Active Learning

Topsail Island, North Carolina


fall '18 Classes

Here at EMA, we believe that hands-on learning is the best kind of learning! We offer classes for kids ages 3-5, 5-9 and ages 10-14. Our FALL programs consist of a variety of 8 week programs programs that are designed to supplement your child's education.

We strive to ignite children's natural curiosity about the world around them while providing them with the knowledge and tools to preserve, protect, and enjoy our environment!

Only here for a quick visit? No Problem! Feel free to hop right in on one of our classes.  

Click to learn more about our field trips and classroom programs!


           Home School Classes $225

ages 5-14

Our home school science classes meet once a week for three hours during an 8 week semester.. These classes are designed to encourage friendships, fun and the development of a lifelong love of the ocean and science. Children will have the opportunity to learn about our world through hands-on activities and experiments.


After School Classes  $160

ages 5-11+

Our after school science programs meet once a week for two hours during an 8 week semester. These classes are a fun and exciting extension of the traditional school curriculum. Children will learn about our world through hands-on activities, experiments and adventures while exploring in our local beaches, marshes and our microscope lab. 



ages 3-5

Our toddler science classes are designed to teach your toddler the basics of the ocean. We have developed a specific curriculum that will enable your child to learn about Vertebrates and Invertebrates and have them hold, touch, and use microscopes to study many different species of animals found around our beach!

SumMer '18 Classes

Summer is full of warm weather, beach days. making memories and adventuring with EMA!

We offer classes for both kids and really big kids (aka adults). Our summer camps consist of a variety of multi-day and single-day camps with engaging (and fun) topics! Our camps are a blast and encourage children to explore the outdoors, go on adventures, and most importantly, to love and take care of the ocean. 

We strive to ignite children's natural curiosity about the world around them, while providing them with the knowledge and tools to preserve, protect, and enjoy our environment! 

Click to learn more about our field trips and classroom programs!

Multi Day Camps $135-$200

Ages 5-7 and 8-11+

Our multi-day camps meet multiple days a week, hence the name. We meet on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for three hours of fun hands-on learning! Each class will dive into an adventure covering a topic of our unique marine environment. Campers will have the opportunity to explore the outdoors and learn about our amazing ocean through experiments, specimen collection, dissection, crafts, games and other awesome activities. 

                Single Day                  Camps $45

Ages 3-5, 5-7 and 8-11+

Our single day camps are three hours of adventure! These camps are perfect for campers who are only visiting for a day, as well as campers who would like some more adventure in between their multi day camp days. From Sea Turtle 101 to SUP + Science camp, these classes ignite the adventure and wonder in campers- leading them to love what they are learning!

              ghost crab                hunts + Astronomy 101 $20

Ages 2+

The sun is down, but the beach is wide awake... with Ghost Crabs on the sand and wonder in the sky! Our ghost crab hunt and Astronomy 101 Class will get your kids off the couch and onto the beach after dark to hunt the mysterious critters that come out to play and the twinkles that fill the sky. We will provide everything that you need for an action filled night that is guaranteed to bring some excitement into your vacation! 

surf and stand up paddle board classes $45-$80

Ages 5+

Our Surf + S,U.P. classes are one of a kind! Classes will teach campers about the ocean, while exploring it from a SUP or Surf board! Class will start with ground school then we will set off on the water learning about exactly what we are exploring in. These classes are a mix of adventure and learning about our marine environment. We even have SUP classes open for the whole family! 

school trips and parties


Field trips

Our field trips provide students, near and far, to experience Topsail Island through hands-on experiences! 


In-class visits

We know that it can be hard to leave the classroom to go to the beach, so we do the next best thing- We bring the beach to your classroom! 

We visit your classroom with our specimen and equipment in hand! 


Birthday parties

Birthday parties should be fun.. and educational! Our birthday parties will have your kids (and their friends) laughing, adventuring and making memories that will last a lifetime!  


FREE Community class

Ecological Marine Adventures and the Town of Surf City offer FREE weekly community science classes to the local and vacationing families of Topsail Island. This class gives families the opportunity to learn about our marine environment and about our work here at Ecological Marine Adventures. 

Students will learn about our amazing world, especially ocean life, in our classroom through fun, hands-on activities. Our classes will vary from topic week-by-week including short experiments, outdoor activities and continuous hands-on activities! 

No registration required, just show up ready to learn!

WE Meet Tuesday at:

116 S. Topsail drive in surf city

from 1:00- 2:00 pm. 

Follow us on our social media pages for updates and cancellations of the Community Class! 



