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Environmental Studies in Woods Hole & at Sea | 2019-2020

WELCOME ABOARD CONTENTS Educational Philosophy & School of Record


Our Faculty


Programs & Courses


Course Descriptions Guided Field Experiences

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Research at Sea


Ships & Research Equipment


Opportunities for Collaboration



Dear Colleague, This year, SEA Semester continues to build on our nearly 50-year history of excellence in blue-water oceanography and field-based education at sea, and in coastal communities and environments. We continue our work addressing questions of ocean health and sustainability, connecting students with scientists and decision makers at the intersections of society and nature. SEA Semester programs, starting on our Woods Hole, Massachusetts campus and continuing aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer or SSV Robert C. Seamans, create learning communities that cannot be duplicated at traditional institutions or in other study abroad programs. Last fall, students in our Caribbean Reef Expedition program became eyewitnesses and recorders of dramatic and still ongoing impacts in the wake of the region’s unprecedented

hurricane season. We continue to work with our longstanding regional and international collaborators as those communities and environments recover. In the western North Atlantic, our 30-year continuous data series of the physical properties of the water are increasingly valuable as long-term changes in the ocean become apparent. Worldwide, our data sets and student research findings are helping to inform the creation of large marine protected areas in remote ocean locations, with SEA Semester student-collected data guiding international decision makers and leaders. Our world is continually evolving, yet local and international concerns remain connected by the ocean. Today’s challenges include overfishing, rising sea level, climate refugees, overpopulation, marine debris, resource management, and storm intensification. SEA Semester programs provide our students with knowledge and tools, then place them in areas of action in the world’s oceans alongside those working to understand and mitigate environmental damage.

Our goal is to provide students with the intellectual foundation to make a difference in the world, and to give them the practical tools to create change in local, national, and international communities in Woods Hole and beyond. The true strength of SEA Semester is best demonstrated in the accomplishments of our alumni. At this year’s Ocean Sciences meeting, I was once again reminded of the value of the experience we offer. Our alumni’s presence in this field alone, whether in positions of leadership, research, or education, reflects the exponential impacts of the ocean scholars, stewards, and leaders that set sail with us. Thank you for entrusting your students to our care. We look forward to welcoming them aboard for an academic adventure with a purpose. Sincerely,

Paul Joyce, Ph.D. Academic Dean, Sea Education Association



• Influencing and encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers • Fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the population • Increasing the public’s understanding of the processes of science and engineering through scientific discovery, innovation, and its communication to the public • Encouraging others to help raise the public understanding of science and technology • Promoting the engagement of scientists and engineers in public outreach and scientific literacy 1



SEA Semester programs are multidisciplinary learning communities that address the critical environmental issues of our time:

The initial shore component in Woods Hole allows students to develop well-researched projects which they will then take into the field. Time aboard our research vessels and in foreign ports of call allows us to take what we have learned in the classroom and test it against our observations of the marine environment, natural landscapes, human infrastructures, and the knowledge and opinions of local people.

• • • • •

Climate Change Sustainability Biodiversity Human Impacts on the Environment Environmental Justice

Acknowledging that human actions underlie environmental change, we realize that these issues must be approached from multiple disciplines, including science, history, cultural studies, and policy. SEA is committed to implementing high-impact student engagement and learning practices as described by the Association of American Colleges and Universities in their Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) initiative. These include: Common Intellectual Experiences, Learning Communities, Collaborative Assignments and Projects, Undergraduate Research, and Diversity/ Global Learning.

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We stress good communication skills through written work and oral presentations, both in the early stages of research where ideas can be tested, and at the conclusion of a project, where a mastery of the material can be demonstrated. In addition to research papers and reports, students’ work may be shared with a larger audience through blogs, podcasts, web-based atlases, and social media. Our students have also co-published work with SEA faculty and presented their findings at professional conferences around the world. The dynamic environment of our ships, combined with preparatory coursework on shore in Woods Hole, develops lifelong teamwork, problem solving, and leadership skills. Our alumni describe SEA Semester as a transformative experience: 80% say SEA Semester increased their self-confidence and made them effective participants in collaborative teams, and 92% report that the program helped them build skills that they find useful in their careers today.

We believe strongly in learning communities, and I see SEA

Semester as the embodiment of this type of community.” ROBERT DUGAN, PH.D., Professor of Computer

Science, Stonehill College

I can easily recommend SEA Semester to students who want field experience of a different kind, or who want an adventure that will enhance personal growth.� DAVID RAIN, PH.D., Director of Environmental Studies/Associate

Professor of Geography and International Affairs, The George Washington University



All SEA Semester programs consist of courses that have been submitted to and approved by Boston University through its internal course evaluation process. They are subject to the same approval process as any other BU course and are therefore equivalent to courses taught at BU. A formal Academic Advisory Board made up of representatives from institutional affiliates, including Boston University, convenes on an annual basis to review all SEA Semester programs and courses. All students are registered at Boston University for the duration of their SEA Semester program unless their home institution grants direct credit for participation. This registration process allows students to receive an official BU transcript upon successful completion of SEA Semester coursework.

