SEA Currents: News
SEA Semester in the News
Chemist Johanna Schwartz ‘10 featured by Women in 3D Printing
Simon’s Rock News
Chemist Johanna Schwartz, a graduate of Bard College at Simon’s Rock and SEA Semester (Ocean Exploration, C-246), was recently featured in her alumni magazine in recognition of her achievement in the science of 3D printing.
Here’s an excerpt:
Johanna always had an interest in science, but when she came to Simon’s Rock, she honed in on chemistry, with biology as her second concentration. She could learn from faculty in all fields and when it came to science, she could try a lot of different subjects and types of research while focusing on chemistry. “It seems that whatever chemistry class I would or could offer, she would take,” said Professor David Myers.
In spring 2013, Johanna took part in the 12-week SEA Semester Ocean Exploration program, which included six weeks aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer. Participating in a semester at sea “broadened Johanna’s scope and brought her to the idea of synthesis of natural products, a research interest of mine since my sabbatical in Australia,” David said.
The Cramer Crew has been busy this week continuing to put the ship back together, and at the moment, she’s held together with a lot of paint and caffeine.
Deck has been divided into two teams - the pre-paint team, and the paint team. The pre-paint team has been doing incredible work preparing the soles of the fo’c’sle and the main saloon for painting, so that the paint team can swoop in and paint it.
Although I know most of your friends and families are reading this, patiently waiting your return from this incredible 5-week voyage, this blog is not so much for them, but rather this final blog is for you, my student friends.
Last night I lay on the deck after swizzle (I will leave this for you all to explain to your friends and families) silently.
Today dawned bright and sunny; a perfect ending to the week. We started the day with a time-honored SEA tradition - FIELD DAY. In this case, Field Day means a Deep Clean of all the cottages, sweeping, swiffering, and scrubbing our homes from top to bottom. At the same time, students had their final meetings with program faculty. Once the houses were looking spiffy clean, we broke for lunch. Post-lunch, we had the graduation ceremony, where every student received their SEA pin.
Over the past 5 weeks I engaged in research under the mentorship of Heidi Sosik and Stace Beaulieu. The project I was working on is captioned “Assessing the temporal relationship between morphotype and genotype for ciliate data from the Martha’s Vineyard Coastal Observatory”.
Ciliates are microscopic, unicellular, eukaryotic-protists that are characterized by the presence of hair-like structure (cilia) that are found on or around these organisms.
There is a certain bittersweet heartbreak that accompanies departures that are homeward bound after voyages such as ours. The hypnotic draw of the deep blue water is an intoxicating force, and I imagine my shipmates will largely agree that pulling ourselves away from it will be at least a somewhat onerous divorce. You might imagine that gazing into the distance only to be met with the familiar sight of waves and crests upon waves and crests would bore us, but I for one, do not tire of it.
We had an early wake up today at 6:30, followed by a hearty bowl of cereal of our choice. We then had one large watch meeting before oceanography class with Maia. This morning, we had a guest speaker, Susan Humphris, who used to work at S.E.A. for thirteen years, but now works at WHOI. She talked about hydrothermal vents, and their impact on ecosystems and nearby life. She also introduced us to Alvin and other interesting sea-submersible technologies.
“Kia ora” and “mauri” (or, “Hello!” in the Maori language of New Zealand and the language of Kiribati) aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans. A game was once introduced to us by our watch officers where you would choose your high tide, low tide, and changing tide. These correspond to choosing your best moments, down moments, and things that we’re looking forward to.
As SEASCape comes to a close, we stayed on campus today. We woke up at 7:30 and had a watch meeting to discuss what to do on Thursday.
We began with a class with Maia, focusing on Geological Oceanography. We learned about ocean basin mapping, mid-ocean ridges, and sediments. Then we had class with Dan the man, focusing on the Age of Exploration, the discovery of gyres, seasonal winds, and currents.
During my freshman year at Howard University, I participated in a research-intensive honors laboratory, a PHAGES program, which ignited my interest in the field of microbiology. The objective of this course was to isolate, analyze, and characterize a bacteriophage from the environment. Bacteriophages are viruses that infect bacteria, as well as replicate within the bacteria. This course enlightened me about the intricacies of how phages infect bacteria, what type of differences are in their genomes, and how phages could be used in a variety of biomedical, health, environmental, and ecological functions.