Ocean Discoveries for Grown Ups

Throughout the year, Sanibel Sea School offers a variety of classroom and field-based learning opportunities for adults. Join us for a boat trip, learn to cast a net, or hold a tiny sea horse in the palm of your hands. No matter which course you choose, you're sure to experience Sanibel in a whole new way!

Adult courses are open to students ages 18 and up. Students who are 15 and older may register if they are accompanied by a parent or guardian over the age of 18. 

We also offer customizable programs for groups and families of all ages!


Barefoot Academy

Take an in-depth look at our local ecosystems with our Executive Director, Marine Biologist Dr. Bruce Neill, and Sanibel Sea School's team of marine science educators. This year, we've added new educators and new field trip destinations. Program time will be split between the classroom and the field, so be sure to bring your sunscreen, your towel, and your wading shoes!

Schedule: Wednesdays, 9 AM - 12 PM (check specific course listings for exceptions)

1/25/17: Where does our water come from?

Cost: $55

Educator: Bruce Neill

On an island situated at sea level and surrounded by saltwater, have you ever wondered how fresh, clean drinking water comes out of our sinks? During this session, we’ll experience first-hand where our water comes from during a field trip to the Island Water Association.

Location: We will meet at Sanibel Sea School located at 455 Periwinkle Way.

2/1/17: Birds of the Slough

Cost: $55

Educator: Johnny Rader 

Southwest Florida is a bird’s (and birder’s) paradise. Sanibel is home to hundreds of magnificent species, but did you know that just inland from us there is an extensive freshwater slough that also provides great habitat for a slightly different assortment of our feathered friends? Bring your binoculars (or borrow ours), because we are going to take a trip to the Six Mile Cypress Slough to see for ourselves.

Location: We will meet at Six Mile Cypress Slough located at 7751 Penzance Blvd. in Ft. Myers. 

2/8/17: Ocean Creations with Guest Artist Sandy Gross

Cost: $75

Experience the ocean through art! Sanibel’s talented glass artist Sandy Gross will join us for a unique, ocean-themed creative session. We’ll visit the beach to find inspiration, then Sandy will guide us through the production of a glass masterpiece that you’ll be proud to display in your home. All materials are included in the course fee.  

Location: We will meet at Sanibel Sea School located at 455 Periwinkle Way.

2/15/17: A Walk in the Mud – Mangrove Ecology at Bunche Beach

Cost: $55

Educator: Nicole Finnicum

A Sanibel Sea School staff favorite, Bunche Beach Preserve is a little-known gem hiding so many treasures – from horseshoe crabs to majestic mangrove forests. During this session, we’ll meet at Bunche Beach and traipse through the mangrove mud to learn about mangrove ecology and have the opportunity to see some of the unusual creatures that call these “walking trees” their home. 

Location: We will meet at Bunche Beach Preserve in Ft. Myers. The beach is located at the end of John Morris Road and there is a small parking fee to park alongside of the road. You will find our educator near the entrance of the beach. 

2/22/17: Manatees and Electricity – An Unusual Combination

Cost: $55

Educator: Johnny Rader

You’re probably thinking, what on earth does electricity have to do with manatees? In this class, let’s find out why Southwest Florida’s manatees thrive near the Fort Myers power plant during the chilly winter months. We’ll talk manatee biology and electricity, and we’ll enjoy a remarkable opportunity to see large numbers of these charming sea cows up close. 

Location: We will meet at Sanibel Sea School located at 455 Periwinkle Way.

3/1/17: Seagrass Under the Bridge

Cost: $55

Educator: Nicole Finnicum

When you drive over the Sanibel Causeway, you are actually crossing San Carlos Bay, which is home to vast seagrass gardens that are teeming with sea life. During this session, we’ll use our seine nets to see who’s living between the seagrass blades. We’ll catch fish, crabs, and maybe even a seahorse or two! Wear your swimsuit and prepare to get wet.

Location: We will meet at the Causeway Island Park on Causeway Island A - this is the island that is closest to Ft. Myers. We will meet on the West side of the island or the left side of the road if you're coming from Sanibel. 