American University Barnard College Boston University Carleton College Colgate University College of Charleston Connecticut College Cornell University Drexel University Eckerd College Evergreen State College Franklin & Marshall College George Washington University Hamilton College Hawaii Pacific University Ithaca College Knox College Lafayette College Lawrence University

Longwood University Macalester College McDaniel College Northeastern University Oberlin College Oregon State University Purdue University Reed College Rice University Ripon College Rochester Institute of Technology Roger Williams University Sewanee: University of the South Stonehill College SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Syracuse University University of Denver University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth University of New Hampshire University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill University of Northern Colorado University of Pennsylvania University of Rhode Island University of San Diego University of Washington Ursinus College Utica College Villanova University Warren Wilson College Whitman College

SEA Semester enrolls an average of 210 students per year and regularly draws from over 150 colleges and universities nationwide and internationally. However, we maintain formal affiliations with the institutions listed. For a full list of our sending and affiliated institutions, visit academics/ affiliates. If you are interested in information about affiliation with SEA Semester, please contact your institutional representative or email admissions@



DR. DEB GOODWIN Associate Professor, Oceanography. PhD (Oceanography) University of New Hampshire; MS (Biology) University of Washington; BA Carleton College. SEA Faculty appointed 2010. Research Areas & Interests: Marine plastic pollution; Sargassum macroalgae distribution and dynamics; applications of remote sensing and GIS. DR. BEN HARDEN Assistant Professor, Oceanography. PhD (Meteorology and Oceanography) University of East Anglia, UK; MSci/BA (Natural Sciences) University of Cambridge, UK. SEA Faculty appointed 2015. Research Areas & Interests: Physical oceanography; meteorology; climate dynamics; air-sea interactions; radio storytelling. DR. KARA LAVENDER LAW Research Professor of Oceanography. PhD (Physical Oceanography) Scripps Institution of Oceanography/UCSD; BS Duke University. SEA Faculty appointed 2003. Research Areas & Interests: The abundance, distribution, behavior, degradation and fate of plastic debris in the ocean. DR. AUDREY WRIGHT MEYER Professor, Oceanography. PhD (Earth Sciences) University of California, Santa Cruz; BS Stanford University. SEA Faculty appointed 1995. Research Areas & Interests: Marine geology; paleoclimatology; coastal evolution in response to natural and human-induced changes. DR. JEFF SCHELL Associate Professor, Oceanography. PhD (Aquatic Ecology) University of Wisconsin, Madison; MS (Marine Environmental Studies) State University of New York at Stony Brook; BS College of the Holy Cross. SEA Faculty appointed 2003.

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Research Areas & Interests: Ecology and conservation of marine and freshwater ecosystems; the Sargasso Sea; environmental history; natural history illustration. DR. KERRY A. WHITTAKER Assistant Professor, Oceanography. PhD (Oceanography) University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography; BA Colby College. SEA Faculty appointed 2017. Research Areas & Interests: Marine microbial ecology; molecular ecology; phytoplankton diversity, dispersal, and evolution; experiential place-based education. DR. JAN WITTING Professor, Oceanography. PhD (Marine Biology) Northeastern University; BS Northeastern University. SEA Faculty appointed 2001. Research Areas & Interests: Coral reef ecology; designing and constructing autonomous underwater vehicles.


ERIN J. BRYANT, ESQ. Assistant Professor, Ocean Policy. JD Roger Williams University School of Law; MMA University of Rhode Island; MEd Simmons College; BA Bryn Mawr College. SEA Faculty appointed 2012. Research Areas & Interests: Ocean resource management and valuation; coastal hazards mitigation; environmental justice; science communication. DR. MARK H. LONG Associate Dean, Academic Partnerships; Associate Professor, History and Social Science. PhD (History) Loyola University, Chicago; BA Auburn University. SEA Faculty appointed 2015. Research Areas & Interests: The intersections between maritime, economic and environmental history and policy, especially focused on frontier and borderland areas.

DR. CRAIG MARIN Assistant Professor, Maritime Studies. PhD (History) University of Pittsburgh; BA Carleton College. SEA Faculty appointed 2013. SEA Semester alumnus. Research Areas & Interests: Atlantic world rebels and revolutionaries; radicalization and mobility; sustainability in modern maritime settings. DR. JEFF WESCOTT Assistant Professor, Anthropology. PhD (Anthropology) University of California, San Diego; BA State University of New York, Buffalo. SEA Faculty appointed 2015. Research Areas & Interests: Political, ethical, and cognitive dimensions of human-environment interactions in island societies; social-ecological systems in ocean research and education.


