Explore what the Marine Science Center has to offer!
The Marine Science Center of Northeastern University aims to provide world-class education to its students as well as outside institutions by opening up our doors to visiting student groups wishing to utilize the diverse grounds of the MSC campus. The varied terrain of the MSC campus offers an opportunity to not only further explore topics in Marine Ecology, Marine Biology, Terrestrial Ecology and Geology with your students but also provides a perfect venue to put research methods into practice. Please see below for a brief description of the type of terrain the MSC has to offer your students.
Intertidal Zone Studies
Canoe Beach - Canoe Beach offers a classic New England rocky shore with a moderate decline allowing wide access to transects of varied intertidal areas for biological and ecological studies. Large seaweed covered rock formations protrude from the surface waters and provide shelter to a wealth of organisms from snails, mussels and crabs to red, green and brown algae. The wide tidal range results in a wonderful location to further explore the diversity and inter/intra-species competition that occurs in the New England intertidal zone.
Every year Geologists and geology students alike visit the MSC to explore the glacially sculpted cliffs that form the cradle of East Point. These faulted, fossil bearing formations date back to the Cambrian Period (some 500-550 million years ago) and offer a wonderful teaching environment which demonstrates the processes leading to coastal geomorphology.
Lodge Park - The oldest rocks existing in East Point, Nahant are approximately 500-550 million years old (Cambrien Period). These rocks were formed by sedimentary layering originating on the sea floor. The striations are a combination of limestone and mudstone, each containing different fossils. The limestone layers contain some of the oldest shelled specimens in the world while the mudstone layers contain fossilized burrows made by benthic organism.
Canoe Beach - The second oldest rock existing at East Point can be found at Canoe Beach. During the Ordovician Period (some 450 million years ago) molten magma was forced up through faults resulting in strips of Gabbro rock. This rock is clearly discernible from the surrounding rock due to its dark grey to black coloration, which is the result of the combination of the slow cooling process with the high mineral content of the magma.
Terrestrial Ecology Studies
Lodge Park - The flora and fauna of East Point is quite diverse. Lodge Park, property of the Town of Nahant, provides both groomed and wild terrain depicting the plant diversity that occurs in both human mediated and wild growth settings. The windy, rocky and climatically exposed nature of the park itself lends to a hearty population of moss and plants depicting a rugged New England ecosystem. In addition a variety of bird, animal and insect species call East Point home thus offering a wonderful environment to study them either individually or as a community.
HIGHLIGHTED PORTIONS OF THE MAP ABOVE ARE ACCESSIBLE TO VISITING UNIVERSITY GROUPS.
REQUIRED FORMS (Please access all relevant booking and registration forms here>>) - Please review and complete these in advance.
PROGRAM REQUEST FORM – This form must be completed and returned as soon as possible. Your visit will not be officially booked until this form is received and approved.
INSTITUTIONAL RELEASE – Return this form at least 1 week prior to your visit. Complete the form and have it signed by a principal or director.
CERTIFICATE OF LIABILITY – Required for ALL INSTITUTIONS - private and public - and must be requested by your Institution to your Institution’s insurance provider. A sample Certificate with Northeastern's requirements can be found here.
INDIVIDUAL RELEASE – ALL persons visiting the MSC property must complete an Individual Release Form prior to arrival (including teachers and chaperones). Those under 18 must have a parent or guardian’s signature. These forms can be mailed ahead of time or brought the day of the visit and should be submitted to the Laboratory Manager prior to or upon arrival.
PAYMENT & FEES (Current fees for groups of 30 individuals or less) Payment may be made by check (made out to Northeastern University) or you may request to have your Institution/Organization invoiced after your visit.
- Unguided School Group: $150 per day
- Research Based Visits: Please contact Laboratory Manager as price may vary due to space use and particular research needs.
- Equipment: Water tables, Microscopes and Laboratory space: $15/ student/day
- Filtered Sea Water Collection- ‐ currently no fee is assigned.
- Unfiltered Sea Water Collection- ‐ no fee assigned
- Housing Rental Fees- Please contact the Administrative Officer as prices are seasonal and may vary based on need.
- Conference Fees: Please contact the Administrative Officer.
CANCELLATION POLICY - To cancel or reschedule your visit contact the Laboratory Manager as soon as possible so that others may be made aware of the availability.
MSC HOURS AND SCHEDULING - The hours of operation are 8:30am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Field trips during times when Northeastern University is officially closed may be approved, however, scheduling them requires special consideration. Scheduling of programs is subject to staff and site availability, which is why advance bookings are required.
ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE - Upon arrival at the MSC, the group's representative must check in at the main office, sign their arrival into the logbook and submit any outstanding release forms. Prior to departure the group’s representative must again check out at the main office and sign out in the logbook. It is important that, in case of an emergency, the MSC is able to account for all persons on the grounds.
FACILITIES AND AMENITIES - Unauthorized snorkeling or scuba diving is not allowed and swimming is not permitted at any time. Those who engage in this may be asked to vacate the premises. Restrooms and a water fountain are available for use in the main building during hours of operation. Unless previously arranged access to the bunker or main laboratories is prohibited. Please do not request an impromptu tour the day of your visit.
COLLECTING AND HANDLING ORGANISMS - Removal of ANY item from the grounds is strictly prohibited without prior permission from the MSC Laboratory Manager and Director. Visitors should not cause harm to any living organism at any time; disruptive and/or dangerous behavior is not tolerated.
RESTRICTED AREAS - Be aware that there are active research plots on the grounds and visitors should never stray from designated paths or their authorized area of research and should never disturb flagged/roped- ‐off areas. Unless pre- ‐approved, visitors may only access the preapproved areas highlighted below.
WHAT TO BRING
- Please be aware of the weather forecast for the day you intend to visit. Nahant weather is usually slightly cooler and windier than the “mainland” therefore layered clothing is recommended. A change of clothing, rain gear, a hat and sunglasses are also highly recommended.
- Rubber- ‐soled shoes such as boots, water shoes or old sneakers are recommended. Slip- ‐on sandals, flip- ‐flops, Crocs or heels should never be worn due to uneven terrain. Tevas and other open- ‐toed sandals that are completely fastened to the feet are allowed.
- Sunscreen is advisable.
- Each person should bring an ample supply of water.
- Visitors may bring snacks and lunch to picnic onsite- ‐ special provisions for a room to lunch in, if required, must be made prior to arrival.