Orientation Week

Orientation Week: Sunday, August 17 – Thursday, August 21, 2013 (we will be at DUML Aug. 19-21)

Final Orientation Schedule is available here.

Sessions are generally all day long, beginning at 8:00 a.m. Some days include evening sessions as well. Attendance at all sessions is required to receive course credit. The information that you receive during orientation is crucial to making a successful transition to Duke University. Be sure your employer understands that you will not be able to work or take time away from the orientation session during scheduled events.

We will be at the Duke University Marine Lab (DUML) from Tuesday through Thursday (the DEL program covers your lodging Tuesday and Wednesday night). We will be traveling back from DUML on Thursday afternoon. We hope to return to campus by 5:30 p.m. at the latest (RDU airport around 5:00 p.m.). For return travel, please account for unexpected delays in getting back to campus.


The Raleigh-Durham (RDU) International Airport is located approximately 20 miles from the University. The Thomas Center does not offer a shuttle service to the airport, however curbside taxi service is available and most rental car companies have offices at the airport. If you would like to prearrange your transportation to and from the airport, please go here for detailed information and transportation service providers. We have worked with Elite Coach and Charlene’s Safe Ride, and both are reliable.

Note, on Thursday, August 21, we plan to arrive back in the Durham/RDU Airport area around 5:00 p.m.. Arrange your flight accordingly; we are not responsible for missed flights. While we hope for an expedient and uneventful return trip, the best laid plans do not always work out. We will make a stop at the RDU airport on our way back to campus, we may also stop at hotels near Duke campus for those staying overnight.

Getting Around

The Thomas Center is within walking distance to the LSRC (Nicholas School). There is also a free Duke University bus system (with a bus stop just outside the Thomas Center) that is available. We will provide transportation to the Duke University Marine Lab (DUML), Wednesday-Friday.  Individual cars are only necessary for airport and evening transportation, if desired.

We will plan for everyone to walk the 20 minutes to the classroom from the Thomas Center. If you need special transportation arrangements, please let us know in advance of your arrival to campus so we may make alternate plans for you. When traveling to other locations besides the classroom, we will arrange for transportation for you. You can expect the transportation providers to be prompt, therefore you should be as well. Parking on campus is extremely limited, so we strongly encourage you to walk or take advantage of the transportation options identified in the agenda. We cannot provide parking spaces and we will not be responsible for any tickets you may receive while parking on campus. Hourly and daily parking is available at the Bryan Center Garage.

Be Prepared

Although meals while on campus are the financial responsibility of the student, there are exceptions. Please review the Orientation Schedule for meal information. You are responsible for the remainder of the meals (as you are for all on-campus sessions). Click here for a list of dining locations on campus and their hours of operation.

During field days, be prepared to walk. Be sure that you bring clothing appropriate for field work (shorts, t-shirts, pants, long-sleeved shirts, hat, raincoat or jacket, comfortable walking shoes and/or hiking boots). Review this checklist for ideas on what to pack.

Note: Orientation is an INTENSE week, so expect long days and minimal free time. We have a lot to cover in a short amount of time. Please be prepared for this. You will need to disconnect as much as possible from the office during the sessions, and you should inform your employer and colleagues.

It will be a busy few days, but it is most DEFINITELY worth it!

Dining While On Durham’s Campus

See which eateries are open, when, while you’re visiting campus.

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Duke Map

Here is an easily navigable map for your stay during orientation.

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Parking/Bryan Center Instructions

Here’s some great information for parking while on campus.

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What to Bring to Orientation

Please dress comfortably while you are here on campus – business/comfortable clothing for most events is appropriate while on campus.  Our classroom temperature fluctuates, so layers are always good! You can find a suggested list of items to bring to orientation and the Duke Marine Lab here.

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Where We’ll Be

Orientation Locations Sunday-Tuesday Classroom: Nicholas School of the Environment Loated at the Levine Science Research Center (LSRC) A-Wing, Room a158 Physical Address: 308 Research Drive, Durham, NC  27708 Tuesday (evening) – Thursday (morning): Duke University Maringe Lab (DUML) 135 Duke Marine Lab Road Beaufort, NC 28516 Group Hotel: R. David Thomas Executive Conference Center One Science …

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Optional Activities

There are no required activities on Saturday, August 16. However, for those of you who are interested, there are some great spots around campus to explore. Sarah P. Duke Gardens Duke Gardens is a beautiful part of campus to spend a couple hours. The Gardens are within walking distance of the Thomas Center or you …

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Area Attractions

Durham is a colorful, creative, and entrepreneurial community of  256,000 that welcomes 5.46 million visitors each year. Durham occupies a prime location in the heart of North Carolina  and is known as a center for learning, achievement, creativity, research, and  industry. Whether you’re a resident, visitor, group planner, newcomer,  or student, these official stats, facts, …

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