina Kollegger, University Programs Registrar via email rkollegger@disl.edu or by phone (251) 861-2141, ext. 7526.



Students are needed to work as dorm monitors and library aides. Both graduate and undergraduate students are eligible to apply. 

The Work-Study positions are:

  • Laboratory intern – Interns work in the lab of a DISL faculty member assisting with authentic research projects. Interns typically work 5-10 hours per week, but this is somewhat variable depending upon the nature of the work performed. Interns often work on weekends. This opportunity provides a unique experience to gain research experience. Interns earn $10 an hour.
  • Library Aides – Library Aides work 10 hours per week to staff the library and computer lab after hours. Library aides earn $10 per hour.
  • Dorm Monitors – Dorm monitors receive $125 per week, receive a private dorm room and a meal plan.

Summer Programs Dorm monitor 


  • Minimum of 2.50 cumulative G.P.A. Residence hall living and/or student leadership experience is required.
  • Dorm Monitors/RA must have a clean driving record and valid driver’s license and cleared to drive on DISL insurance.
  • Dorm Monitors/RA may be required to attend CPR training if not certified.
  • There are two dorm monitors in Challenger Dorm. Male dorm monitor lives in Challenger 101, female monitor in 201. Males are typically housed on the first floor; females second floor.
  • Dorm Monitors/RA must be in residence for all three sessions and be able to be present on campus at least one-half of the weekends coordinating duties with other dorm monitors.
  • Dorm Monitors/RA should plan to arrive at least four to six days before the term starts.

Basic Dorm Monitor/RA Job Description:

A Dorm Monitor/RA is the student staff member for Challenger Dormitory, a residence hall area at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. The Dorm Monitor/RA is a student leader among their peers. Act as assistant to and under the supervision of the University Programs Registrar, the major responsibilities of the Dorm Monitor/RA include: assigning dorm rooms, promoting community; developing relationships; helping to establish and maintain a healthy residential environment conducive to academic and personal growth; assisting with the disciplinary procedure as necessary; implementing University and Housing policies; and assisting with individual student needs, transporting students to and from airport, events and such required by University Programs Registrar.

Specific Dorm Monitor/RA Duties:

  • Must practice confidentiality, be trustworthy, reliable, and able to communicate and follow rules and directions from University Program Registrar.
  • Be willing to commit for the entire summer (approximately 12 weeks). Remain on campus before and after the term for administrative responsibilities – make room assignments, distribute keys, submit the required paperwork and current reports to University Programs Registrar.
  • Serve as the on-call staff member for the residential area throughout the Summer Programs and holiday breaks as scheduled; rotate with other dorm monitors so that one of the two is always on campus, transport students to the airport if needed, etc.
  • Recognize that the Dorm Monitor/RA position is your primary out-of-class obligation.
  • Demonstrate the characteristics of a Dorm Monitor/RA Servant-Leader.
  • Facilitate community success by encouraging programming efforts and resident engagement.
  • Administer the procedures and policies assigned by University Programs Registrar and Chair of University Programs.
  • Serve as a resource to residents.
  • Assist with emergency situations and illnesses.
  • Report and follow-up with maintenance/dorm concerns (work orders).
  • Be available and present for your residents as needed.
  • Control noise and unruly residents and/or guests.
  • Assist in the opening and closing procedures of the building as necessary (keeping doors locked, vacant rooms locked, etc.)
  • Serve as a liaison to the residential community through University Programs Registrar.
  • Support, promote, & implement programs as directed by the University Programs Registrar (by personal attendance.)
  • Communicate campus information as needed to University Programs Registrar.
  • Dorm Monitor/RA Compensation: Private room, meal plan, and $ 125.00-week compensation.

Library Aide 


  • Library Aides should be enrolled in a minimum of 2 summer sessions.
  • Library Aides must be mature and have a solid academic record
  • Preference will be given to students who are enrolled in more than one term, but consideration will be given to students enrolled in one term.


  • Assist in the library for up to 10 hours per week.
  • Work evenings and weekends after normal staff hours.
  • Assist students as required in the library and computer lab.
  • Perform clerical tasks needed in the library and computer lab.
  • Provide library and computer lab security after normal workweek hours.
  • Compensation: $10.00 per hour.

A complete work-study application must be completed online and will include:

  • A submission form
  • Transcripts (unofficial accepted)
  • Three letters of recommendation, excluding relatives


For more information contact Regina Kollegger, University Programs Registrar via email rkollegger@disl.org or by phone (251) 861-2141, ext. 7526.

Meet Our Summer Program Faculty

Albins, Mark A., Ph.D. (Oregon State University, 2011). Research Associate, University of South Alabama. The ecology of reef-associated marine fishes, including the effects of invasive species and fishing on populations and communities. malbins@disl.edu.

