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Academic Guide for faculty and advisors

Environmental Studies in Woods Hole & at Sea | 2018-2019

INTRODUCTION contents Educational Philosophy & School of Record


Our Faculty


Programs & Courses


Course Descriptions


Guided Field Experiences


Research at Sea


Ships & Research Equipment


Opportunities for Collaboration



Dear Colleague, SEA Semester continues to build on our 46-year history of excellence in blue-water oceanography and field-based education at sea. We are proud to have been recognized by the National Science Board (NSB) as the recipient of its 2016 Public Service Award for our role in increasing public understanding of science and engineering. This recognition of SEA’s contribution to ocean studies and education is reinforced daily as we see the impact of more than 8,000 SEA Semester alumni on ocean science, education, and governance.

environment and the steps that are being taken throughout the Eastern Caribbean to preserve this critical and threatened environment. We will continue our work addressing questions of biodiversity, environmental change, and sustainability in the open and coastal ocean, creating a global experience for our students as they work with scientists and decision makers at the intersection of man and nature. SEA Semester programs, on our Woods Hole campus and 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. The ships act as a forge to create a community of diverse individuals who bring their skills and curiosity to topics that are real and immediate in the regions we visit, and relevant on a global basis.

students with knowledge, then place them in the areas of action in the world’s ocean, alongside those working to mitigate environmental damage. Our goal is to provide our students with the intellectual tools to make a difference in the global ocean, from Woods Hole, Massachusetts to environments and communities half a world away. Thank you for entrusting your students to us. We look forward to welcoming them aboard for the academic adventure of a lifetime. Sincerely,

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

This year, we will introduce a new program, Caribbean Reef Expedition, which will study changes in the Caribbean coral reef

Our world is continually evolving, with local and international concerns connected by the ocean. SEA Semester programs provide our

The SEA Vision

The SEA Mission

SEA educates and inspires ocean scholars, stewards and leaders. SEA fosters and enhances knowledge about the state of oceans and coastal communities. It also helps shape public dialogue and policy through long-term environmental research, global partnerships and the continued impact of our students, faculty and alumni worldwide.

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.


educational philosophy & SCHOOL OF RECORD SEA’s Educational Philosophy

Learning Outcomes

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 to bring into the field. Time aboard our ships and in foreign ports of call allows us to take what we 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.

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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, culture studies, and policy. SEA is committed to implementing high-impact student engagement and learning practices 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 in written work and through 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. SEA faculty have co-published work with students, and presented research with them at professional conferences. The dynamic environment of our ships, coupled with preparatory coursework on shore in Woods Hole, develops teamwork, problem solving, and leadership skills. These skills are then put into practice in multiple real-world situations. Alumni describe SEA Semester as a transformative experience. More than two-thirds of alumni participating in post-program surveys say SEA Semester increased their self-confidence, and made them effective participants in collaborative teams.

SEA Semester offers amazing

hands-on experience with

oceanography, in addition to some of the other more practical components such as navigation and seamanship. These areas of study fit in very well with our BS in Marine Biology, BS in Biology, and other degree programs (e.g., humanities) through transferable credits. Antony Harold, Ph.D., Professor of Biology,

College of Charleston

I can easily recommend SEA Semester to students who want field experience of a different kind (to satisfy the field methods requirement of the EVST major), 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

Affiliated Institutions

School of Record: Boston 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 Jacksonville University 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 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 here. 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@


our faculty Oceanography

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. Charles E. Lea Professor, Oceanography. PhD (Biological Oceanography) Texas A&M University; BA University of Colorado at Boulder. SEA Faculty appointed 1985. Research Areas & Interests: Distribution of cephalopods; pelagic zoogeography. 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.

Humanities & Social Sciences

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.

Licenses & Certifications: Master 1600 Tons of Steam, Motor, and Auxiliary Sail Vessels upon Oceans; Wilderness First Responder; STCW Compliant.

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 Pamela Coughlin Instructor, Nautical Science. Sailing with SEA since 2003; SEA Faculty appointed 2012. Research Areas & Interests: Navigation and way-finding; leadership; ships’ rigging; meteorology; wellness and emergency care. Licenses & Certifications: Master 1600 Tons of Steam, Motor, and Auxiliary Sail Vessels upon Oceans; Radar Observer (Unlimited); STCW Compliant.

Nautical Science

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

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.

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 of all majors 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 students’ demonstrated need. A variety of need-based and merit scholarships are available.

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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.

