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

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everyone. RYAN GORDON, Ph.D.

Family Forestland Coordinator at the Oregon Department of Forestry SEA Semester Spring 2000




The oceans cover nearly three-quarters of Earth, yet

SEA Semester welcomes students from any major

90% are largely unexplored. SEA Semester provides

who are interested in learning more about the world’s

an experiential opportunity to gather firsthand

oceans. We create ocean scholars, stewards, and

knowledge that will influence your lifelong relationship

leaders: people who are passionate about acquiring

with the ocean. Moving beyond the textbook toward

the knowledge and skills necessary to address the

hands-on research and field-based experience, SEA

critical environmental issues of our time including

Semester prepares you to take a more active role in

climate change, sustainability, biodiversity, environ-

solving today’s environmental problems.

mental justice, and human impacts. Whether you’re fulfilling graduation requirements or conducting

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Embarking on a voyage with SEA Semester equips you with a unique set of skills that’s applicable

advanced research towards a senior thesis, SEA Semester can help you build a solid foundation for any academic pursuit.

to any career path you choose to take. With us, you have the rare opportunity to live and work


with a diverse group of individuals under dynamic

Going to sea is a powerful experience. It presents an

conditions at sea all while striving toward a common

opportunity to disconnect from the distractions of

goal. 92% of our alumni report that SEA Semester

daily life on land in order to connect with yourself

provided them with skills that have been useful in

and your environment instead. Our alumni often

their professions. These skills include self-reliance,

report that SEA Semester was a transformative

teamwork, leadership, followership, and the ability to

experience, and one that was seminal in their

communicate and work effectively with a variety of

development of personal traits such as confidence,

people across disciplines.

maturity, and respect. SEA Semester will change the way you view the world, and yourself.

This program was the single most impactful experience of my entire undergraduate education. It challenged me as a person to push myself; academically as a student to be open to new ideas and understand difficult and complex concepts; encouraged me to be a better colleague to my fellow students; and ultimately, asked me to be a better human being.” MICHAEL JACOBSON, Trinity College,

Biology Major

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SEA Semester is the sailing ADVENTURE of a lifetime grounded in academic PURPOSE.

FAST FACTS TRANSFERABLE ACADEMIC CREDIT from Boston University SUMMER AND SEMESTER PROGRAMS addressing a variety of topics Based in the oceanographic research community of WOODS HOLE, MASSACHUSETTS SHORE component + SAILING research voyage Students are ACTIVE CREWMEMBERS, participating in all science & deck operations at sea Two U.S.-FLAGGED, custom designed & built sailing RESEARCH VESSELS Open to ALL MAJORS, from all over the world NO SAILING EXPERIENCE required

Be different. Make a difference.

FROM SHORE At the beginning of every SEA Semester program, up to 25 students from all over the U.S. – and often, the world – come together on SEA’s residential campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, a small, seaside village on scenic Cape Cod that’s also a world-renowned hub of oceanographic research and discovery.

On campus, you’ll undertake coursework designed to prepare you personally, academically, and practically for the second half of your experience at sea. SEA Semester students are regularly welcomed at lectures and presentations at neighboring institutions including the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Marine Biological Laboratory. Such events allow unprecedented access to the world’s foremost scientists and policymakers addressing the leading environmental questions of today. You and your classmates will live in fully furnished private cottages, sharing all of the responsibilities of community living including grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning. From day one, you’ll begin building skills in teamwork, communication, and collaboration, all of which are critical to a successful ocean voyage. The shore component is an integral part of SEA Semester. It prepares you to be effective in your roles as researcher, crewmember, and shipmate, and equips you with the tools to make the most out of your time at sea. | 4

TO SEA You’ll leave Woods Hole to join one of our two sailing research vessels on an academic expedition in the Atlantic, Caribbean, or Pacific, putting your classroom knowledge into real-world practice. Depending on your program, you might sail thousands of miles

Where will YOU go with

across the open ocean, or investigate a smaller area of the marine environment engaging with coastal communities along the way.


No sailing experience is required. Guided by your faculty and professional crewmembers, you’ll quickly become an integral member of the ship’s company, fully participating in the scientific mission and 24/7 sailing operations of the vessel. You’ll be hands-on in every aspect of shipboard life, including collecting and analyzing oceanographic samples, handling sails, charting and navigating your course, and even helping to prepare meals! A phased leadership approach allows you to gradually assume the majority of shipboard responsibilities under the watchful eye of the professional crew. Near the end of the program, each student will lead a complete watch cycle as part of a rewarding final capstone experience. When you step off the ship, you’ll take away academic credits, self-confidence, lifelong friends, a toolbox of skills and knowledge, and a sense of direction that will serve you far beyond your voyage.




SEA Semester is more than just a summer or semester off campus. It’s a lifelong investment. Being a SEA Semester alum says something about you. It means you have passion, character, knowledge, and a sense of community: essential qualities that graduate schools and employers value.