CAPTAIN JAY AMSTER Assistant Professor, Nautical Science. BS/BA (Business Administration/Music), Northeastern University. SEA Faculty appointed 2016. SEA Semester alumnus. Research Areas & Interests: Leadership training; group dynamics; cartography; celestial navigation. Licenses & Certifications: Master 1600 Tons of Steam, Motor, and Auxiliary Sail Vessels upon Oceans; Wilderness First Responder; STCW Compliant. CAPTAIN CHRIS NOLAN Assistant Professor, Nautical Science. PSM (Fisheries & Wildlife Management) Oregon State University; BS U.S. Coast Guard Academy. SEA Faculty appointed 2015. Research Areas & Interests: Celestial navigation; fisheries management; organizational leadership. Licenses & Certifications: Master 1600 Tons of Steam, Motor, and Auxiliary Sail upon Oceans; Radar Observer (Unlimited); STCW Compliant.

CAPTAIN JASON QUILTER Instructor, Nautical Science. Sailing with SEA since 2003; SEA Faculty appointed 2010. Research Areas & Interests: Naval architecture; ships’ stability; meteorology; marine engineering. Licenses & Certifications: Master 1600 Tons of Steam, Motor, and Auxiliary Sail Vessels upon Oceans; Radar Observer (Unlimited); STCW Compliant. CAPTAIN ELLIOT RAPPAPORT Professor, Nautical Science. MS (Science Education) University of Maine; BA Oberlin College. SEA Faculty appointed 2002. SEA Semester alumnus. Research Areas & Interests: Weather; marine safety; leadership; wilderness medicine. Licenses & Certifications: Master 1600 Tons of Steam, Motor, and Auxiliary Sail Vessels upon Oceans; Radar Observer (Unlimited); STCW Compliant. Certified Wilderness EMT.




SEA Semester programs are designed to fit seamlessly into undergraduate coursework as major, minor, or elective credit. Many programs’ courses are offered as a set curriculum. However, some programs offer electives to allow students flexibility based on interests or academic needs.

Our programs welcome students from any major to combine classroom learning on shore in Woods Hole with a transformative hands-on experience at sea.

Q: Which students are a good fit for SEA Semester? A: We look for motivated undergraduates of all majors who are passionate about learning, inspired to tackle real-world problems, and eager to translate classroom learning into hands-on experience. Students should possess a sense of adventure; a willingness to work hard, both academically and physically; and the skills necessary to live and work productively as part of a 35-person crew at sea. No sailing experience is required. Q: How does the admissions process work? A: SEA Semester operates on a rolling admissions basis. We review all applications on a first-come, first-served basis until each program is full. Programs are limited in capacity with a maximum of 24 or 25 student spots per class. Therefore, we encourage students to apply early to ensure placement in their preferred program. Q: Is there financial aid available? A: Yes! SEA Semester awards more than $1 million in aid every year and is currently meeting all semester students’ demonstrated need. A variety of need-based and merit scholarships are available. Last year, the average semester award was $10,800.

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At the beginning of every program, up to 25 undergraduates from all over the U.S. (and often, the world) come together on SEA’s residential campus in Woods Hole, a small seaside village that has become a world-renowned hub of oceanographic research and discovery. The coursework and time on shore varies by program, but the ultimate goal remains the same: to prepare students personally and intellectually for the second half of their experience at sea. After forming a living and learning community in Woods Hole, students join one of our two tall ship oceanographic research vessels to put classroom theory into real-world practice. Embarking on an academic research expedition in the Atlantic, Caribbean, or Pacific, some students sail thousands of miles across the open ocean for a truly blue-water experience. Others investigate a smaller area of the marine environment, engaging with coastal communities through a variety of port stops. Regardless of the program, all students become integral members of the ship’s company at sea, fully participating in the scientific mission and sailing operations of the vessel.

Guided by SEA faculty and professional crew, students are exposed to every aspect of shipboard life including celestial navigation, the collection and analysis of oceanographic samples, sail handling, and even meal preparation. A phased leadership approach allows students to assume the majority of shipboard responsibilities under the watchful eye of the crew. The confidence, skills, and teamwork that are developed at sea will serve them well throughout their lives. STUDENT HEALTH AND SAFETY

SEA fully recognizes the significant responsibility of training and housing young people on our campus and aboard our ships. The safety of all SEA Semester students and staff is among our highest priorities. To this end, SEA maintains a philosophy of prevention in managing risk in its activities. Learn more about our commitment to risk management at

SEA Semester programs offer a fantastic chance for our students to

extended quality time in an intense research situation, all while having an amazing spend

sea and sailing adventure!”

