Blue Horizons Poster


Do I have to be a current student at UCSB? Are international students eligible for the program?

The Blue Horizons Program is open to UCSB students, interested adults, high school graduates or students from other colleges and universities, including international students. Desired applicants should have some experience in media production or biological sciences.

How does the application process work?

Applicants need to fill out the application form and include a typed essay, explaining why you want to participate in the Blue Horizons Program. 

How/when will I know if I am accepted? How do I confirm my acceptance?

All application materials will be reviewed and evaluated by the program management. Starting April and continuing through May, applicants will receive an email confirming their placement. Those who are accepted will be asked to confirm placement (via email) into the program. Once confirmation is received, accepted students will be sent additional registration and orientation information.

What classes are required? How many units should I enroll in for each class? Can I audit any of the courses? How do I enroll?

The following courses (and listed units) are REQUIRED for all Blue Horizons students. Students are NOT allowed to audit any of the courses. All four courses must be taken for credit and successfully completed, in succession. Accepted students will receive add codes (via email) for each of the courses listed below. Once the add codes have been received, students can register online via the GOLD system. International students and non-UCSB students should contact Summer Sessions (PH: 805-893-2315) for additional information on how to register.

Required Courses:

Session A (June 26-August 4, 2016)

FLMST 182 –Introduction to Environmental Media (4 units) – Richard Hutton

This course ties the acquisition of critical viewing skills for film to the practice of conceiving and writing short environmental documentaries. Students screen narrative films and documentaries, deconstruct them, and use their new proficiency to write their own documentary treatments.

FLMST 109EM - Introduction to Environmental Media Production (4 units) - Michael Hanrahan

This course is designed to give students the core skills needed to conceptualize, capture, edit, and deliver short-form documentaries with an environmental theme. Basic aspects of cinematography, lighting, sound and editing are covered.

Session D (June 26 - July 14)

ENVS 193BH - Issues in Marine Conservation (2 units) - Kristi Birney

This course surveys the major threats currently facing California marine ecosystems and many proposed approaches for mitigating threats and sustainably managing ecosystems. Case studies will be used to highlight the biological, socio-economic, and political aspects of marine conservation. This course will be taught in Session D during the first three weeks of the Summer program and will include weekly field trips. One field trip will be a whale watching boat tour in the Santa Barbara Channel.

Session F: (August 7-25)

FLMST 109EP - Advanced Environmental Media Production (4 units) - Michael Hanrahan

This course will have students in the field autonomously producing a short-form digital documentary. Emphasis will be on development of creative style and storytelling. To be taken immediately following FLM ST 109EM.


Can I take other classes in conjunction with the Blue Horizons Program? How time intensive is the program?

Accepted students should NOT plan on taking any other courses outside of the program. Blue Horizons courses require a significant amount of time from students, both inside the classroom and out in the field.

What is the cost of tuition/fees for the Blue Horizons Program?

Visit this page for current UCSB summer sessions fees. There are no additional lab or equipment fees, but there may be an additional $50 fee for the whale watching boat tour of the Santa Barbara Channel.

Are there any financial resources/stipends to help cover costs?

Complete financial aid packages are available for all new and continuing UCSB students. Students may contact the Financial Aid Office (PH 805-893-2432), or go to the Financial Aid website, for all questions related to obtaining financial aid.

How do I find out about housing?

Applications for Summer Sessions lodging can be found at the UCSB Housing Office.