College Programs at Wellfleet Bay

College Program in the salt marsh

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Located on the Outer Cape and near the Cape Cod National Seashore, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary is well-positioned for introductory and advanced studies of coastal and marine biology, wildlife ecology, coastal processes and land use issues, and related subjects.

The area is also an inspiring setting for the arts and humanities-including literature and photography.

Why Choose Wellfleet Bay

Our sanctuary has the unique capacity to offer college-aged audiences the following:

  • Local knowledge to complement course curriculum
  • 1,100+ acres with Nature Center and trails through a variety of coastal communities
  • Naturalists and science staff with advanced background in natural history and biology
  • Guided field studies and educational programs including canoe and boat trips
  • Involvement in sanctuary-managed monitoring and research projects
  • Facility rentals including lab space and dormitory accommodations

Program Opportunities for Visiting College Groups

Over the years, Wellfleet Bay has connected with more than 20 different colleges from across the northeast to lead a variety of engaging educational programs on the Cape, including:

  • Sanctuary-based field trips for students in marine biology and plant ecology classes at Smith College studying and sampling animal and plant assemblages of the salt marsh, coastal heathland, and tidal flats.
  • Tagging Horseshoe Crabs with intro-level marine biology students from College of Saint Rose as part of their introduction to different research methods.
  • Birding trips to South Beach in Chatham with ornithology students at Antioch University New England to study shorebird identification, behavior, and migration.
  • Sampling marine invertebrates with Wellesley College to provide an understanding to the ecology of tidal flats.
  • Toured and discussed salt marsh restoration efforts within the Cape Cod National Seashore with biology students from Wheaton College.


Located on the sanctuary's grounds, both Bailey House and Watson House are two-story, comfortable, and convenient retreats used for programs and as housing for seasonal staff in the spring and summer. While they are separate units, they are connected by a large, covered screened porch.

Together they can sleep up to 18 people total (depending upon availability).

Visiting groups will also benefit from Wellfleet Bay's exhibit hall with salt and fresh water aquariums; a spacious lab classroom and wet lab with plenty of counter space; and an auditorium with ceiling-mounted LCD projector.