SEA Semester is about self-reliance and teamwork, about how to come up with solutions, and about taking every opportunity when it comes around. It is about self-exploration

and about choosing your own path while still working with others. And those lessons can be applied to ANY field.�

(and counting)


feel that SEA Semester influenced their career path


believe that SEA Semester improved their self-confidence

% % %


report that SEA Semester increased their collaborative and teamwork skills



say that SEA Semester gave them skills they have found useful in their careers

ISABELLA MARTINEZ, Brown University,

Biomedical Engineering Major

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SEA Semester was a transformative experience, both personally and professionally. It has been the catalyst for my career in marine science and conservation and has opened the doors to amazing opportunities. In many of my professional circles, I’ve met SEA alums with incredible career stories. When I meet an alum, I know that’s someone I want to work with.” JUAN MAYORGA SEA Semester Spring 2014 Marine Data Scientist, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas Project / Sustainable Fisheries Group at the University of California, Santa Barbara

I graduated with a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies, and SEA Semester was by far my best experience in college. After SEA Semester I had a re-invigorated passion for the environment and environmental protection. I went on to pursue a law degree with the intent to practice environmental law. I am now a litigation attorney at a small civil defense law firm. Besides allowing me to discover my love of sailing and the ocean, SEA Semester made me a more self-confident and self-reliant person. It allowed me to discover my most authentic self that I never would have discovered otherwise. I am grateful to SEA Semester for showing me how to adventure, and adventure with a purpose. That is how I live my life now.” ALANA RASK SEA Semester Spring 2011 Attorney, Law Offices of Cary T. Tanaka


After SEA Semester, I continued coming to Woods Hole as Program Coordinator for PEP (Partnership Education Program), a summer science internship designed to promote diversity in Woods Hole. I then worked for the NOAA LMRCSC (Living Marine Resources Cooperative Science Center), which supports underrepresented students In marine science, to help other underrepresented students pursue their love of marine sciences. I gained a deeper love for the ocean while on my SEA Semester, and an understanding of how people must work together to be successful, whether on a ship or in life.” ONJALÉ SCOTT PRICE SEA Semester Fall 2011 Chief Operating Officer, Mizar Imaging, LLC / AmeriCorps Member

I can’t think of a better way to study the Earth’s climate, and what humans are doing to it, than to be on a tall ship. Despite the vastness of our oceans and atmosphere, many important changes are happening on this generation’s watch. My time at sea provided me with a deep passion for understanding what is happening and how.” JEREMY MARTINICH SEA Semester Spring/Summer 2002 Climate Scientist, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Climate Change Division


choose your


FALL CARIBBEAN REEF EXPEDITION PAGE 8 Survey several Caribbean islands to chronicle the state of their coral reef ecosystems in response to environmental change and human impacts. CLIMATE & SOCIETY



PAGE 10 Explore the impacts of a changing global climate on human lives through this humanities-based approach to climate science,


policy, challenges, and solutions. SUSTAINABILITY IN POLYNESIAN ISLAND CULTURES & ECOSYSTEMS PAGE 12 Confront challenging questions of colonial conflict, cultural identity, and environmental justice in the South Pacific.



Pacific Ocean CLIMATE & SOCIETY (NEW!) PAGE 10



SPRING COLONIZATION TO CONSERVATION IN THE CARIBBEAN PAGE 14 Investigate the legacy of European colonialism in the history, culture, and marine MARINE BIODIVERSITY & CONSERVATION PAGE 18

environment of the Caribbean, alongside modern issues of environmental change and sustainability.

Atlantic Ocean

THE GLOBAL OCEAN PAGE 16 Explore the environmental and historical influences that have shaped New Zealand while examining the relationships


between different cultural groups and their marine environment. CARIBBEAN REEF EXPEDITION PAGE 8

MARINE BIODIVERSITY & CONSERVATION PAGE 18 Apply modern biodiversity research to place-based resource management in the coastal and open ocean environments. (Prerequisites) OCEANS & CLIMATE PAGE 20 Examine the role of the oceans in one of the most significant scientific dilemmas of our time – global climate change – in this upper-level research and policy semester. (Prerequisites)

SUMMER PACIFIC REEF EXPEDITION (2020 ONLY) PAGE 22 Investigate the changing Pacific Ocean environment, including a rare chance to study and compare remote, pristine coral reef ecosystems up close. PROTECTING THE PHOENIX ISLANDS PAGE 24 Take part in a rare scientific research voyage to the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, one of the last coral wildernesses on Earth.


Thriving, successful island communities depend on healthy oceans – and healthy coral reefs. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Caribbean. Throughout history, reefs and their linked ecosystems have protected islands and provided food for growing human populations. Today, they also attract tourists and drive economic development. RECENT STUDENT But coral reefs face many threats, including overfishing, reduced


water quality, and rising temperatures and lower pH caused by climate change. Effective solutions require an understanding of the economic, political, and cultural landscape, as well as ocean and climate science. Through fieldwork in Woods Hole and the U.S. Virgin Islands, followed by a research voyage at sea, students in this semester will study tropical marine ecosystems, their diverse marine life, and the impact of human actions upon them. Through this lens, you’ll examine how local, academic, governmental, and international organizations and businesses are working together to conserve and sustainably manage Caribbean coral reef ecosystems.