3/8/17: Where the Estuary Begins (A Boat Trip on the Caloosahatchee River)

Cost: $75

Educator: Bruce Neill

Estuaries are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet, and we are lucky enough to live next to a very important one here in Southwest Florida. During this trip we will travel by boat from San Carlos Bay up the Caloosahatchee River while we learn about our local estuary, how it supports overall ocean health, and some of the water quality issues it faces. 

Location: We will meet at the Causeway Island Park on Causeway Island B - this is the island that is closest to Sanibel. The side we will meet on is dependent on the wind and water conditions, so please check both sides of the island. Be on the lookout for a white Carolina Skiff boat that says Sanibel Sea School on the side. Doc Bruce will be near the boat in a yellow life jacket and a visor. 

3/15/17: Life in the Dark (Evening Class)

Cost: $55

Educator: Johnny Rader

We spend a lot of time on the beach during the day, but at night, the shoreline can be a very different place. During this special evening outing, we’ll visit the beach at sunset to learn about the changes that occur as light turns to dark and observe some nocturnal sand-dwelling creatures. 

Location: We will meet at Sanibel Sea School located at 455 Periwinkle Way.

3/22/17: Our Barrier Islands – Sanibel to North Captiva (Boat-Based Trip)

Cost: $75

Educator: Bruce Neill

Sanibel Island is part of a barrier island chain that lines Florida’s southwest coast. These islands are strikingly different from the mainland and provide their own benefits and challenges for both humans and wildlife. Let’s take a boat trip along these islands to gain a whole new perspective. Bring along your lunch or a snack for a beach-side picnic on North Captiva!

Location: We will meet at the Causeway Island Park on Causeway Island B - this is the island that is closest to Sanibel. The side we will meet on is dependent on the wind and water conditions, so please check both sides of the island. Be on the lookout for a white Carolina Skiff boat that says Sanibel Sea School on the side. Doc Bruce will be near the boat in a yellow life jacket and a visor. 


Fishing Fridays

Schedule: Fridays, 1 PM - 4 PM

Shore-based classes: 3/3, 3/10, 3/17 / Boat-based class with Cast About Charters: 3/24

Cost: $500/series of 4 classes

Educator: Bruce Neill

This is a practical, hands-on fishing experience. Join Doc Bruce to explore Sanibel’s shoreline from a “fishing folk” perspective. We'll cast a line and see what we can find. Spinning or fly – your choice. Bring your gear and ideas and we’ll have a great time learning with one another. Weather permitting, we might spend one Friday on a boat. Limited to 5 participants. 


Ocean Art with Sanibel Sea School - Sand Dollar Ornaments

Special evening class from 6 - 8 PM on 12/14

Cost: $20 (all craft supplies and wine are included)

Led by: Brooke Linn and Angel Seery 

We don't see much snow in Florida, but we do find plenty of beautiful white sand dollars on our shores. Join us for a night of good company, wine and hors d'oevres, and crafting as we turn these southern snowflakes into island-style decor for our homes - just in time for the holiday season!

Please note: This button will prompt you to pay for this event via PayPal. You do not need a PayPal account to do so. Just click the "Pay with Credit or Debit Card" button near the bottom of the screen and proceed from there. If you prefer, you can also register by phone (239-472-8585) or in person at Sanibel Sea School (455 Periwinkle Way). 


A Tale of Two Fish Screening and Mullet Tasting

Schedule: 3/1/16 from 6-8 PM

Cost: Free 

Enjoy an evening screening of WGCU Public Media's Mullet: A Tale of Two Fish and learn about one of our region's most under appreciated species. The documentary, part of WGCU’s Sustainable Seafood Series, provides an overview of the historical and economic significance of mullet in Florida, and its potential to become a more popular source of sustainable protein in the future. This program will feature mullet hors d'oeuvres prepared by Chef Melissa Talmage of Sweet Melissa's Cafe, which guests will have an opportunity to sample.