SEA Currents: News
Last week, SEA joined in committing to advance science and partnership in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area.
At the UN Ocean Conference, held June 5th through 9th, the PIPA Scientific Advisory Committee made a voluntary commitment to implement UN Sustainable Development Goal 14, to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”, with support from SEA and other collaborating organizations*.
Specifically, this commitment includes generating a new ten-year research plan for the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), one of the largest marine protected areas and the largest—and deepest—UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This one-day symposium is the capstone experience for students from SEA Semester class C-273, Marine Biodiversity & Conservation. The event includes oral presentations of the students’ research findings and policy recommendations to a panel of invited experts, and contributes directly to international effort to protect the Sargasso Sea. Student presentations will be interspersed with related talks given by some of the invited participants. The public is invited to attend. Space is limited.
How often do you think about the ocean? As inhabitants of a coastal commonwealth and a historic maritime city, we do so perhaps more than the average American. The more compelling question is “how do we think about the ocean?” How would we describe it? Beautiful and mysterious? Likely. Awe-inspiring? Perhaps. How about imperiled? Damaged? Hopeless?
Thursday, June 8 marks the 26th annual World Oceans Day, an idea that emerged from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The World Oceans Day website describes the annual event as providing “a unique opportunity to honor, help protect, and conserve the world’s oceans.” It notes that our oceans provide much of the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat, and help to maintain the climate that sustains us. Our oceans also inspire us. For one day in June, we are encouraged to acknowledge and celebrate these gifts, and to commit ourselves to improving ocean health through both activism and our choices as consumers.
This World Oceans Day, the focus is on encouraging solutions to plastic pollution, and preventing marine litter.
At SEA, we’ve been studying plastic pollution for a long time. The plastic we study is collected in our neuston nets floating at the surface of the open ocean. Mostly, we find microplastics (pieces less than 5mm in diameter, usually broken down from larger objects).
It’s a serious problem, impacting marine life and degrading marine environments.
Congratulations to SEA alum and marine biologist Mike Gil for being selected as a TED Fellow. He’ll join a class of 21 change-makers from around the world to deliver a talk this August from the TEDGlobal stage in Arusha, Tanzania.
A National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Davis, Mike studies human impact on marine ecosystems, and how social interactions among fish that eat harmful algae can counteract coral reef degradation.
As a science communicator, Mike started a science appreciation campaign. He creates videos and gives talks which he says are designed to “reveal the lesser-known side of science: an adventure, accessible to all….”
Today marks the global launch of .eco, a new symbol of sustainability.
Environmentalism and conservation are core elements of SEA Semester’s mission and curriculum, both in the classroom and at sea. While program specifics vary, students are focused on gaining a deeper understanding of critical issues including climate change, sustainability, biodiversity, human impact on the environment, and environmental justice. Students are actively involved in field research, and their work often contributes to international ocean research efforts.
We’re thrilled to once again join with Sailors for the Sea, a leading ocean conservation organization, for our “Onboard Reporter” program.
This is a special partnership that began last year. Each term, one SEA Semester student is designated as Sailors for Sea’s “Onboard Reporter,” and receives a $1,500 award.
This spring, the Onboard Reporter is Anna Brodmerkel, a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Anna is currently sailing aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer as a member of C-273, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (known around here as MBC).
SEA Semester in the News
New Zealand to Tahiti: Spiro ’18 and Wu ‘18 are Sailing Through the Semester. No, Really.
By Doug Cook
Math and physics major Carina Spiro ‘18 and Jacquelyn Wu ’18, a math major, are sailing the South Pacific Ocean in an effort to address and better understand some of the most pressing global questions related to the marine environment.
Through SEA Semester: Ocean Exploration, a study abroad program offered by Sea Education Association (SEA), Spiro and Wu, together with other students with a variety of academic interests, are conducting guided field research projects during a voyage from New Zealand to Tahiti.
Read the FULL STORY
SEA Semester in the News
Knox Students Navigate Research at Sea
By Elise Goitia
Know College News
Some students cross the ocean to get to their study abroad destination. For environmental studies major James Egan ‘18 and history major Will Fitzgerald ‘17, their study abroad desination is the ocean.
Egan and Fitzgerald are enrolled in SEA Semester, a 12-week program where students take classes and conduct research while living aboard a ship. The experience is one of more than 90 different locations worldwide where Knox College offers opportunities for students to study off campus.
Read the FULL STORY
10 THINGS TO LOOK FOR IN A GAP YEAR
From hiking in the Andes to volunteering at a local hospital, a gap year is a personal journey of exploration. Such a journey can take many routes. So how do you plot your path?
The following are some of the key elements that students typically consider when planning their gap year.
Read through the list, and consider which items are important to YOU.
Doing so may help you define your priorities as you decide on your gap year experience.