Moana Institute Maui
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An Immersive Marine Science Education Experience

Our Programs

Best in class programs to cater to a global audience.

Program One: Semester On Island

Semester On Island students are enrolled in a broad range of academic courses that are taught in the context of understanding our marine world. Various science, history, literature, math, and elective courses are offered to ensure that you can seamlessly re-enter your homeschool upon your return home at the end of the semester. You will earn academic credits through Maui Preparatory Academy, a top-ranked, college prep independent school in Hawaii. At the Moana Institute, we don’t believe that a classroom should have four walls. Our ideal classroom has no walls. As a Moana Institute student, you will have the opportunity to literally make Maui your classroom. Whether it is learning to SCUBA dive near Kaanapali, conducting coral reef surveys in Honolua Bay, discussing Moby Dick in a literature circle one morning on DT Fleming Beach Park or assisting in the restoration of ancient Honokowai Valley with Maui Cultural Lands, you are guaranteed to come away with a new definition of “school.”


We are now accepting applicants for the Fall 2018 semester.


The Semester On Island program is open to students entering 9th through 12th grade.

Program Two: Summer at Moana

Summer @ Moana invites you to adventure with us for one of three 14-day session as we explore Maui extraordinary coral reefs, rainforest and mountain regions. As a participant, you get to immerse yourself in all of the things that draws over two million visitors to Maui every year: the natural beauty of the islands. Only with Summer at Moana, you’re doing it with fifteen of your new closest friends from the world.


Through the Summer@Moana program, the Moana Institute offers exciting and engaging 13-day summer programs to students aged 12-17. Activities during these sessions involve snorkeling in tropical waters, hiking to waterfalls in bamboo forests, learning to ride the waves on a surfboard, sailing to premiere destinations on Maui’s coastline, and if you’re feeling adventurous enough (and we know you are), maybe even earning various SCUBA diving certifications. Join us now for your adventure-filled summer of a lifetime!

Summer 2018 Session Dates TBD


Mauka to Makai – Ridge to Reef


As part of mauka exploration Moana students learn about how the ecosystem of the mountain areas affect ecology of the islands sea life and why a healthy native forest will provide a sustainable source of water because healthy native vegetation is better at collecting and storing water while allowing it to slowly seep back into the islands aquifers. Hawai’i is home to over 10,000 native species, more than 90% of which are found nowhere else in the world. The West Maui Mountains above Hale Maui in Honokowai is home to 126 rare plants, insects, birds, vegetation communities and a bat and scientists continue to find more every year. Moana students will also explore and hike bamboo forest and jungle canopies and work with instructors from Maui Cultural land in restoration of the Honokowai Valley ahupa’a land division.


As part of makai exploration Moana students will learn about how the coral reef ecosystem are affected by the health of plant and stream life mauka and that healthy coral reef ecosystems provide protection against erosion and a healthy home for abundant sea life. Moana students will also experience stand up paddling, snorkeling, SCUBA and mono hull sailing and also participate in reef restoration project with Polanui Hiu in Lahaina.

The Moana Institute partners with industry and research leaders to provide the best marine studies program available.
Moana Institute faculty and staff are the best of the best.  Their primary aim is to provide engaging, thought-provoking, life-changing, but most of all, safe experiences that will leave you wanting to come back again.

Unequalled Adventure

Buckle up and get ready to experience everything Maui has to offer.  Your friends will be jealous, your parents will wish they could go back in time, and you will come back with incredible stories to share.

Premiere Location

Consistently voted one the best islands in the world, Maui’s natural beauty is truly awe-inspiring. Tropical waters, lush rainforests, and golden beaches as your classroom? Seriously.


Topics of Study

Coral Reef Ecology

The coral reef serves as a community for a host of different organisms, many found only in Hawaiian waters. The reef can be thought of like a city; every inhabitant has its role to play.

Research Methodology

We don’t just learn science, we do science. Moana Institute students partner to world leading scientists and participate in meaningful and impactful research projects. Manta rays, humpback whales and coral reefs await.

Marine Mammology

Every winter and spring, Maui’s waters play home to the majestic humpback whale. There is no greater place in the world to observe these gentle giants.


There is no better place to gain a thorough understanding of the concept of sustainability than on the most isolated island chain in the world. The lessons learned and initiatives embarked upon while on Maui will have a long-lasting impact on the lives of our students.

Watershed Systems

From the mountain to the sea (ahupua’a), everything is connected.  What happens in the rainforest, on the ridge, or in our backyard has a direct impact on the ocean.


Building on the principle of “interconnectedness”, Moana Institute students engage with the physical and chemical aspects of our oceans. Distant storms, ocean currents and sea bottom geography all play a role in determining the next big surf swell.
fish maui 8

Number of fish species found only in Hawai’i


Weight in pounds of a newborn humpback whale


Time in seconds it takes you to walk from your room to the beach


Height in feet of Maui’s tallest volcano

Green Sea Turtle (Honu)
Hawaiian Spinner Dolphin (Nai’a)
Crown of Thorns Seastar
Slate Pencil Sea Urchin (Ha’uke’uke ‘Ula’ula)
Maui Coral Reef
Humpback Whale (Kohola)
Green Sea Turtle (Honu)
Honolua Bay
County of Maui State of Hawaii
maui cultural lands logo
GungHo Sailing Maui high school
Polanui Hiu logo
Hawaiian islands land trust logo