MICHAEL CLIFTHORNE, M.A., Assistant Director,

Office of International Programs, The Evergreen State College

For more detail on SEA Semester credit, visit




SEA Semester: Caribbean Reef Expedition 18 credits, 200-300 level

CORE • The Ocean & Global Change • Marine Environmental History • Ocean Science & Public Policy • Leadership in a Dynamic Environment ELECTIVES (CHOOSE ONE) • Directed Oceanographic Research • Practical Oceanographic Research

SEA Semester: Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems 17 credits, 200-300 level

SEA Semester: Climate & Society 18 credits, 300-400 level

CORE • Climate, Society and the Humanities* • Environmental Communication* • The Ocean and Global Change • Leadership in a Dynamic Environment

SEA Semester: The Global Ocean 17-18 credits, 200-300 level

New in Fall 2019!

ELECTIVES (CHOOSE ONE) • Advanced Research Topics* • Directed Research Topics* *Pending Boston University course approval

SEA Semester: Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean 17 credits, 200-300 level

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SEA Semester: Marine Biodiversity & Conservation 18 credits, 200-400 level Prerequisites apply

• Advanced Topics in Biological Oceanography: Biodiversity • Advanced Ocean Policy Research • Directed Oceanographic Research • Nautical Science • Ocean Science & Public Policy

SEA Semester: Oceans & Climate 18 credits, 200-300 level Prerequisites apply

• • • • •

Maritime History & Culture Marine Environmental History Maritime Studies Nautical Science Oceanography

Advanced Oceanographic Field Methods Directed Oceanographic Research Nautical Science Oceans in the Global Carbon Cycle Data Communication & Visualization

SEA Summer: Pacific Reef Expedition 7 credits, 200 level

SEA Summer: Protecting the Phoenix Islands 11 credits, 300-400 level Prerequisites may apply

COURSES • Maritime History & Culture • Marine Environmental History • Cultural Landscapes & Seascapes: A Sense of Place • Nautical Science • Oceanography

CORE • Leadership in a Dynamic Environment • Maritime History & Culture • The Ocean & Global Change ELECTIVES (CHOOSE TWO) • Cultural Landscapes & Seascapes: A Sense of Place • Data Communication & Visualization • Directed Oceanographic Research - ORPractical Oceanographic Research • Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management

• Practical Oceanographic Research • Nautical Science

CORE • The Ocean & Global Change • Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management ELECTIVES (CHOOSE ONE) • Advanced Ocean Policy Research • Directed Oceanographic Research



400-level, 4 credits, BU CAS NS 460 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Junior standing or consent of instructor. Advanced policy research focusing on a topic of current importance (may include fisheries, biodiversity, marine spatial planning, and cultural heritage). Emphasis on theoretical concepts, research methods, and communication skills. Requires critical review paper, original research, final report and presentation. ADVANCED OCEANOGRAPHIC FIELD METHODS

300-level, 4 credits, BU XAS NS 324 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or consent of instructor. Tools and techniques of the oceanographer. Participate in shipboard laboratory operations to gain experience with deployment of modern oceanographic equipment and collection of scientific data at sea. Emphasis on sampling plan design, advanced laboratory sample processing methods, and robust data analysis.


400-level, 4 credits, BU CAS NS 450 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or consent of instructor. In-depth treatment of a single topic in biological oceanography. Extensive review of classical and contemporary literature. Introduction and practice of current laboratory techniques. Oral presentation and written research proposal required. Topics may include marine plankton ecology, marine biodiversity, and satellite oceanography. CULTURAL LANDSCAPES & SEASCAPES: A SENSE OF PLACE

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 327 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. Field-intensive analysis and documentation of dynamic relationships between nature and culture in specific coastal, island, and ocean places. Apply cultural landscape and related interdisciplinary bio-cultural approaches to place-based environmental studies. DATA COMMUNICATION & VISUALIZATION

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 330 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. Information visualization strategies and associated software, emphasizing communication to diverse audiences. Select between geospatial (GIS) and qualitative data foci. Develop graphics and/or multimedia products supporting research projects in concurrent courses. Compile iterative digital portfolio. | 8


300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 330 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or consent of instructor. Design and conduct original oceanographic research. Collect data and analyze samples. Compile results in peer-reviewed manuscript format and share during oral or poster presentation session. Emphasis on development of research skills and written/oral communication abilities. LEADERSHIP IN A DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENT

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 329 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. Be an effective leader while leveraging the individual strengths of a team. Use leadership theory and case studies to understand how decisions affect outcomes. Participate as an active member of a ship’s crew, progressively assuming full leadership roles. MARINE ENVIRONMENTAL HISTORY

300-level, 4 credits, BU CAS NS 323 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. Employ methods and sources of historians and social scientists. Examine the role of human societies in coastal and open ocean environmental change. Issues include resource conservation, overfishing, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.

Full course descriptions and detailed syllabi are available at




300-level, 4 credits, BU CAS NS 322 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 320 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

200-level, 4 credits, BU XAS NS 226 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.

Explore impacts of European maritime ventures on the societies they contacted in the Atlantic or Pacific, with focus on the resulting social, political, economic, and cultural changes. Investigate responses documented in the post-Colonial literature of indigenous people.

