Operation Wallacea

Opwall engages high school students (ages 16-17) in research sites around the globe. This course generally consists of a two week project, one week of which is spent in a forest environment monitoring biodiversity and one week at a marine research site where students complete a PADI Scuba diver qualification and then study reef ecology.


Research sites are located in Indonesia, Peru, Guyana, S. Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Ecuador and Egypt. Students who satisfactorily complete the course (based on exam results, a field diary, a research project essay, and an assessment of student performance in the field), and who are subsequently admitted to the University of West Florida (UWF) will be awarded 3 credits of course work toward a degree in Marine Biology or Biology.

Application Process:

  1. Apply to Operation Wallacea for acceptance.
    1. Request Proof of Insurance coverage from Opwall. This verification should be in the form of a letter or email from Opwall confirming that "Participant Name" will be covered under the Opwall insurance policy while in "Country".
  2. Apply to UWF Study Abroad Program
    1. Create a profile in order to apply
    2. Complete form confirming the Opwall destination
    3. Once course is paid for (Step 3), access will be granted to additional forms required for participation including:
      1. Notarized Waiver
      2. Insurance Verification
      3. Medical History
      4. Copy of valid Passport

        All forms can be submitted electronically except the Notarized Waiver. The original notarized waiver must be mailed to:
        University of West Florida
        Study Abroad
        11000 University Parkway
        Building 72
        Pensacola, FL 32514

  3. Register Now ButtonComplete registration and pay for credit course through UWF Continuing Education

Curriculum Requirements:

Upon completion of their expedition, students will be graded on course materials provided to their UWF supervisor.

  1. Provided by the student:
    - Daily Field Journal - 50% 
    - 2 to 4 page Research Project Essay - 25%
  2. Provided by the Operation Wallacea field supervisor:
    - Assessments of Field Work Performance and any graded Field Course Work - 25% 
    - Students will receive a certificate from University of West Florida Continuing Education upon successful conclusion of the course.

Security and Safety:

University of West Florida is committed to the safety of its students when traveling abroad. When a student enrolls in the credit option for Operation Wallacea programs, that student is then required to follow University of West Florida's Security and Safety policies. Not all locations offered by Opwall are available to UWF students based on the United States Policies Alerts and Warnings.

Learn more about UWF Study Abroad's Security and Safety Policies.