Nearshore Ecosystems and Their Relationship to Grazer Populations and Water Quality in Coral Reef Ecosystems in the Eastern Caribbean Zoya Buckmire (St. George’s University, Marine, Wildlife, & Conservation Biology) Combating Climate Change in the Tobago Cays Joe Benz (SUNY Environmental Science & Forestry, Environmental Biology)

As we steered into the bay, four huge cruise ships pulled in as well, making our 134-foot tall ship look like a toy boat. Even smaller are we compared to the vastness of the ocean. But we are so much. We are collecting data which we hope to use to help the world, and that, my friends, is significant.” KEILEY JAMES, University of Georgia,

Biology Major

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REEF ECOLOGY CLIMATE CHANGE CONSERVATION POLICY STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Develop and refine snorkel-based reef survey techniques • Conduct research at a field station in the Virgin Islands • Contribute to marine conservation policy efforts • Assess effectiveness of reef management strategies


• Gain practical experience in oceanographic data collection, analysis, and reporting • Understand keys to effective team leadership and membership, particularly environmental leadership • Critically evaluate whether policy is based on scientific knowledge • Work within a collaborative research and writing environment, including a peer revision process

COURSES & CREDIT The Ocean & Global Change (300-level, 4 cr.) Marine Environmental History (300-level, 4 cr.) Ocean Science & Public Policy (300-level, 3 cr.) Leadership in a Dynamic Environment (300-level, 3 cr.) Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 cr.) - OR - Practical Oceanographic Research (200-level, 4 cr.) 18 semester hour credits from Boston University Life on Shore Life at Sea

FALL 2019


CLIMATE & SOCIETY ( new !) New Zealand

Finding solutions to the challenges brought about by climate change calls for a variety of perspectives spanning academic disciplines. This new semester takes a human-centered approach to climate change informed by the humanities and social sciences, and explores possibilities found within social and political institutions, economic markets, cultural practices, and the creative forces of art,


literature, and design.


You’ll examine climate-related issues such as public health, clean

Storm resilience and social responsibility in urban waterfront design

energy, human displacement, national security, sustainable design, and the effects of shifting climate conditions on poverty, conflict, and justice. As with all SEA Semester programs, your focus will be on maritime communities and oceanic environments in particular. After an initial shore component in Woods Hole, you’ll spend one week on the South Island of New Zealand exploring the ecological, economic, and cultural impacts of glacier decline through interaction with local experts and site-specific activities. You’ll then set sail on a month-long research voyage, concluding with a final symposium to showcase your research and digital storytelling projects.

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Marine resource rights in displaced climate migrant communities Energy, technology, and the emerging “Green Economy” in New Zealand Communicating sea level rise through art, film, and literature


There is a whole world to explore out there. There isn’t always the chance as an undergraduate where you can truly explore, create strong friendships among seemingly strangers, and look past the shore and the surface of the water to get a deep understanding of the ocean.” ANTHONY DALY, University of New Hampshire, Marine,

Estuarine, and Freshwater Biology Major

CLIMATE CHANGE ISLAND & COASTAL ANTHROPOLOGY ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE RESILIENCE & ADAPTATION PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Examine climate science, policy, and literature in their human social contexts • Interact with leading researchers and writers in New England and New Zealand • Explore cities, islands, coastal regions, and glaciers affected by climate change • Acquire valuable communication skills and participate in digital storytelling

SKILLS GAINED • Leadership through shipboard and group project work • Ability to effectively communicate to stakeholders, fellow researchers, and the public • Partnership-building to develop & improve initiatives such as community resilience and outreach

COURSES & CREDIT Climate, Society, and the Humanities (300-level, 4 cr.) Environmental Communication (300-level, 3 cr.) The Ocean and Global Change (300-level, 4 cr.) Leadership in a Dynamic Environment (300-level, 3 cr.) Advanced Research Topics (400-level, 4 cr.) – OR – Directed Research Topics (300-level, 4 cr.) 18 semester hour credits from Boston University

FALL 2019

Don’t let your fears hold you back.


The remote coral reefs, fisheries, and tropical forests of the South Pacific are oases of biological diversity, and their human inhabitants possess an equally rich diversity of histories, languages, and cultures. Western influences have greatly impacted the self-sustaining practices of these indigenous Pacific Island societies, and undermined the close connection


between the island cultures and their environment. During this semester,


you’ll confront challenging questions of colonial conflict, cultural identity, and environmental justice in order to examine what the future holds for these islands. You’ll begin with an interdisciplinary, multidimensional approach by examining the histories, cultures, and geography of the region. You’ll then set sail on a research voyage to visit multiple island sites, meeting with local communities and other stakeholders to develop a deeper understanding of the complex factors that threaten both their

Relationship Between Tongan Language and Traditional Fishing Practices Arya Jemal (Swarthmore College, Environmental Studies and Political Science) Colonialism in Fijian Educational Systems Flannery Raabe (Oberlin College, Environmental Studies)

environmental and cultural sustainability. The semester will conclude with a second shore component at the

Impact of the Invasive Tilapia to Fijian Waterways Alessandra Rella (Franklin and Marshall College, Anthropology and Environmental Science)

Leigh Marine Laboratory in New Zealand where you’ll process and present your research findings.