Culture, history, political systems, and science can shape ocean policy. Practice current strategies to build, analyze, and communicate about diverse policy issues. Examine the power, use, and limitations of science and the scientist’s voice in determining ocean policy.



200-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 222 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.

200-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 221 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.

Relationship between humans and the sea. History, literature, and art of our maritime heritage. Ships as agents of contact change. Political and economic challenges of contemporary marine affairs. Destination-specific focus.

Explore how interconnected ocean characteristics (bathymetry, seawater chemistry, biological diversity) and processes (plate tectonics, surface and deep-water circulation, biological production) shape global patterns across multiple scales. Discuss destination-specific environmental issues and hot topics in marine research.


200-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 223 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Learn the fundamentals of sailing ship operation, in preparation for direct application at sea. Navigation (piloting, celestial and electronic), weather, engineering systems, safety, and sail theory. Participate as an active member of the ship’s crew on an offshore voyage.

Introduction to oceanographic research. Design a collaborative, hypothesis-driven project following the scientific process. Collect original data. Conduct analysis and interpretation, then prepare a written report and oral presentation. THE OCEAN & GLOBAL CHANGE

300-level, 4 credits, BU CAS NS 326 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. Ocean ecosystem change in the anthropocene: warming, acidification, fisheries depletion, and pollution. Review principles of circulation, seawater chemistry, nutrient dynamics, and biological production to understand causes and consequences of change. Conduct field measurements for contribution to time-series datasets.



300-level, 4 credits, BU CAS NS 321 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or consent of instructor.

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 328 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

Ocean as carbon source and sink. Examine global-scale flux patterns and carbon storage mechanisms, from solubility/ biological pumps to geo-engineering. Explore buffering capacity and mitigation strategies in the face of anthropogenic carbon cycle perturbations. Oral presentation and written research proposal required.

Comparative and issue-driven introduction to managing human uses and conserving coastal and ocean places and resources. Explore concepts of technology, governance, sector and ecosystem management, and marine protected areas through expert content lectures, topical seminars, and field trips.



National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

value in experiential learning, and SEA My institution places

Semester does it in a more intensive way than we are able to do ourselves.� RECENT SEA SEMESTER COLLEAGUE VOYAGE PARTICIPANT

Hiking to a snorkel survey in Waterlemon Cay, St. John, USVI

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SEA campus, Woods Hole, MA, USA

Kayaking through the mangroves of Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic

Traditional sailing canoe, or drua, Korova, Fiji


During the shore component in Woods Hole, students participate in a number of guided field experiences. Destinations include Mystic Seaport, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University. Students might also conduct surveys of the Boston waterfront, examine beach erosion at nearby coastlines, or collect marine science specimens at Waquoit Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.

port stops offer students an opportunity to experience first-hand what they have studied in the classroom in Woods Hole. They also provide a critical academic and research component, allowing students access to primary sources in their various areas of study.

Students begin their experience on SEA’s residential campus in Woods Hole for an intensive schedule of multi-disciplinary coursework, typically six weeks in length. This time on shore is an integral part of the student experience and prepares them to be successful as researchers, observers, and shipmates at sea. SEA Semester students are regularly welcomed at lectures and presentations sponsored by the local community, including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Biological Laboratory, National Marine Fisheries Service, United States Geological Survey, and Woods Hole Research Center. These events allow invaluable access to the world’s foremost scientists and institutions addressing leading scientific and environmental issues.


During this guided time in port, SEA Semester students meet with local politicians, naturalists, and scientists, and visit historical museums and scientific institutions to form critical connections between ocean science, policy, history, and culture.

Just as the littoral zone links land and sea, SEA Semester’s port stops link the classroom with cultures and communities around the world. Whether it’s Maori culture in New Zealand, the impact of climate change on Polynesian reefs, or the colonial history of the Caribbean, 11


Undergraduate research is a cornerstone of SEA Semester, with an emphasis on field-based study in marine and social sciences. SEA faculty and staff are active in their respective fields through grant-funded research projects, participation in professional conferences, and publication in scholarly journals. Faculty encourage SEA Semester students to contribute new aspects to ongoing research or to develop their own avenues of inquiry, as they guide students through the entire research process from defining the scope of study to final presentation of their work. Many students continue their research upon return to their home institutions, using the field data collected at SEA as the basis of capstone or senior thesis projects. Others remain involved in the research they contributed to during their time at SEA, and are subsequently invited as co-authors on presentations and publications resulting from their work. We invite you to explore some examples of the major avenues of research conducted by SEA Semester students and SEA faculty and staff. For more examples of student projects and publications in these areas of research and more, visit

Identifying Sargassum in the shipboard lab

Examining seafloor sediment using a Shipek Grab


Caribbean Sea, 2015-2016. In: Proceedings of the 69th Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Conference, Nov. 7-11, 2016. Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Grand Cayman.

