SEA Currents: c255
Global Ocean program profiled in Ocean Health Index official blog
Dr. Mary Malloy, Director of our new Global Ocean programs, is a guest writer for the Ocean Health Index blog this month. With SEA Semester’s first two Global Ocean programs now completed, Mary describes how curriculum was tailored to incorporate themes of this valuable new tool, and observations of how students utilized various metrics in their studies both on-shore and at sea.
SEA Semester Undergraduates Utilize Ocean Health Index to Investigate Climate Change & Conservation
For Immediate Release: October 30, 2014
Woods Hole, MA— This fall, undergraduate students from top colleges and universities nationwide are utilizing the newly created Ocean Health Index to explore environmental issues related to climate change, conservation, and sustainability of the world’s oceans in a groundbreaking new study abroad program offered by Sea Education Association. SEA Semester: The Global Ocean, is the first undergraduate program in the world to incorporate metrics of the Ocean Health Index – a comprehensive, global evaluation of the human impact on the world’s oceans – into curriculum. Following a highly selective application process, these forty-four students are spending six weeks on shore at SEA Semester’s campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts and six weeks at sea, sailing as crew and scientists onboard SEA Semester’s state-of-the-art ocean research vessels, operating in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
A Journey Comes to an End
As I write this final post I sit and wonder where the time went. Explaining what the trip was like is going to be hard for all of us. Pictures and journals will help; however, only we know exactly how we feel. The certain aspects of our trip have allowed us to become a unique family that would not be the same without all members of C255.
To attempt to offer everyone a glimpse into our experiences I have listed what each member of C255, staff included, has said he or she will miss the most. Enjoy!
Three months ago we set out to look at how humans have impacted coastal and marine environments and we have learned much more than we anticipated. On the Atlantic coast of Spain at Baelo Claudia, we visited the site of a Roman city from two thousand years ago where we saw evidence of an active ancient tuna fishery, and of an industrial plant set up to salt tons of fish annually for shipment along the northern Mediterranean coast and across the Strait of Gibraltar to Africa.
It was another momentous day about the Corwith Cramer on our short passage between the Madeiran and Canary Islands. The two big events were our final wire deployment and my birthday! On this final wire deployment, we paid out about 2000 meters of wire with a CTD (Conductivity, Temperature, and Depth) and a payload of artistically designed Styrofoam coffee cups, together forming what we call the “Styrocast.” It is a long oceanographic tradition to write some commemorative words on a styrofoam coffee cup and send it deep into the blue, where the incredible amount of water presses down on the cups and results in a souvenir that is about the size of a shot glass.
Junior Watch Officer
Today I was the Junior Watch Officer. I have had two shadow sessions where I practiced for “JWO” but today was my first official session. There were morning science deployments and I knew there would be a lot of sail handling because of them to heave the ship to. I had my notes and my watch members, so in my mind everything was good. And it was! With the conglomerate effort of my great watch members, C Watch was able to fluently “heave to” for science and gybe to continue on our path to the Canary Islands.
Today, we sailed out of Madeira at 1300. It was the last time we got to leave port and set out to sea together, and it was incredible to see how far we have come as sailors since Barcelona. All three watches came together as the crew of the SSV Corwith Cramer. In excellent time, we hoisted the main staysail, the fore staysail, the jib, the topsail, and the mainsail.
Laws of the Sea
Greetings, I am Chuck Lea the Chief Scientist aboard the Corwith Cramer for cruise C255. When we plan a cruise, the Law of the Sea requires us to submit a Request for Clearance to the State Department so that they can arrange for us to take Oceanographic samples in foreign waters. As a part of that request, the countries whose waters we are sampling are invited to send an observer so that they may become familiar with what we do. This has led to a variety of enriching exchanges over the years, and no less so on our first Global Ocean trip into the Mediterranean and eastern North Atlantic.
Waterfalls in Madeira
Free day! After hearing rave reviews about a hidden wonderland in Queimadas called Caldeirao Verde, aka the Green Caldron, many of the students could not wait to take a hike in the mountains of Madeira. Our friend from the Whale Museum had left us to ponder in excitement what sort of “wonderful surprise” was waiting at the end of the trail. Thanks to some great hints from Ryan and Scott, who went the day before, we knew to get into some swimsuits. With our suits on and a bag lunch in hand 16 of us, Alex, Rudi, Maya, Sophia S., Sophia J., Adam, Becky, Mih, Maggie, Devin, Greg, Alyssa, Courtney, Amie, Jennifer, and myself, gathered on the dock to start our journey, beginning with finding transportation to Queimadas.
All Hallows Eve
This story comes a few days late, but only because it took us a while to mentally process and articulate the scarring series of events that have transpired.
On the night of October 29th, as our boat sailed around a few miles off the Madeiran coast, we enjoyed the view of myriad tiny lights shining on the island, reminding us of Christmas decorations. As beautiful as the view was, we couldn’t let thoughts of Christmas distract us from preparing for Halloween. Rumors of the costume collection on the boat fueled our excitement, as we all whispered about how we might dress for the holiday.