SEA Currents: SEASCape
Today we woke up and had a wonderful breakfast of blueberry scones, compliments of Sabrina.
Then, we had a watch meeting where we had group activities and games, before heading up to Madden for our first class, Oceanography.
Today was our first classroom day in a while. We started with a guest speaker, Jenny Ruben speak to us about ocean acidification. That transitioned into a lab about ocean acidification, where we manipulated the pH and CO2 levels of a solution by adding yeast and sugar. We learned that with the rise of CO2, the pH goes lower. With these major changes coming into play on the global scale, commercially harvested shellfish are in trouble.
This morning we awoke to delicious aroma of breakfast sandwiches and coffee. After breakfast we all drove to Woods Hole, where we spent our day. The weather was cooler than before, in the low 70’s and sunny. We started off the day with the Zephyr Education Foundation in a WHOI marine invertebrate lab. We then walked down to the WHOI dock, we we saw an array of underwater vehicles, including the sphere from Alvin, the famous submersible which explored the wreck of the Titanic and discovered hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.
As someone else in this blog might have told you last week, on Sundays we have a free day. Which means we get a few more hours of sleep and we get to choose what we want to do for a few hours. There were many very fun choices to pick from but the final three were: go to Falmouth (just like last Sunday), go to a mini golf or stay on campus (lazy day). There wasn’t an unanimous decision so the RA’s and Liz had to figure a plan that left everyone happy.
Today in Maia’s class we had the best discussion about Marine biology. We talked about the different types of mammals such as the Cetaceans, Pinnipeds, Sirenians and Fissipeds. Maia did a great job bringing the class alive by watching fun videos that connected to what we were learning. After the lecture we got poptarts for a snack and ate them on the go while we walked down to the beach called Surf Drive.
Today was a quite day at S.E.A, as we mostly stayed in class, learning about Ocean Management with Carl, and the South China Sea. It rained on and off, creating interesting opportunities for us to play capture the flag during free time. Our class also participated in a management lab of a hypothetical tropical island. Groups debated and talked about the industries we were assigned to, including the creation of high-end hotels and shipping terminals, and how they affect the marine waterfront.
Today we went to New Bedford and the Fisheries Heritage Center, Whaling Museum, the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and New Bedford docks.
At the Fisheries Heritage Center we learned about the history of fishermen in New Bedford and how they harvested scallops. Buzzards Bay Coalition taught us about the water shed of Buzzards Bay and its importance to not only marine life, but human society and economy.
Today we had Jeffrey Brodeur come and speak to us about Marine Debris source and solution: It’s everyone’s problem. This talk shared some quite interesting facts, such as 80% of Marine debris is onshore, whilst the other 20% is offshore, 60-80% of that being plastic. The debris gets into our ocean by directly (intentionally) or indirectly (winds, storms, etc).
Today all the cabins woke up earlier than normal (6:30!) and ate a wonderful breakfast of pancakes and sausages. Then at 7:30, after chores and making bagged lunches, we loaded onto a bus for an hour long drive. Many of us took the time to catch up on sleep and prepare for an exciting day of whale watching. Once we got there, we went on to the “Captain John” tour boat scheduled for a 9 o’clock departure.
After our Maritime History class today we had the pleasure of hearing various members of the SEA community. The speakers included a past dean at SEA, Audrey Meyer, head and assistant scientists that participated in SEA Semester voyages, Jessica Donohue and Maia Theophanis, and a scientific engineer, Jason Clermont. Over the last week we have been learning about the processes and moving parts to both Maritime History and Oceanography, and seeing some of the people who are actually involved in these processes put what we have learned into perspective.