Anderson, Christopher, Ph.D. (Ohio State University, 2005). Professor of Wetland Ecology, School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, Auburn Univ. Wetlands; coastal ecology; land-use change and watershed management. andercj@auburn.edu

Baker, Ronald, Ph.D. (James Cook University, 2006). Assistant Professor, University of South Alabama, and Senior Marine Scientist, Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Coastal and estuarine fisheries ecology; nursery ground ecology; predation and food-web ecology; seascape use of fishery species. rbaker@disl.edu.

Bregy, Joshua, Ph.D. (Indiana University, 2021). Postdoctoral Researcher in Paleotempestology and Paleoclimatology, Department of Geography, Indiana University. Multiproxy paleotempestology/prehistoric hurricane reconstructions; hurricane-climate interactions; coastal hazards and floods; paleoclimatology/hydroclimatology; developing multiproxy techniques; coastal geology/geomorphology; and dendrochronology.

Carmichael, Ruth, Ph.D. (Boston University, 2004). Senior Marine Scientist II DISL, Associate Professor, Department. of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama. Marine ecosystem and organismal responses; understanding biological and physiological responses to environmental change such as nutrient enrichment, climate change, and other perturbations. Application of methods in stable isotope and population ecology. rcarmichael@disl.edu.

Dorgan, Kelly M., Ph.D. (University of Maine, 2007). Senior Marine Scientist I DISL, Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama. Sediment ecology, focused primarily on organism-environment interactions; biomechanics and energetics of burrowing; biological-physical interactions; functional morphology of invertebrates. kdorgan@disl.edu.

Drymon, J. Marcus, Ph.D. (University of South Alabama, 2010). Assistant Extension Professor, Mississippi State University. Coastal Research and Extension Center Research interests include marine fisheries ecology, specifically trophic interactions/food web dynamics of upper trophic-level predators, and ecosystem-based fishery management. marcus.drymon@msstate.edu.

Elliott, Emily A. (Timmons), Ph.D. (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2017). Postdoctoral Researcher/Adjunct Faculty, University of Alabama. Coastal geology and geomorphology, paleo- and geochronology, sedimentology, and paleotempestology, focusing on understanding the climatic drivers of coastal change. emily.elliott@ua.edu.

Fleming, Jonathan P., Ph.D. (Mississippi State University, 2012). Associate Professor, Department of Geography and Sociology, Howard College of Arts and Sciences, Samford University. Current research topics include identifying mechanisms and patterns of species invasions, aquatic and wetland plants, and spatial ecology projects using applied GIS to understand contemporary environmental change. j.fleming@samford.edu

Gier, Paul J., Ph.D. (University of Oklahoma, 1997). Professor of Biology, Huntingdon College, Montgomery, Alabama. Zoology, ecology, and evolution. Conservation biology of insects, sexual selection, and the evolution of vertebrate mating systems. pgier@hawks.huntingdon.edu.

Henning, Jeremiah A. Ph.D. (University of Tennessee, 2017). Assistant Professor, University of South Alabama. Coastal plant community ecology, biodiversity-ecosystem function linkages, mycorrhizal fungi, plant-microbe interactions, global change ecology. henning@southalabama.edu.

Hoadley, Kenneth, Ph.D. (University of Delaware, 2016) Senior Marine Scientist I DISL, Assist. Professor, Dept of Biological Sciences, University of Alabama. Current research topics include coral reef biology and marine algal photobiology and primary production. khoadley@disl.edu

*Keyser, Kent, Ph.D. (SUNY Stony Brook, 1980). Professor, Dept. of Vision Sciences, Assistant Vice President for Research, University of Alabama Birmingham. Communication between neurons: neurotransmitters, neurotransmitter receptors in the retina and brain. ktkeyser@uab.edu.

Krause, Jeffrey, Ph.D. (Oregon State University, 2008). Senior Marine Scientist I DISL, Assistant Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama. Marine diatom and cyanobacteria ecology and understanding the coupling between the marine biogeochemical cycle of silicon with those for carbon and nitrogen. jkrause@disl.edu.

Lewis, Jennifer, Ph.D. (Florida International University, 2010). Director, Tropical Dolphin Research Foundation. Animal movement and the benefits of group formation; foraging ecology; behavioral ecology of tropical dolphin species; marine ecological conservation with a focus on non-lethal effects of vessel traffic on marine species. jlewi006@fiu.edu.

Moss, Anthony G., Ph.D. (Boston University, 1986). Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, Marine Biology Program Coordinator, Auburn University. Ctenophores and jellyfish, salps, marine microbial biology, cilia & flagella. mossant@auburn.edu.

*Smee, Lee, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech, 2006). Chair DISL University Programs, Senior Marine Scientist II DISL, Associate Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama. Current research topics include oyster reef ecology, mangrove encroachment, pesticide effects on blue crabs, and biogeography of seagrass communities in the Gulf of Mexico. lsmee@disl.edu.

