Maritime History and Culture: Island Peoples, CAS NS 322 (4 credits)
The ocean both isolates and connects the islands of Polynesia, influencing the maritime knowledge and technology that have defined it for millennia. This course explores how the sea has influenced the development of Polynesian art, literature, religion, vessel design, navigation, and patterns of settlement. It also examines the impact of European colonization, the devastating loss of native populations to disease, the suppression of traditional cultural practices, and the modern Polynesian cultural and political response.
Marine Environmental History: Island Environments, CAS NS 323 (4 credits)
This course is designed to explore the impact of human actions on island and marine ecosystems, and the local, regional, and international responses and strategies developed to mitigate and manage that impact. Students examine the subject matter from several perspectives, using the methods and sources of both the sciences and the humanities.
Nautical Science: Navigating the Marine Environment, CAS NS 223 (3 credits)
Mariners face many challenges and questions when planning and executing an ocean voyage. Nautical Science will explore these fundamental questions from an historical and contemporary perspective as we plan and execute our own voyage in Polynesia. This course also examines concepts in meteorology including the impact of weather on voyage planning and execution.
Oceanography: The Ocean Environment, CAS NS 221 (3 credits)
This oceanography course provides students with the scientific foundation needed to use scientific equipment and instruments onboard the ship to investigate the planet's oceans. While learning about modern ocean studies and technological advances in instrumentation, students develop proposals for original research projects to be carried out at sea.
Maritime Studies: European Perspectives of Polynesia, CAS NS 222 (3 credits)
This course will look at European and American source materials that helped invent the notion of paradise in Polynesia, including the narratives of Captain James Cook and the novels of Herman Melville. In addition to published materials, students will examine manuscript logbooks and journals of American mariners who visited Polynesian islands in the nineteenth century, and objects collected on those voyages that survive in New England collections.