Looking back to climbing onto the gangway for the first time in Pago Pago with my oversized duffel bag, I have realized that the discoveries encapsulated

in this boat are more diverse and vast than any one country could ever contain.” SARAH WILLIAMS, Colorado College,

Biology Major | 12

PACIFIC ISLAND ANTHROPOLOGY CULTURAL SUSTAINABILITY MARINE BIODIVERSITY ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Explore remote island environments including Tonga & Fiji • Participate in collaborative stakeholder engagement • Conduct on-site anthropological & environmental research • Share experiences through digital storytelling

SKILLS GAINED • Field research methodologies including on-site observations and interviews • Sustainable development project management • Oral storytelling through podcast production • Synthesis of scientific- and humanities-based approaches to sustainability issues

COURSES & CREDIT Maritime History & Culture (300-level, 4 cr.) Marine Environmental History (300-level, 4 cr.) Cultural Landscapes & Seascapes: A Sense of Place (300-level, 3 cr.) Nautical Science (200-level, 3 cr.) Oceanography (200-level, 3 cr.) 17 semester hour credits from Boston University

FALL 2019



Move beyond the beach resorts and cruise ship port facades highlighted in tourist brochures to experience more varied aspects of Caribbean culture—a blend of African, colonial European, and indigenous traditions with unique economic, political, and social RECENT STUDENT


RESEARCH PROJECTS The Caribbean has experienced one of the greatest environmental and human transformations of all time. The conquest by Europeans, exploitation of natural resources, and development of slave plantation systems left a very visible legacy. Despite this, the Caribbean today is made up of resilient and hopeful communities striving toward responsible economic growth, social justice, and sustainability. You’ll study first-hand historical accounts, confer with local experts and community leaders, and participate in collaborative coral reef surveys and marine mammal acoustic research. You’ll also make your own field observations during several multi-day port stops, and conduct research projects on a broad range of topics, such as fisheries management and the economic and cultural impacts of tourism. You’ll process and reflect upon your individual experiences through ongoing illustrated field journals.

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Communities as Drivers of Marine Protected Area Success Natalia Atuesta (Universidad de Los Andes, Biology/Environmental Engineering) Eutrophicationin the Caribbean: Connecting the Land and the Sea Nicholas Sette (St. Michael’s College, Environmental Science) From Vodou to Rastafari: Resilience and Religion in the Caribbean Haley Peterson (Smith College, Studio Art)

ISLAND ECOLOGY ECOSYSTEM AND PLACE-BASED 1M ANAGEMENT MIGRATION HISTORY ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Analyze cultural connections to grass roots conservation efforts • Compare and contrast plantation-complex legacies • Conduct marine mammal acoustic research during the peak of humpback whale season • Assess the impacts of tourism on off-the-beaten-path communities


Coral reef survey methods Field journal techniques Ocean soundscape & noise pollution analysis Document and field research methodologies

COURSES & CREDIT Maritime History & Culture (300-level, 4 cr.) Marine Environmental History (300-level, 4 cr.) Maritime Studies (200-level, 3 cr.) Nautical Science (200-level, 3 cr.) Oceanography (200-level, 3 cr.) 17 semester hour credits from Boston University Program Overview

On this ship, we make mistakes, get messy, and sink our hands into all the things we want to learn about. Most importantly, we function as a team with every individual bringing their strengths and weaknesses to face each challenge. I will never take for granted this opportunity to get as close to magic as you can get.” ILANA DUBY, Macalester College, Political Science Major

SPRING 2019 • SPRING 2020



Human impact on the oceans is one of the most pressing environmental issues of the 21st century, affecting human health, global economic systems, and local cultural practices. Many coastal communities are already struggling to cope with sea level rise, depleted fisheries, loss of habitat, and increased catastrophic storm effects. RECENT STUDENT Understanding these issues requires a multidisciplinary approach to


examine not just how natural systems work, but the histories, cultures, and policies of people who live on coasts and islands. Our laboratory is New Zealand, whose innovative policy and conservation efforts at times compete with other imperatives. New Zealand’s marine ecosystems range from subtropical to subantarctic, deep trenches to shallow banks, and coastal mangrove forests to coral reefs. You’ll explore the unique environmental and complex cultural influences that have shaped these islands. You’ll also visit marine and coastal protected areas and various ports of call to examine the relationship between New Zealanders and their ocean environment.

