SEA Currents: News
Sea Education Association will host a public lecture, “Sugar & Sunshine: The Long-Term Environmental Impact of Extracting Wealth from the Caribbean,” on Sunday, April 9, at 2 p.m. SEA professor Craig Marin will deliver the lecture, part of SEA’s Spring Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at James L. Madden Center Lecture Hall, Sea Education Center, 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth. It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Ex.Ex.Redux: Elsaesser Fellowship winner Timothy Dwyer retraces path of 1841 US Exploring Expedition
This past summer, Timothy Dwyer (W-160), the recipient of the 2016 Elsaesser Fellowship, assembled a crew of adventurers to follow in the path of Captain Charles Wilkes and the United States Exploring Expedition of 1841 (the Ex.Ex.) through Pacific Northwest waters. The Ex.Ex was the first global oceanic voyage of exploration, and the drawings and collections from the Ex.Ex. became the foundation of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History. Timothy and his crew sailed his 35-foot sloop, Whistledown, through the same waters, and redocumented the natural history of the Salish Sea. His goal was to fill in the blanks of Wilkes’ historic ecological survey using modern survey equipment.
Clare McClellan ’18 was determined to find “something completely different” for her junior-year-abroad experience. She found what she was looking for on a 134-foot Brigantine sailing ship in the South Pacific, studying climate change and Polynesian ecosystems and culture.
McClellan joined 25 other undergraduates from throughout the country on a 2,300-mile voyage from Samoa to New Zealand aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, under the auspices of the Sea Education Association, an environmental education and research organization based in Woods Hole, MA.
McClellan, an Environmental Studies major from Portland, OR, began her studies last August at SEA headquarters in Woods Hole, where she and her classmates took courses in oceanography, Polynesian history, and seamanship. McClellan also did some preliminary work on two topics for her individual research projects, one on coastal protection measures in Tonga as a result of sea level rise and a second on environmental education in Tonga.
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Sea Education Association will host a public lecture, “Be not too Bold: Colonial Smuggling and the Stealthy Boat Captains who Made it Possible” on Sunday, Feb. 12, at 2 p.m. Carl Herzog, an adjunct faculty instructor at SEA, will deliver the lecture, the second of SEA’s Winter/Spring Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at James L. Madden Center Lecture Hall, Sea Education Association, 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth. It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
After thorough search and evaluation, Sea Education Association has selected Front Street Shipyard in Belfast, Maine for SSV Corwith Cramer’s upcoming major maintenance period.
“We are excited to be working with the staff and management at Front Street Shipyard… for planning and implementation of this important work period for SEA’s senior flagship,” said David Bank, SEA Director of Marine Operations.
An extensive work list is planned, including maintenance on the rigging, engineering systems, galley and living spaces. The work will take place from June through August 2017.
SEA President Peg Brandon expressed thanks to the SEA Marine Operations Department, and to the SEA Ship Committee for their efforts in this project: “The Cramer is now approaching 30 years of age, so it’s important that we continue to invest in her so that she may continue to fulfill our mission at SEA.”
Sea Education Association will host a public lecture, “Rescue at Sea! History & Procedures of Coast Guard Search & Rescue Operations,” on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m. Capt. Chris Nolan, an SEA Assistant Professor of Nautical Science, will deliver the lecture, the first of SEA’s Winter/Spring Lecture Series. The lecture will be held at James L. Madden Center Lecture Hall, Sea Education Center, 171 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth. It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.
Karen Merritt, public health educator, street photographer and SEA Semester alumna (W-98), has been selected to receive this year’s Armin E. Elsaesser Fellowship award. Karen plans to use the award to investigate and document the “invisible history” of 16th and 17th century mercury and silver mining in Spain and Mexico, which she describes as one of the “longest continuous maritime transport endeavors in history.”
About the Award
Established in 1987 in memory of Armin E. Elsaesser III, master mariner, educator and adventurer, who taught Maritime Studies at SEA Semester and sailed as crew aboard the SSV Westward, the fellowship provides an opportunity for recipients to follow a dream that has been elusive because of the demands of work or study. Fellowship winners actively investigate a marine or maritime subject of personal interest. Projects must be unrelated to their current professional activities and reflect a creative and independent approach to the pursuit of knowledge. SEA alumni, faculty, staff, former employees and crew are eligible. Awards range from $3,000 to $7,000.
SEA Semester in the News
Sea Change: Students Set Sail for Ocean Research
By Glenn Jochum
Two Stony Brook University students traveled to a remote part of the world this past summer with the hope of contributing to big global change.
Ruthann Monsees ’16, Alexandra Bonecutter ’17 and 21 other crew mates set sail in a brigantine, the SSV Robert C. Seamans, from Hawaii to the Phoenix Islands Protected Area of Kiribati. Their assignment: to study the pristine atolls there and the effects of climate change. The ship on which they sailed is operated by Sea Education Association (SEA), which offers the SEA Semester program, an accredited study abroad initiative. SEA is based on Cape Cod in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts.
Ruthann, who grew up on Long Island, hails from Hauppauge, while Alexandra calls Cincinnati, Ohio, home. Despite their disparate geographic settings, these two young scientists were both drawn to the maritime from an early age.
Ruthann and Alexandra met for the first time in a physics class earlier this year. Ruthann told a friend in class she had been accepted to the SEA Semester program and Alexandra overheard her and told her she had been accepted as well.
SEA Semester in the News
Drew Sophomore Studies Ecosystems and Sustainability in Polynesia
Marina Mozak sails on a tall ship research vessel
December 2016 – Drew University student Marina Mozak bid a temporary farewell to The Forest to spend a semester at sea.
Mozak, a sophomore studying environmental science and political science, was among 25 students who studied ecosystems and sustainability in Polynesian island cultures aboard a tall ship research vessel, the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Other schools represented on the trip included the University of Virginia, Wellesley College, Vassar College and Villanova University.
The program, run by the Sea Education Association, began in August with preparatory course work in Woods Hole, Mass. From there, Mozak and her peers traveled to American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji and disembarked for a final time in Auckland, New Zealand last month. Mozak also wrote about life on a ship via the program’s blog, SEA Currents.
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SEA Semester in the News
The Fellowship Awakens
By Tim Pratt
St. John’s College News
St. John’s College student Mary Christman was on watch when the Skellig Islands appeared through the haze off the coast of Ireland.
The sight of the rocky islands, made famous in “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” was celebrated by Christman and her fellow sailors on board the SSV Corwith Cramer.
Established in the fall of 2013, the Pathways Fellowships Program was created to enable St. John’s students to transition into graduate study or careers that call for special or prerequisite courses. Global Pathways Fellowships are available to Santa Fe campus students for summer study abroad; general Pathways Fellowships are available to Annapolis and Santa Fe students for summer study or attendance at professional conferences in the United States.
Christman applied for the Global Pathways Fellowship last school year as a junior on the college’s Santa Fe campus.
After an essay and an interview, Christman learned she was accepted into the SEA Semester study abroad program. She would be participating in a trans-Atlantic crossing. The goal was to conduct environmental research, collecting and analyzing data along the way.
The prospect of crossing the Atlantic was a bit nerve racking, Christman says, as she didn’t have much sailing experience.
“I went in knowing basically nothing,” she says.
They had just spent nearly four weeks crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
“We all called ‘Land ho!’,” Christman says with a smile.
Christman was on board the 134-foot SSV Corwith Cramer as a result of a Global Pathways Fellowship.
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