Water Quality

DUML’s Community Science Program on Water Quality

Thanks to our funders National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERSS), DUML Community Science Initiative offers various opportunities for water quality research and education to local middle schools, high schools, and after-school programs.


Middle school students sift for microplastics found in the sand
Middle School Programs

In partnership with the University of North Carolina-Institute of Marine Sciences (UNC-IMS), middle school students take part in an all-day field trip to the Duke Marine Lab to conduct water quality and toxicity experiments and ride over to Rachel Carson Reserve for field research.



High School Programs

DUML Community Science Initiative partners with local AP Biology and AP Environmental Science students to conduct toxicity experiments in their classrooms or at the marine lab. From investigating the concentration of cigarette filters needed to kill sea monkeys to feeding microplastics to anemones, this program allows high school students to see firsthand the effects of pollution on marine organisms. 

Anemone ingesting microplastic during an experiment
High school students experiment with anemone ingestion of microplastics








After School Programs
Teens at the Boys and Girls Club design storm drain art to deter marine debris input from stormwater runoff

In partnership with the North Carolina Coastal Federation (NCCF), the DUML Community Science Initiative offers a 12-week marine debris and water quality program at the local Boys & Girls Club. Local clubs participate in storm drain art and mapping to educate others about stormwater runoff.