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The Environmental Consequences of Whaling in New Zealand Duncan Jackson (University of Oregon, Environmental Science) Perceptions of Māori Place through Canoe Voyaging Jessica Duong (Trinity College, Chemistry) The Spatial Distribution of Phytoplankton Along the Eastern Coast of New Zealand Leland Swift (Carleton College, Environmental Studies)


not only of the direction and destination, but responsible for each and every person on board. It taught me how to be adaptable and nimble in a dynamic environment and it gave me the opportunity to see the true meaning of teamwork.” LAUREN GILBERT, Miami University of Ohio, Geology Major

PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites • Explore relationships between people and their ocean/coastal environment • Choose electives to tailor coursework • Engage in a place-based curriculum


• Advanced research methods across multiple sources including primary documents, secondary scholarly literature, and the internet • Test field observations against an academic knowledge base • Exceptional communication skills through oral presentations • Excellence in written work, through a writing intensive process that includes collaborative editing

COURSES & CREDIT Core Courses (Required) Maritime History & Culture (300-level, 4 cr.) The Ocean & Global Change (300-level, 4 cr.) Leadership in a Dynamic Environment (300-level, 3 cr.) Electives (Choose Two) Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management (300-level, 3 cr.) Data Communication & Visualization (300-level, 3 cr.) Cultural Landscapes & Seascapes: A Sense of Place (300-level, 3 cr.) Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 cr.) - OR - Practical Oceanographic Research (200-level, 4 cr.) 17-18 semester hour credits from Boston University

SPRING 2019 • SPRING 2020


I never imagined that I would find myself at the helm of a 134’ ship, completely in charge


Marine biodiversity is the cornerstone of ecosystem resilience and stability, and is key to ecological health. However, it’s threatened by pollution, habitat destruction, overfishing, and climate change. Areas of particular concern include regions of the high seas beyond national jurisdiction and lacking regulatory, political, or legal protection. One such area is the Sargasso Sea ecosystem at the center of the North Atlantic gyre. This region harbors a uniquely diverse ecosystem associated with floating seaweed known as Sargassum, flourishing amidst the ‘blue desert’ of this nutrient-poor area. Original research by SEA Semester students has directly contributed to international efforts to conserve the Sargasso Sea. You’ll continue that research, conducting a hands-on assessment of marine biodiversity using cutting-edge morphological, molecular, and statistical analyses. Beyond gaining knowledge and practical skills in conservation science and policy, you’ll be introduced to the career paths available in ocean stewardship, from marine science to conservation law to public outreach. This semester offers direct interaction with experts in the field, and the opportunity to form professional relationships with potential internship mentors, graduate school advisors, employers, and colleagues.

RECENT STUDENT RESEARCH PROJECTS Biodiversity of Sargassum mobile fauna with a focus on Litiopa melanostoma Victoria Pinheiro (Boston University, Marine Science) Initial microbial colonizers of microplastics in the Sargasso Sea Andrew Corso (College of William & Mary, Biology), Isa Du Mond (Smith College, Biology), Alex Duncan (Colorado College, Organismal Biology and Ecology), and Natasha Willcox (University of Rhode Island, Wildlife Conservation Biology)

The semester culminates in a final symposium where you’ll share your research and protection strategies with marine conservation science and policy experts.

As you sail in open seas you become acutely aware of the beauty of the planet, the degree to which we rely on it, and our own fragility.

I frankly don’t know how anyone could not feel a powerful connection to Earth and be inspired to help in its preservation.”

GREGORY BRAUN, University of | 18

Massachusetts at Amherst, Zoology Major


Develop skills in molecular ecology Present at a culminating professional symposium Use scientific data to inform conservation efforts Explore real-world interactions between science, policy, conservation, and law


• DNA extraction, sequencing, and molecular analysis techniques • Marine spatial planning • Science communication • Public speaking

COURSES & CREDIT Advanced Topics in Biological Oceanography: Biodiversity (400-level, 4 cr.) Ocean Science & Public Policy (300-level, 3 cr.) Nautical Science (200-level, 3 cr.) Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 cr.) Advanced Ocean Policy Research (400-level, 4 cr.) 18 semester hour credits from Boston University

PREREQUISITES To be eligible, students must have taken at least three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or received permission from SEA faculty.

SPRING 2019 • SPRING 2020


OCEANS & CLIMATE New Zealand » Polynesia

One of the biggest challenges we face today is understanding and effectively communicating the impacts of climate change on our planet. Our oceans are at the forefront of these changes but remain some of the least understood parts of the climate system. This semester invites upper-level science students to develop their


knowledge of the oceans’ role in climate dynamics, and to build their


tool-kits in research, data visualization, and science communication; skills all climate scientists must have in order to be effective advocates for our oceans. You’ll be introduced to current topics in oceanic climate change and guided through the development of an independent, cutting-edge research project. You’ll also interpret your findings in the form of data graphics and science communications to impact the public’s understanding of a changing ocean environment. On this long sailing passage, you’ll conduct baseline climate research on the rarely studied sub-antarctic and sub-tropical waters of the remote South Pacific. You’ll also leave this program with skills that will put you ahead in the field of climate change research and communication.