Peer-Reviewed Publications Sehein, T.^, A. N. S. Siuda*^, T. Shank and A. Govindarajan, 2014. Connectivity in the slender Sargassum shrimp (Latreutes fucorum): implications for a Sargasso Sea protected area. J. Plankton Res. 36, 1408-1412. Presentations Wrinn, C.^, J. M. Schell*, D. S. Goodwin* and A. N. S. Siuda*^, 2016. Taxonomic Guide to Pelagic Sargassum in the Caribbean Sea and North Atlantic. In: Proceedings of the 69th Annual Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute Conference, Nov. 7-11, 2016. Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute, Grand Cayman. Taylor, M.^, A. N. S. Siuda*^, D. S. Goodwin*, G. Huston^ and J. M. Schell*, 2016. Biogeographic and temporal changes in mobile fauna community on pelagic Sargassum in the

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Nieves, M. A.^ and A. N. S. Siuda*^, 2015. Factors that Influence the Composition of the Resident Macrofauna Community of Free-floating Sargassum. ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting, Granada, Spain. Gervase, L.^, C. Bateson^, G. Ballou^, A. N. S. Siuda*^, L. Amaral-Zettler and A. Bucklin, 2015. Leptocephali Biodiversity in the Sargasso Sea: Spatial and Diel Patterns. NY Chapter American Fisheries Society Meeting, Lake Placid, NY. CLIMATE CHANGE

Peer-Reviewed Publications Deary, A. L., S. Moret-Ferguson^*, M. Engels*, E. Zettler*, G. Jaroslow* and G. Sancho, 2015.

Conducting a coral reef survey

Examining stomach contents for plastic debris

Working in the lab aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer

Influence of Central Pacific Oceanographic Conditions on the Potential Vertical Habitat of Four Tropical Tuna Species. Pacific Science, 69, 461-475.


debris: implications for marine dispersal. Sci. Rep. 6, 19987.

Presentations Meyer, A. W.*, M. K. Becker^, K. C. Grabb^ and SEA Cruise S-250 Scientific Party, 2014. SEA Semester Undergraduates Research the Ocean’s Role in Climate Systems in the Pacific Ocean. AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA. CONSERVATION / MANAGEMENT

Presentations Siuda, A. N. S.*^ J. Jensen* and C. McClennen^, 2013. Cross-training Undergraduate Scientists in Practical Conservation: Integrating Science and Policy Skills in a Problem-based Curriculum. 26th International Congress for Conservation Biology, Baltimore, MD.

Peer-Reviewed Publications Geyer, R., J. R. Jambeck and K. L. Law*, 2017. Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made. Sci. Adv. 3, e1700782. Law, K. L.*, 2017. Plastics in the Marine Environment. Annu. Rev. Mar. Sci. 9, 205-229. Pfaller, J. B. and M. A. Gil^, 2016. Sea turtle symbiosis facilitates social monogamy in oceanic crabs via refuge size. Biol. Lett. 12, 20160607. Kukulka, T., K. L. Law* and G. Proskurowski*, 2016. Evidence for the influence of surface heat fluxes on turbulent mixing of microplastic marine debris. J. Phys. Oceanogr., 46, 809-815. Gil^, M. A. and J. B. Pfaller, 2016. Oceanic barnacles act as foundation species on plastic

Goldstein M. and D. Goodwin*, 2013. Gooseneck barnacles (Lepas spp.) ingest microplastic debris in the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. PeerJ 1, e184. Presentations Taylor, S.^, K. Cramer, K. Dooley, K.^, W. Lourie^, T. J. Mincer, L. A. Amaral-Zettler and E. R. Zettler*, 2015. Short-term Microbial Community Assembly on Plastic Marine Debris: Evidence from Experimental Colonization Studies in the Waters of Woods Hole, MA, USA. ASLO Aquatic Sciences meeting, Granada, Spain. ^ SEA Semester alum * SEA Semester faculty/staff 13


SEA owns and operates the SSV Corwith Cramer and the SSV Robert C. Seamans, certified by the United States Coast Guard as Sailing School Vessels (Subchapter R) for Ocean Service. As SSVs, both ships are required to meet stringent safety standards that differ from those of a passenger vessel on a comparable route. Unlike some other programs that take students to sea, our ships are U.S. flagged, inspected, and regulated, and were custom designed and built specifically for SEA. SSV CORWITH CRAMER

The SSV Corwith Cramer, named after SEA’s founding director, was designed specifically for SEA and was constructed in 1987 in Bilbao, Spain. She is a 134-foot steel brigantine built as a research vessel for operation under sail, and is home to SEA Semester students in the Atlantic and Caribbean.

