Sea Education Association

About SEA

Student Stories

Mariya Osipchuk

Mariya Osipchuk

SEA Semester Class:

S-225 (Ocean Exploration, Fall 2009)

College/University:

Drexel University

Major/Minor:

Environmental Science

SEA Semester Research Focus:

Scientific Research - Vertical Distribution of Biolminescence in the North Pacific Ocean

Why did you choose SEA Semester?

I wanted an exciting and challenging adventure while learning to sail and being able to do a research project on a topic personally interesting to me. The staff, from the admissions office to the teachers and captain to the deckhands and mates, everyone was amazing. Extremely helpful, friendly and respectful. I feel like there were high expectations for us to meet but I never felt lost and the staff always seemed confident (and without babying us) that we would be able to do whatever we were expected to which was encouraging. The sailing and celestial navigation were amazing. Sailing is more fascinating than ever to me. I loved the hard work that was expected from us and that really bonded all of us. And the hard work was also balanced out by the fun events every week. Allowing the students to choose the topic they wanted to research and guiding them through it. All students collected data for all of the projects which allowed all of us to gain experience in the different research techniques even if they were not used for our personal research..

What were the strongest aspects of SEA Semester?

The staff, from the admissions office to the teachers and captain to the deckhands and mates, everyone was amazing. Extremely helpful, friendly and respectful. I feel like there were high expectations for us to meet but I never felt lost and the staff always seemed confident (and without babying us) that we would be able to do whatever we were expected to which was encouraging. The sailing and celestial navigation were amazing. Sailing is more fascinating than ever to me. I loved the hard work that was expected from us and that really bonded all of us. And the hard work was also balanced out by the fun events every week. Allowing the students to choose the topic they wanted to research and guiding them through it. All students collected data for all of the projects which allowed all of us to gain experience in the different research techniques even if they were not used for our personal research.

What were the most challenging aspects of SEA Semester?

The third phase where the JWO couldn’t ask the mates or deckhands or science assistants for advice. But we, the students, did have each other which was nice.

Words of advice for future SEA Semester students?

Don’t worry about sleep, you’ll sleep when you’re back on land. Just look at it as a series of naps. Who needs 8 hours when there is the whole ocean to explore anyways? All the people I’ve talked to before doing this said they wished they did more so I decided not to sleep every moment I had off and I am so glad I didn’t. I spent a lot of time aloft, playing guitar, hanging out with my shipmates and studying stars. I am so glad i did this because the time on the ship flies by so fast and even though I haven’t seen land for over a month I was sad when I saw it again because I knew it meant that my time on the ship was coming to an end.