Student Support

Catalina Island


Spring Break 2020 (April 13-18, 2020) - CATALINA ISLAND

This program is now closed.

Environmental Justice: Food, Water, Soil, Climate through the microcosm of Catalina Island

This spring break join professors Lisa Collins and Garen Baghdasarian at the Wrigley Marine Science Center on beautiful Catalina Island. This program will feature the theme of Environmental Justice by focusing on how soil, water, and climate impact ecosystems.

Learn how to measure basic soil properties and see firsthand how disturbed soils differ from native soils. Delve into the waters surrounding the island with a snorkeling tour of Big Fisherman Cove and a kayaking trip to Blue Cavern. Learn about the importance of the ocean to humans both as a source of food and as a driver in the climate system. Visit the Ackerman Native Plant Nursery to learn how the introduction of non-native plants has altered the ecology of the island. Develop an understanding of what controls the earth’s climate and how the changing climate will impact California’s food and water supply in the future.

As we face a warming world with a growing population, we have to ask: How will we feed the world while protecting our natural resources and tackling climate change? How will we adapt to increased drought in already parched regions? The seemingly monumental solutions to these problems go hand in hand and on this trip, you will examine how science and policy can help us understand and tackle these challenges.

Program excursions on Catalina

Middle Ranch

Ackerman Native Plant Nursery


Avalon Desalination Plant

Snorkeling in Big Fisherman Cove

Kayaking to Blue Cavern

Wrigley Marine Science Center

Course Descriptions

Global Studies 35 – Field Studies Abroad – Catalina Island – 1 unit

The proposed field course would use Catalina Island as the main case study to examine how soil, water, and climate impact ecosystems. Students will be immersed in their study on the island which will focus on learning how to measure soil properties. Discussions, lectures, and field activities will incorporate learning about these three topics both as they apply to Catalina and as they apply more broadly to our changing world.

Faculty Biographies

Program Details

Students will stay for 5 nights on Catalina Island at the USC Wrigley Marine Science Center (WMSC) in the WMCS dormitories-double accommodations. All meals while on the island provided by WMCS.

Click to complete online application:Study Abroad Application

Program Cost

Expense Type Cost Deadline

Program Fee

Round trip boat travel to and from Catalina, ground transportation while on the island, meals, accommodations, excursions.


First Deposit $300 due: Friday January 24, 2020

Balance due: February 24, 2020

Bring deposit (check or money order) and excursion form to International Education Center

Student Services Center

3rd floor

M-Th: 8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.;

Fri: 8am-noon

Tuition for 1-Unit Course

$46 Resident Tuition

$316 Non-Resident Tuition

International Education Center will register you for class before program departure. You must pay tuition before departure.


Included in program price:

5 breakfasts

6 lunches

5 dinners


Total Estimated Costs


Additional Costs

Expense Type Cost  

Personal Spending Money

$25- $50


Course Materials




Scholarships will be available. Students must have current FAFSA to determine eligibility. Complete the section on the application regarding the GC Scholarship. Must make first deposit by January 24th to be considered for scholarship.

Payment Options

Personal Check, Cashier’s Check, or Money Order (No cash payments)

Dates to Remember

Title Dates More Information

Informational Sessions

Mon Oct 7 HSS 205 1 pm
Mon Oct 14 HSS 205 1 pm

Online Study Abroad application

Application Deadlines and Payments

Late applications will be considered on a case by case basis.

Initial Deposit to reserve space – $300 due Friday January 24, 2020

Final Payment due February 24, 2020

Complete online application

Apply early to reserve your space!

Bring deposit (check or money order) and excursion form to International Education Center

Student Services Center 3rd floor. Monday - Thursday 8 am to 3:30 pm and Fridays by noon.


SMC Global Citizenship Scholarship

In order to be considered for a scholarship, students must apply and submit a deposit of $300 by Friday January 24, 2020.

Scholarship may not be used toward initial deposit. Students notifed of scholarship by February 18, 2020

Mandatory Form

January 24, 2020

Online Study Abroad application

SMC Excursion/Field Trip Form

Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a current SMC student and take the offered course. If you are not currently an SMC student, you may apply online

  • All participants must be 18 years old by January 24, 2020

  • Pay all program fees and tuition by the deadline. If you are a financial aid recipient, check with the Financial Aid office about using financial aid to your tuition and fees.