Rig: Brigantine Displacement: 280 Tons Construction: Steel; built 1987 ASTACE Shipyard Bilbao, Spain Length Overall: 134 feet Length on Deck: 98 feet Draft: 12.5 feet Beam: 26 feet Sail Area: 7,500 Sq. Ft. Auxiliary Engine: 500 horsepower Cummins diesel Complement: 38 persons

SSV Corwith Cramer


The SSV Robert C. Seamans, SEA’s newest vessel, was designed by Laurent Giles of Hampshire, England, and built in Tacoma, Washington. Named after a former Trustee and Chairman of SEA’s board, the Robert C. Seamans is a 134-foot steel brigantine and is the most sophisticated sailing oceanographic research vessel ever built in the United States. The Seamans is home to SEA Semester students in the Pacific.

Rig: Brigantine Displacement: 350 Tons Construction: Steel; built 2001 J.M. Martinac Shipbuilding, Tacoma, WA Length Overall: 134.5 feet Length on Deck: 111.4 feet Draft: 13.9 feet Beam: 25.5 feet Sail Area: 8,554 Sq. Ft. Auxiliary Engine: 455 horsepower Caterpillar diesel Complement: 40 persons SSV Robert C. Seamans

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• Markey Electric Hydrographic Winches with 3000-5000m 1/4” 3x19 wire rope • Markey Auxiliary “enhanced BT” Winches with 1/8” wire rope • Overboarding systems that include hydraulic J-frames and Dynacon sheaves with payout metering, speed and tensioning capability.


• Knudsen Model 3260 Chirp sub-bottom profiling systems (2-7 kHz) with TR-109 transducers (8 on Corwith Cramer | 9 on Robert C. Seamans)


• Water sampling Carousel SBE 32SC capable of carrying the following instrumentation package: - Seabird Electronics (SBE) 90208 1 Auto Fire Module - SBE “SEACAT” Conductivity, Temperature 1 and Depth (CTD) Profiler - Biospherical PAR sensor - Sea Point in-vivo chlorophyll-a 1 Fluorometer - Wetlabs CDOM Fluorometer and 1 Transmissometer - SBE-43 oxygen sensor - 12 x 2.5-L Niskin Water Sampling Bottles • Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (RDI Ocean Surveyor 75kHz) • Octans fiber optic gyro-compass on Corwith Cramer; Ashtech ADU-5 on Robert C. Seamans • RBR XR420 towed CTD

• YSI-30 and YSI-85 handheld meters • Orion 3-star benchtop pH meter • Ocean Optics USB2000 digital spectrophotometers • Secchi Disk • Star-Oddi centi-TD (temperature/depth) loggers for accurate depth readings on towed net deployments • Full complement of wet-chemical capability (e.g. titrations, column reductions, filtration, etc.)


• Shipek Sediment Grab • Gravity Corer • Fisher Sediment Scoop


• Aquabotix Hydroview ROV (200ft rating, color cameras and HD video) • Turner Designs Model 10-AU Benchtop Fluorometers • Sea-Gear 200, 333, 1000 μm mesh Plankton nets • Sea-Gear 333 μm mesh Neuston nets (1m wide by 0.5m high) • Sea-Gear 63 μm Phytoplankton nets • Tucker Trawl multiple opening/closing net • Phantom 3 Pro UAV Quadcopter for aerial observations • McLane Large Volume Water Transfer System (WTS-LV) SHORE-TO-SEA MOLECULAR LAB

• Eppendorf Centrifuge 5424 • (2) Microcentrifuges • BioRad Thermocycler - Mini Opticon Real-Time PCR System • NanoDrop 1000 Spectrophotometer • (2) E-Gel Precast Agarose Electrophoresis Systems • Rainin pipets • (2) Benchmark Scientific Mini Dry Baths


• Zeiss Stemi 305 Stereo Dissecting Microscopes • Zeiss Axiolab A1 LED Fluorescence Mircroscopes • Zeiss Axiocam microscope camera for digital photomicrographics


Clean-flowing seawater system with SBE-45 thermosalinograph, in-vivo chlorophyll and CDOM fluorometer, and transmissometer. System logs surface seawater salinity, temperature, in-vivo chlorophyll fluorescence, beam attenuation, CDOM fluorescence, as well as GPS position once per minute while underway. OTHER

Laboratory equipment (centrifuges, stir plates, adjustable micropipets, etc.), Milli-Q lab water, aquaria, PAR reference sensor, hydrophone, plankton splitter, handheld GPS. 15


Firmly established in the academic and oceanographic communities, SEA has long benefited from the participation of scholars and experts visiting from other colleges, universities, and research institutions. During both the shore and sea components, there are frequent opportunities for faculty members from outside institutions to interact with our student body. Guest educators can give a single lecture ashore, spend six weeks working with our students in Woods Hole, go to sea with a SEA Semester class for one leg of a voyage or an entire sea component, or any combination of the above. Please contact Dr. Paul Joyce, Academic Dean, for more information about these opportunities.

sails. They also experience the combination of theoretical and practical education that is the hallmark of our programs, and that creates such a powerful living and learning community for students. One or more members of the SEA faculty and administration join each voyage to answer questions and facilitate the experience. There are no fees associated with these voyages; colleagues simply provide their own travel to and from the ship, as well as any accommodations outside of the program dates. Please contact your institutional representative or Dr. Mark Long, Associate Dean for Academic Partnerships, for more information about these opportunities. SHIPS OF OPPORTUNITY