We offer fun classes, really fun classes, super fun classes, and extremely adventurous classes. We offer these classes in various lengths (1 hour - 3 hours) at a variety of price points, including free community marine science classes, 3 day classes, 1 day classes and several different special classes,                                                                  like birthday parties, field trips and family trips!

What do you do if the weather is bad?

"Rain, rain go away" doesn't always work As long as there is not severe weather (huricane, lightning, etc) we will hold class. We have numerous engaging and exciting activities planned should we need to be in the lab for an extended amount of time. 

When should i Drop my Child off?

We only need you to sign a waiver upon arrival if you haven't been to EMA in the calendar year, so we don't require you to arrive more than 5 minutes early! Our address is 116 South Topsail Dr, Surf City, NC 28445. 

Just a friendly reminder that the Surf City bridge does go up at the top of every hour! 

I need to contact EMA staff while my child is out exploring.. what should I do?

We always have a phone with us while adventuring! If you try the office and everyone is at the beach, please call or text 910-515-9751! 

We check that cellphone every couple minutes! 


What to Wear?




What do we bring?







wait, do we tip?





do we have to pay the transaction fees?

Students should come to class each day dressed in a bathing suit and a t-shirt or cover up with sunscreen already applied. Students should wear CLOSED TOED shoes such as crocs, keens, sturdy water shoes or old sneakers. As a safety precaution, PLEASE NO FLIP FLOPS, unless you pack a pair of closed toed shoes in your bag! If your camper(s) like to wear sunglasses, hats, etc.   while on the beach, please bring them with you!


A towel

Reef Safe Sunscreen (SPF that is appropriate for your child)

A bottle (or two) of water or a sports drink (Powerade, Gatorade)

A snack (granola bar, string cheese, fruit, etc.)

Closed-Toed shoes

A light jacket if you think you may be chilly


Oh no, the awkward "T" word!

Please know that EMA pays their employees for the amazing work that they do, but if you received extraordinary service, or you just want to do something special for someone in the           EMA family, that is completely up to you! Plus, I don't think any human would turn down some     ice cream (or any other unexpected kind gesture!)


We wish there were no transaction fees, but unfortunately at this time, they come along with online booking! You can waive the fees by calling us directly to pay. This will take a few minutes longer than your online booking process, but we are happy to do it! 


Meet the crew



Taylor Maready

Taylor is the owner and lead instructor of EMA. He has been in love with the ocean his whole life. When he isn't surfing, he is swimming, snorkeling, SCUBA diving, eating ice cream, speaking some espanol, playing guitar or just running around like a kid on the beach. To him, life revolves around the ocean and he wouldn't have it any other way. His spirit animal is a opossum, but he really loves sharks. All of them, but especially the wobbegong. 

Amber "Ling" Maready

Ling is our EMA "mom". She is the epitome of fun. Sometimes we wonder where she gets her energy, it never runs out. She is a "whale" of knowledge and can answer any question that you have about EMA. If she's not in the lab teaching, you can catch her on the beach doing yoga, playing in the sand with Indy and Vai, or singing karaoke. (Not really the singing karaoke part, thank goodness.) If she were a sea animal, she would want to be a dolphin, or a seahorse, or a whale shark.


Taylor Ardis

You think you like sharks? You should meet Taylor #2, who will talk your ears off about Ampullae of Lorenzini. From taking care of sick sea turtles to tagging Great Whites in South Africa, shes done it all. When she is not obsessing about sharks at the beach, she enjoys hanging out on her farm with her horses and millions of dogs. A true outdoors person as long as there aren't bugs...she doesn't like bugs. 

Nicole Maready

Have you ever met that one person who is always happy? Well, Nicole is that person. She is the kindest person in the world, and probably even outer space, although we haven't met everyone from outer space. Nicole handles all of our finances here at EMA and is an organization whiz. She also enjoys peanut butter balls traveling, and kicking it at the beach. She also makes a killer chocolate cake. 



If you see a small rodent-like creature running around EMA, don't be alarmed, it's just Bitsy. I guess you could say she's our mascot. Bitsy loves paddleboarding, kayaking, and running up and down the beach like a lunatic. She is a small dog with a big love for the ocean. If she could be any sea animal, she said she would just be herself because she is one with the sea. (We told you that she is a lunatic..)

Physical Address:

116 South Topsail Dr.
Surf City, NC, 28445


Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or concerns. We will try to be back in touch with you within 24 hrs. You can also read our FAQ page to find answers to your questions. 

Phone: 910-328-1951 or 910-515-9751

Email: info@EcologicalMarineAdventures.com

Mailing Address: PO box 907 Hampstead, NC, 28443

Due to high call volume email is our preferred method of contact

Name *