SEA Semester
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SEA High School Summer Seminar

SEASCape | SEA Science on the Cape

This three-week summer program at SEA offers motivated high school students the opportunity to study the marine environment from a variety of perspectives – scientific, historical, literary, and nautical. Participants live and study at our campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Academic programming is scheduled throughout each day, including on most weekend days. Course work includes lectures, discussions, laboratory activities, and field trips; all introducing students to oceanography, the study of history and literature of the sea, and nautical science in an historic and modern context. Teamwork, leadership, and sense of community are the underlying values of SEA’s academic curriculum. Participants not only grow as students, but as global citizens and individuals.

Academic Coursework

Introduction to Oceanography
Students study marine organisms, marine geology and sediments, ocean circulation, and the chemistry of seawater. Taking full advantage of the local region, the course focuses on the coastal marine environment, with extensive fieldwork conducted in salt marsh and beach environments on Cape Cod. Students collect biological, geological, and physical data in the field, analyze that data in lab, and prepare and present group projects as part of this course. As students of SEA, there are opportunities to take advantage of the exceptional local research facilities (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Marine Biological Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, and National Marine Fisheries), creating an ideal location for student introduction to the exciting field of marine science.

Introduction to Nautical Science
Students learn how shipbuilding and navigation have changed through time and technology. Skills of piloting, orienteering, and chart work are introduced through a series of lab and field activities. Students also learn general meteorology through lecture and observations and study how it impacts human interaction with the ocean.

Introduction to Maritime Studies
Students explore the historical, political, cultural and economic relationships between people and the oceans. Cape Cod and the surroundingNew England coast have a rich heritage as a center for global maritime trade and commercial fisheries. Today, the region continues to be at the forefront of debates over fisheries management, ocean energy, and coastal development. To understand current issues related to ocean uses and the history of these issues, students will visit maritime museums and local fishing industries, meet with ocean policy-makers, and explore the region's extensive maritime culture.

Extracurricular Activities

Leadership Training
Effective skills in leadership, teamwork, and management are essential in school, the workplace, and in dealing successfully with dynamic or unplanned events. This program builds these skills in all three academic courses, emphasizing communication, thoughtful participation, and a planned approach to tasks. Students will study events to learn about how human actions affect results, and learn about the effective preparation of materials for presentation to others. Groups will work together to design, plan and execute projects in the field, lab and classroom, and the class will live as a community on the SEA campus for the duration of their time in Woods Hole.

Field Work
This program provides opportunities for field trips to Cape Cod National Seashore, New Bedford Whaling Museum and fishing industry, various labs and research facilities located in Woods Hole, New England Aquarium, local salt marshes and others. Students will be off campus for hands on interaction with their course work and with the science community several times a week.

Campus Life

Students live in cottages on SEA's campus. While the cottages are co-ed, students are assigned to single-sex rooms and have single-sex bathrooms. Each cottage is closely supervised by an adult Resident Advisor who lives with them on campus and who also serves as a Teaching Assistant. Life in each cottage revolves around its common/dining area, where students help prepare meals, share cleaning duties and live in community with one other. The food is excellent and plentiful. After dinner, there is an evening activity, followed by quiet time for study and using the library, student lounge, and computer facilities. This environment is conducive to the underlying goals of teamwork and community building.

The resident advisors lead evening and weekend activities. These activities may include team-building workshops, special evening musical entertainment, and movie nights and getting off campus to participate in local summer activities. Students often join together to play volleyball, soccer, and Frisbee on campus. They may also have the opportunity to explore the local bike path, walking trails, and beaches around campus with the supervision of their resident advisors. Together with the many field activities planned as part of the academic program, the students will have many opportunities to explore various parts of Cape Cod and experience a ‘summer on the Cape.’

Application & Admission

The program is open to high school students who have completed their freshman, sophomore, or junior years and have successfully completed at least one high school level science and one high school level mathematics course. Applications to the program will be accepted beginning January 1, 2015. Admissions are made on a rolling basis with monthly reviews until the program is full (30 student capacity in each session).

Interested students should apply by submitting the following required items in one complete packet via fax to 1-800-977-8516, email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or mail to SEA High School Admissions, P.O. Box 6, Woods Hole, MA 02543. If using a private carrier, please send your materials to SEA High School Admissions, 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA 02540.

Required materials (submitted together):

  • PDF application form: click to download application form
  • One page original essay addressing your interest in the program
  • Current high school transcript(s)
  • PDF reference form from a current teacher: click to download reference form
  • $25 application fee: submit check with application materials if sent by mail, made payable to “Sea Education Association” (please write student’s name and “HS Program” on the check) or make payment online

Upon successful completion of the program students receive a Certificate of Completion with a ranking as high honors, honors or pass based on their achievement and effort throughout the program.

Financial Aid

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. To apply, send the following to the SEA Admission Office:

  • A letter from your parent explaining your family’s financial situation. This should address the number of children in college or private schools, special circumstances such as high medical bills or unemployment, etc. It should also include the amount that your family can contribute toward the program cost.
  • Your supporting parent’s most recent Federal Tax Return.

Financial aid applications are due by April 20, 2015. Awards are determined after acceptance to the program; recipients will be notified by email. No awards will be determined prior to January 31, 2015.

Parent Testimonials

"She had a great time, learned a great deal, and the experience has solidified her choice to pursue marine sciences. I do hope she has the opportunity to participate in one of your other programs in the future! Thank you sincerely!" - SEASCape 2014 Parent

"By the end of the three weeks, [she] was devastated at the idea of leaving the program. She has been teary-eyed since arriving home as she misses everything about SEASCape! [She] really came home a new person.  She looks at life differently and this program expanded her horizons in an indescribable way. Thank you again to you and your staff for being amazing people, doing amazing things and changing lives!" - SEASCape 2014 Parent

"Wanted to thank each one of one for the caring expertise you shared with the group! [He] came back excited, more mature and self confident. He truly had a fantastic academic and social experience!" - SEASCape Parent 2014