One of the best ways to help colleagues understand the nature of our programs is to take them to sea. Each year, we invite sending institution faculty, advisors, and administrators to sail aboard the Corwith Cramer or the Robert C. Seamans on a short Colleague Voyage. These 2- to 5-day voyages offer the chance to learn more about our programs while experiencing firsthand what makes SEA Semester a leader in field-based education and research. While at sea, colleagues participate in the 24/7 deck and lab operations of the vessel. They stand watch, attend class, deploy oceanographic equipment, process data, and handle

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SEA’s vessels serve as “ships of opportunity” to deploy instruments, provide valuable open ocean samples, and supply data to collaborators from institutions around the world. Our vessels routinely travel through regions not frequented by other research vessels, providing the opportunity to collect data in observation-sparse or remote areas, and to build long-term data sets on annually-repeated cruise tracks. The SSV Corwith Cramer, operating in the North Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea, and the SSV Robert C. Seamans, operating in the North and South Pacific Oceans, are equipped with sophisticated oceanographic instrumentation and laboratory equipment that allow students,

faculty, and visiting researchers alike to collect high quality oceanographic data. SEA routinely submits data to national and international archives for use by the broader oceanographic research community. RECENT SHIPS OF OPPORTUNITY COLLABORATIONS INCLUDE:

• Argo network of profiling CTD floats, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory - Routinely deploy Argo floats on Pacific 1 and Atlantic Ocean cruise tracks • Census of Marine Zooplankton (CMarZ), a program of the Census of Marine Life - Contributed zooplankton samples from 1 Atlantic and Pacific Oceans • Government of Kiribati - Collected bathymetric data for redefinition 1 of Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) 1 boundaries • Hideshige Takada, Tokyo University of 1Agriculture and Technology - Collected ocean microplastics for analysis 1 of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) • Ocean Genome Legacy - Contribute marine tissue samples and 1 genomic information to a genome bank • SeaBASS, a NASA program - Repository for optical data collected in 1 Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

For more information on SEA’s research, education and outreach collaborations, as well as resulting publications, visit sea_research.


In addition to running our own summer and semester programs, SEA has limited availability to support institutional faculty-led programs. Below are a few examples of both short- and long-term collaborative programs. STANFORD@SEA

A trimester-length program offered exclusively to Stanford undergraduates, Stanford@SEA begins with five weeks of marine science, maritime studies, and nautical science coursework, team-taught by Stanford and SEA faculty at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, California. The program continues with a five-week research cruise aboard SEA’s Pacific research vessel, the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Students develop an independent scientific research project while ashore and carry out the research at sea. HARVARD UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCES

At the beginning of specific academic semesters, the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS) offers a field trip aboard an SEA vessel. Sophomore EPS students take advantage of the state-of-the-art research tools available aboard the ship while participating in all aspects of running a sailing research vessel. The shipboard experience provides a real-world framework for their Harvard coursework.


The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers MBA Leadership Ventures, which are experiences that facilitate self-discovery, leadership, and character development. One such Venture takes place aboard SEA’s Pacific research vessel, the SSV Robert C. Seamans. This program is a continuous sailing expedition near New Zealand that draws on participants’ endurance — mental and physical — and teamwork skills to achieve the team’s goals in the face of challenging, often unfamiliar obstacles and natural elements. Wharton MBA students build skills in teamwork, decisionmaking, adaptability, and leadership. OTHER RECENT PARTNERSHIPS HAVE INCLUDED:

Boston University College of Charleston Colorado College Duke University Eckerd College Ithaca College Massachusetts Institute of Technology Miami University of Ohio Pennsylvania State University University of Chicago University of San Diego Please contact Dr. Mark Long, Associate Dean for Academic Partnerships, for more information about these opportunities.

Photo: Camrin Braun




SEA is a global teaching, learning and research community dedicated to the exploration, understanding and stewardship of marine and maritime environments. SEA empowers students with life-changing sea voyages of scientific and cultural discovery, academic rigor and personal growth. Our SEA Semester program features an interdisciplinary curriculum and dynamic leadership-development experience – at sea aboard tall ships and on shore.

Sea Education Association P.O. Box 6 Woods Hole, MA 02543 800-552-3633 x770 800-977-8516 fax Photo credits: SEA alumni, faculty, staff, and friends Design: Fyfe Design

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Profile for SEA Semester

SEA Semester Academic Guide, 2019-2020  

SEA Semester has been educating ocean scholars, stewards, and leaders with a community-based learning model since 1971. By combining academi...

SEA Semester Academic Guide, 2019-2020  

SEA Semester has been educating ocean scholars, stewards, and leaders with a community-based learning model since 1971. By combining academi...