Nutrient Dynamics and the Shifting Subtropical Convergence Zone Avalon Bunge (Colgate University, Geology), Samuel Nadell (Cornell University, Science of Earth Systems) The Spatial Distribution of the Air-Sea CO2 Flux in the South Pacific Ocean and Relationships of Driving Factors Nevin Schaeffer (Whitman College, Atmospheric and Earth Science), Nicole Harbordt (SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Environmental Science)

It is the dawn watch nights filled with stars and quiet that can make you feel like part of something larger on this ship. Whether that’s a connection with the community you’re watching over, the global struggle with climate change as we gather endless data, or the thrilling feeling associated with climbing the rigging to the top of the mast; these are moments that have

challenged, thrilled, and truly helped us grow over the past weeks.” HANNAH-MARIE GARCIA, Sewanee: University

of the South, Environmental Science & Sustainability Major | 20


Conduct baseline climate research Interpret findings for a broad audience Make a long, blue-water sailing passage Interface with leading climate science and communication experts in Woods Hole


Primary literature analysis Proposal development Data interpretation and visualization Communication of science for the general public

COURSES & CREDIT Oceans in the Global Carbon Cycle (300-level, 4 cr.) Data Communication and Visualization (300-level, 3 cr.) Nautical Science (200-level, 3 cr.) Advanced Oceanographic Field Methods (300-level, 4 cr.) Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 cr.) 18 semester hour credits from Boston University

PREREQUISITES To be eligible, students must have taken at least three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or received permission from SEA faculty.

SPRING 2019 • SPRING 2020



Coral reefs support some of the richest diversity of species on the planet, and yet they are now threatened by climate change and other human impacts. After completing initial coursework online, you’ll join the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Tahiti to set sail on an epic 2,600-nautical mile passage


across the Equator to Hawaii.


You’ll retrace historic voyages of Polynesian migration, using navigation methods that rely on the sun, stars, and moon, to visit three distinct island atolls: Caroline Island, Rangiroa, and Kiritimati. There you’ll conduct snorkel-based photographic and visual surveys of the local corals, fish, and invertebrates to document the effects of environmental change. This program is for any student interested in exploring the changing Pacific Ocean environment through hands-on research and leadership experience at sea, and is a rare opportunity to contribute to a growing body of knowledge about the health of remote coral reefs.

El Niño’s Impacts on Phosphate, Dissolved Oxygen and Temperature Distributions in Equatorial Pacific Waters Philip Swanson (Oberlin College, Biology/Geology) Water Quality Comparison Among Three Coral Reef Ecosystems in the Central Pacific Ocean Kylie Bold (Eckerd College, Marine Science), Siobhan Laughy (University of New England, Marine Estuarine and Freshwater Biology), Maya Ludtke (Wellesley College, Environmental Studies), Katharine Troth (Longwood University, Integrated Environmental Sciences), Sam Wall (Rollins College, Marine Biology)

The closeness I feel to all of my classmates isn’t something that’s easy to feel in a regular academic setting. While it can be really tough work sometimes to push yourself out of your comfort zone, I’m finding that more often than not, you’ll find yourself somewhere incredibly rewarding.” ALEX AHLQUIST, University of Massachusetts

at Amherst, Natural Resources Major

| 22 Photo: Dr. Rob Dunbar, Stanford@SEA

REEF ECOLOGY CLIMATE CHANGE LEADERSHIP MARINE SCIENCE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Make an open ocean passage & Equatorial crossing • Conduct snorkel-based reef surveys • Gain hands-on sailing and leadership experience • Participate in original data collection and authentic research

SKILLS GAINED • Critically analyze and interpret authentic oceanographic and reef survey data • Function as an essential crew member through demonstrated proficiency including scientific deployments and snorkel survey techniques • Effective team membership and leadership • Communicate scientific data through visual representation and oral presentation

COURSES & CREDIT Practical Oceanographic Research (200-level, 4 cr.) Nautical Science (200-level, 3 cr.) 7 semester hour credits from Boston University




Sail throughout the last coral wilderness on Earth in order to preserve its future. A joint effort with international collaborators, this program invites students to explore the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), a tropical ocean expanse of diverse deep-ocean ecosystems dotted by eight spectacular coral atolls. You’ll conduct research that will


assist in the ongoing development of an effective conservation plan


for the region. Beginning with a three-week shore component in Woods Hole, you’ll use PIPA as a case study to develop your own research project in either ocean science or conservation policy. You’ll then join the SSV Robert C. Seamans for a five-week research voyage throughout the archipelago, which includes an equatorial crossing. You and your shipmates will collect samples from the marine environment and visit the region’s islands and pristine coral reefs. By providing real-time

Current Acceleration over Seamounts in Phoenix Islands William Moreno (University of Richmond, Interdisciplinary Physics) Investigation of Tuna Larvae Population Dynamics in PIPA 2015-2017 Isaac Carroo (Rice University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology), Nicholas Rummel (Colorado School of Mines, Applied Mathematics)

data, your projects will ultimately compose a picture of the state of the ocean for the benefit of the PIPA management office in Kiribati.