SEA Semester programs offer an incredible experiential and interdisciplinary opportunity which fits into many majors and areas of study at my institution. Stacey Woody THEBODO, M.A., Assistant Director,

International Programs and Off-Campus Study, Middlebury 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

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

Electives (Choose one) • Directed Oceanographic Research • Practical Oceanographic Research

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: Ocean Exploration 17 credits, 200-300 level

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

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

CORE • Maritime Studies • Nautical Science • Oceanography • Oceanographic Field Methods Electives (Choose one) • Directed Oceanographic Research • Practical Oceanographic Research • • • • •

Advanced Oceanographic Field Methods Directed Oceanographic Research Nautical Science Oceans in the Global Carbon Cycle Ocean Science & Public Policy

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

SEA Summer: Pacific Reef Expedition 4 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

CORE • The Ocean & Global Change • Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management Electives (Choose one) • Advanced Ocean Policy Research • Directed Oceanographic Research


course descriptions Advanced Ocean Policy 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. Advanced Topics in Biological Oceanography: Biodiversity

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

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presentation and written research proposal required. Topics may include marine plankton ecology, marine biodiversity, and satellite oceanography.

format and share during oral or poster presentation session. Emphasis on development of research skills and written/oral communication abilities.

Cultural Landscapes & Seascapes: A Sense of Place

Leadership in a Dynamic Environment

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 327 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 329 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.

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.

Data Communication & Visualization

Marine Environmental History

300-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 330 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

300-level, 4 credits, BU CAS NS 323 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.

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. Maritime History & Culture

Directed Oceanographic Research

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

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

Detailed course syllabi are available at:

Investigate responses documented in the post-Colonial literature of indigenous people. Maritime Studies

200-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 222 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.

Oceanographic Field Methods

Practical Oceanographic Research

200-level, 4 credits, BU XAS NS 225 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.

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

Exposure to basic oceanographic sampling methods. Participate in shipboard laboratory operations to gain experience with deployment of modern oceanographic equipment and collection of scientific data at sea. Emphasis on practicing consistent methods and ensuring data fidelity.

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.

Oceanography Nautical Science

200-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 223 Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.

200-level, 3 credits, BU CAS NS 221 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.

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.

Ocean Science & Public Policy

Oceans in the Global Carbon Cycle

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

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.

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.

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.

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. Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management

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


Guided Field Experiences

National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa

SEA Semester complements the university’s goal to expose all undergraduates to meaningful research experiences. It also gives the Environmental Science department a unique study abroad program that has already proved to be applicable across departments and throughout the university. Christina Pondell, Ph.D., Professorial Lecturer, Department of Environmental Science, American University

SSV Corwith Cramer at anchor in Cuba

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SEA Campus, Woods Hole

Lionfish dissection at Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences

Maori Meeting House, Waitangi, New Zealand


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 provide students an opportunity to experience first-hand what they have studied in the classroom in Woods Hole.

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 shore component is an integral part of SEA Semester and prepares students to be successful as researchers, global citizens, and crewmembers at sea. SEA Semester students are also 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 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

Research at Sea Undergraduate Research at SEA Semester

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. ^ SEA Semester alum * SEA Semester faculty/staff

Sampling on the Sargasso Sea

Deploying the carousel on the science deck

Marine Biodiversity

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.

Photo: Tane Sinclair-Taylor

Phoenix Islands Protected Area

Marine debris research

Science lab aboard SSV Robert C. Seamans

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

Marine Debris/Plastic Pollution

Law, K. L.*, S. Moret-Ferguson*^, N. A. Maximenko, G. Proskurowski*, E. E. Peacock, J. Hafner and C. M. Reddy, 2010. Plastic accumulation in the North Atlantic subtropical gyre. Science 329, 1185-1188.

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 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 debris: implications for marine dispersal. Sci. Rep. 6, 19987. 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. For more examples of student projects and publications in these areas of research and more, visit


ships & RESEARCH equipment SHIP certification

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 have been 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

SSV Robert C. Seamans

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.

Bathymetric Equipment

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

Physical/Chemical Oceanographic Equipment

• 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.)

Geological Sampling Equipment

• Shipek Sediment Grab • Gravity Corer • Fisher Sediment Scoop

Biological Sampling Equipment

• 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

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-405 stereo dissecting scopes with imaging capability • Zeiss/Nikon compound scope with epifluorescence capability


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.


Opportunities for Collaboration Visiting Faculty

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. Colleague Voyages

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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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 email for more information about these opportunities. Ships of Opportunity

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.

Collaborative Programs

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

Offered exclusively to Stanford undergraduates, Stanford@SEA consists of five weeks of marine science (oceanography and marine physiology), maritime studies (literature, conservation, and policy) and nautical science (navigation, meteorology, astronomy). The program begins at Hopkins Marine Station in Monterey, California, and 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, MBA Leadership Venture

The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania offers MBA Leadership Ventures, which are experiences that facilitate self-discovery, leadership, and character development. Participants are able to step out of their comfort zone, exceed personal limitations, and experience leadership firsthand. 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 Collaborative Program partnerships have included:

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

Photo: Camrin Braun


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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SEA Semester Academic Guide, 2018-2019  

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

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