*Sprinkle, Amy, Ph.D. (University of Delaware, 2009). Marine Science Instructor, University of South Alabama. Oceanography, chemical & biological oceanography, marine biology, biological sciences, terrestrial and aquatic ecology, and trophic dynamics. sprinkle@southalabama.edu

Steinmuller, Havalend, Ph.D. (University of Central Florida, 2019). Senior Marine Scientist, DISL; Assistant Professor, School of Marine and Environmental Sciences, University of South Alabama. Research focuses on how biogeochemical cycling of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus within coastal systems (mangroves, tidal marshes, intertidal oyster reefs) responds to disturbance, including sea-level rise, eutrophication, and extreme events. hsteinmuller@disl.edu.

Stoeckel, Jim, Ph.D. (Miami University, 2007). Associate Professor, Auburn University, School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences. Crustacean and molluscan ecology and aquaculture; physiological ecology; ecotoxicology; special focus on burrowing crayfish and mussels. jimstoeckel@auburn.edu.

Strang, Christianne, Ph.D. (University of Alabama at Birmingham, 2004). Research Instructor, Department of Vision Sciences, University of Alabama Birmingham. Function of acetylcholine receptors in visual processing. cstrang@uab.edu.

Temple, Nigel A., Ph.D. (Mississippi State University, 2021). Assistant Professor, Department of Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering, University of South Alabama. Coastal Restoration Ecology, Wetlands, Waves, Low-cost Environmental Sensing. natemple@southalabma.edu.

Titus, Benjamin, Ph.D. (Ohio State University, 2017). Assistant Professor of Marine Biology, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Univ. of Alabama. Evolution and ecology of tropical marine symbiosis; phylogenetics; biogeography; sea anemones; clownfish; cleaning mutualisms; coral reefs. btitus@disl.edu 

*Valentine, John, Ph.D. (University of Alabama, 1989). Executive Director and Senior Marine Scientist III DISL, Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of South Alabama. jvalentine@disl.org.

Wibbels, Thane, Ph.D. (Texas A&M University, 1988). Associate Professor of Biology, University of Alabama Birmingham. The biology of temperature-dependent sex determination in reptiles, including an emphasis on its implications for the ecology, evolution, and conservation of sea turtles. twibbels@uab.edu.

Wofford, Sarah, Ph.D. (Bowling Green State University, 2017) Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, Jacksonville State University. Current research topics include the aggressive behaviors of aquatic invertebrates, the chemical ecology of social interactions, and the effects of environmental change on resource acquisition and agnostic behaviors. swofford@jsu.edu.

Woodrey, Mark, Ph.D. (University of Southern Mississippi, 1995). Avian Ecologist/Coastal Ecologist at Mississippi State University, Research Coordinator at Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Marsh bird ecology and conservation; monitoring programs for biological resources; tidal marsh ecology; ecological effects of sea-level rise on coastal ecosystems. msw103@msstate.edu.

*These faculty are not instructing undergraduate courses this year.

Undergraduate Mentoring Program

If you're getting close to graduation and aren't sure what you want to do next or if you have some idea of what you'd like to do but aren't quite sure how to get there, this program is for you. 

The Dauphin Island Sea Lab (DISL) Undergraduate Mentoring Program pairs undergraduate students with graduate student mentors, with the goals to:

  1.  Help undergraduate students identify, articulate, and achieve their long-term and short-term career goals
  2.  Improve retention and performance of students in the DISL UP summer program
  3.  Encourage students, especially those from underrepresented backgrounds, to pursue careers in STEM
  4.  Build a stronger sense of community at DISL by connecting students
  5.  Provide professional development opportunities for graduate students through training in mentoring

Mentors are not tutors. Their role is to listen, provide guidance, and help you achieve your goals and overcome any challenges. If you are selected for the program, you will be expected to meet weekly with your mentor (virtually or in-person) through the summer session (generally ~30 min). These meetings will be more productive if you prepare ahead of time (e.g., revising your CV to discuss with your mentor). 

We anticipate selecting ~20 students for the program and will begin reviewing applications on April 19, 2023.

If you have any questions, contact Kelly Dorgan, Mentorship Program Coordinator.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I have to enroll at both my home school and at the DISL for my summer course?
Yes, in order to receive academic credit for your courses you MUST register for your class at your home institution and at the DISL. Be sure to get your academic advisor’s approval for your course selections.

Will I receive two billing statements for my summer courses at DISL?
Yes, your home institution will invoice your tuition. The DISL will invoice academic and facility fees as well as your room and board if you decide to live on the DISL campus.

Can out-of-state students enroll in DISL Summer UP courses?
Yes, however, your home school will need to enter an agreement with the DISL for academic credits to transfer. Please contact the UP Registrar Regina Kollegger for more info.

Do I have to be enrolled in a college to take DISL Summer UP courses?
No, you do not need to be enrolled in college to take our courses. You may audit our courses for a fee but will not receive academic credit for your enrollment.

Do you offer financial aid?
DISL does not offer a financial aid program. You will need to coordinate your financial aid through your home institution. The DISL does offer student work-study and fellowship opportunities, please see above for more info.

Are there housing options on Dauphin Island other than DISL campus living?
Sometimes there are houses available for rent on Dauphin Island, however, you will need to search and coordinate these options on your own.

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