Thank you, SEA, for opening my eyes more than I could ever

imagine and expanding my passion to continue to preserve and protect the amazing oceans and all the life that inhabits them.” KYLE ALVANAS, University of Rhode Island, Marine

Affairs Major

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CONSERVATION POLICY REEF ECOLOGY OCEAN HEALTH MARINE SCIENCE PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS • Examine impacts of El Niño • Contribute data to inform marine conservation policy • Study oceanography of tropical oceans • Collect baseline data to assess impacts of climate change

SKILLS GAINED • Critically evaluate coastal and marine policy documents • Communicate and network effectively in professional management or conservation settings • Identify significant relationships between economic forces, technology, and ecological sustainability • Ocean literacy and stewardship

COURSES & CREDIT The Ocean & Global Change (300-level, 4 cr.) Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management (300-level, 3 cr.) Advanced Ocean Policy Research (400-level, 4 cr.) - OR - Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 cr.) 11 semester hour credits from Boston University

SUMMER 2019 • SUMMER 2020



MAJOR RESEARCH AREAS Climate Change Cultural Sustainability


co-authored publications in peer-reviewed literature

From North Atlantic deepwater canyons to remote

and have presented at nationally and internationally

Pacific atolls, SEA Semester students adventure with

recognized conferences.

a purpose. That purpose, of course, is to learn – both in the classroom and through active field research. In

Environmental Sustainability and Policy

the process, our students gather valuable information

Field Oceanography

and insight related to the state of the ocean

Marine Biodiversity

environment that can be shared with others.

Marine Environmental History Maritime History and Culture Ocean Plastics and Marine Pollution

WINNER NATIONAL SCIENCE BOARD PUBLIC SERVICE AWARD for outstanding leadership in influencing and encouraging the next generation of scientists and engineers.

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Institutional and faculty funding from NSF, NOAA, and NASA supports acquisition of sophisticated oceanographic instrumentation and allows for an array of research projects. Whether gathering data on marine plastic pollution, investigating the

Undergraduate research is therefore a cornerstone

economics of coral reef ecosystems, or establishing

of SEA Semester, with an emphasis on field-based

baseline data on eels in the Sargasso Sea, SEA

study in marine and social sciences. By conducting

Semester students contribute to a vital body of

advanced research in natural science, social science,

scientific knowledge. While aboard one of SEA’s

public policy, or humanities, you’ll gain skills that

sailing research vessels, all students participate in

allow you to meet the professional standard for

collection of data that are regularly deposited in

disciplinary data collection, analysis, and communi-

national oceanographic archives.

cation of results. 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 have

For more than 45 years, SEA Semester student research has advanced our understanding of the global ocean, and the people and cultures that depend upon it.

Whether it’s eel larvae in the Sargasso Sea or migration patterns in Polynesia, as a SEA Semester student, you’ll immerse yourself in a guided, original research project. Themes range from reef ecology to ocean conservation to coastal anthropology.

By doing SEA Semester,

you are participating in something larger than yourself. Your scientific research contributes to the greater understanding of the world’s oceans and environment.” ELIZABETH DORR, Williams College,

Biology/Environmental Studies Major

Take your learning into the field.


Unique ships for unique students.


navigation and emergency situation response. Both

Safety is among our highest priorities on every

ships carry simple medical kits and are assigned

voyage, every day. SEA owns and operates the SSV

a designated medical officer. They also maintain

Corwith Cramer and the SSV Robert C. Seamans,

24-hour access to a network of physicians specially

both custom designed and uniquely built educational

trained to provide remote medical care & advice.

platforms. Unlike some other programs that take students to sea, our ships are U.S. flagged, inspected, and regulated vessels, and have been designed and built specifically for SEA with student and crew safety foremost in mind.

advance to optimize program objectives, and are based on seasonal weather patterns, sea conditions, oceanographic research clearances, and port calls visited. Our cruise track selection and timing reflects

Our ships are United States Coast Guard (USCG)

strict adherence to predictable heavy weather

certified and regularly inspected for ocean service.


As Sailing School Vessels (SSVs), our ships are required to meet safety standards different from those for passenger vessels on a comparable route. The SSV Corwith Cramer and SSV Robert C. Seamans meet or exceed the safety requirements for their USCG and American Bureau of Shipping class designations and possess all required equipment for

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SEA Semester cruise tracks are planned well in

For more information on our commitment to student health and safety, please visit


SSV Robert C. Seamans

SSV Corwith Cramer



SEA is committed to the health and safety of

The foundation of a successful SEA Semester

our students, faculty, and staff. We recognize the

program begins with the medical screening and

significant responsibility for housing and educating

clearance process. All students are required to

students on our campus, aboard our ships, and in

undergo a thorough physical examination performed

port. While risk is inherent in every activity, it is the

by a licensed medical practitioner within three

management of that risk that is at the core of SEA’s

months of the start of the program. Additionally, we

operational philosophy.

ask that students disclose all medical information directly related to their ability to perform essential

While we take pride in our safety record, we

duties as required by our program structure at sea.

continuously and thoughtfully hone our safety policies, procedures, and practices to mitigate

We do this not to discourage applicants or limit

risk while successfully achieving programmatic

the number of students who can participate in SEA

goals. We regularly review personnel qualifications,

Semester, but rather to best enable our faculty and

provide training, and conduct drills in safety, risk

staff to provide an appropriate learning environment

management, and emergency response. We keep up

both on shore and at sea. With adequate lead

to date with the changing environments in which we

time, SEA can frequently facilitate appropriate

operate, and carefully maintain our equipment and

risk management for a wide variety of preexisting

facilities to meet or exceed industry standards.

medical conditions. We work with every student on an individual basis to assess whether their participation

Although SEA operates under a philosophy of risk prevention, we also prepare for and are capable of a broad spectrum of response.

in an at-sea program can occur safely and effectively.

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


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



We’re here to help.



Admissions 800-552-3633 x770


Financial Aid 800-552-3633 x535

2. CHOOSE YOUR PROGRAM Decide which summer or semester program is right for you!



CONNECT WITH YOUR SEA SEMESTER ADMISSIONS COUNSELOR We’ll help you navigate your program choices, and direct you to resources on your home campus.

WORK WITH YOUR HOME INSTITUTION Think about logistics including study abroad approval, credit transfer, academic planning, and internal application deadlines.

4. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION Access application requirements and apply online at 5.

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CONSIDER YOUR FUNDING OPTIONS Meet with your home institution’s financial aid office to determine what aid will transfer to SEA Semester. Visit for additional funding opportunities as well.

SEA Semester welcomes applications from students enrolled at U.S. or international institutions who are seeking undergraduate credit coupled with an experiential adventure with a purpose.

WHEN TO APPLY SEA Semester programs are limited in capacity with a maximum of 24 or 25 student spots per class. Therefore, we welcome applications up to one year in advance and encourage students to apply early to ensure placement in their preferred program.

APPLICATION DEADLINES Semester programs operate on a rolling admissions basis, meaning we review applications on a first-come, first-served basis until each program is full. Summer programs have an admissions and financial aid application deadline of April 1; students are notified of acceptance after that time.

TUITION & FEES Program costs range from $10,900 to $30,800. Published costs include tuition, room and board, lab and book fees, and all shore-based excursions. They do not include travel or personal expenses. Visit programcosts for more information.

Are you ready to set sail? COMMITMENT TO AFFORDABILITY


You can afford SEA Semester! SEA awards more than $1 million per year in need-based and merit aid to qualified and motivated students. We are committed to making SEA Semester as affordable as a term on your home campus.

Presidential Scholarship - $7,500 One need-based Presidential Scholarship is automatically awarded for every Fall, Winter, or Spring SEA Semester class (excludes summer programs). Based on strength of application materials and demonstrated financial need.

FINANCIAL AID & SCHOLARSHIPS Talk to your home institution’s financial aid office to determine what scholarships, grants, and financial aid are transferable to SEA Semester. Between these resources and SEA’s generous financial aid program, we can make SEA Semester a reality for you. More than half of our students receive some form of financial assistance; of those, 95% receive aid from SEA.

MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIPS Dean’s Awards - Up to $5,000 Multiple awards for every Fall, Winter, or Spring SEA Semester class (excludes summer programs). Based on academic achievement, educational experiences, and intellectual curiosity. Merit Awards - Up to $3,500 Additional awards ranging from $500-$3,500 are awarded throughout the academic year based on a student’s experience or excellence in areas including research, community service, leadership, and diversity. Access a full list at

SPECIAL SCHOLARSHIPS Additional merit awards include (but are not limited to): Trimester/Quarter Awards – $2,500 (automatic) SEA Alumni Referral Awards – up to $2,500 Five-College Scholarship Award – $5,000 Henry L. and Grace Doherty Endowed Journalism Scholarship – $2,500 US Sailing Scholarship – up to $2,500 Davis United World College (UWC) Scholar Award – up to $3,000 Institutional Awards Students enrolled at Purdue University, Ripon College, Stonehill College, Sweet Briar College, SUNY-ESF, the University of New Hampshire, and the University of Rhode Island should contact the SEA Financial Aid Office to learn about special scholarship opportunities available to them. Please visit for more information on all of our financial aid and scholarship opportunities.

APPLYING FOR SEA SEMESTER AID IS EASY! ALL FINANCIAL AID APPLICANTS, SIMPLY SUBMIT: • SEA financial aid application • Essay (if required) NEED-BASED AID APPLICANTS ONLY, SIMPLY SUBMIT: • SEA financial aid application • Student Aid Report • Most recent student account statement • Most recent award letter from your Financial Aid Office


DON’T TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT Our students love to post about #SEASemester. Learn more about the experience by following us online!

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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 Sea Education Association admits students of any race, color, gender, orientation, and national or ethnic origin to all programs and activities made available to students at SEA. SEA does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, orientation, or national or ethnic origin in administration of its educational programs, admissions policies, or financial aid. Design: Fyfe Design Photo credits: SEA alumni, faculty, staff, and friends

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SEA Semester Viewbook, 2019-2020