SEA Currents: research
Phase 2: Time to Pick Up the Pace
We are now underway and a little less than two days away from docking in Fiji. This means that all of us students are working hard to really understand all of our responsibilities and know our skills for being on deck and in the lab. I am still struggling with boxing the compass, or knowing all of the different names for the 32 points of direction on a compass, but practicing during watch helps. We have our lab practical tomorrow as well, to see if we understand all of the procedures and protocols for lab deployments/safety.
Week 2: Caribbean Reef Expedition
Nic Grant from Rowan University describes Week 2 of SEA Semester on shore in Woods Hole, as he and his shipmates prepare for their Caribbean voyage later this fall.
One Full Day at Sea
I am happy to say that S-275 is officially at sea! We are just wrapping up an eventful first day out on the water. However, it doesn’t exactly feel like the day is through as we’ve quickly fallen into the routine of rolling 6-hour watches. Myself and the rest of C-watch, for example, are expecting a wake up at 0040 so we can be out on the deck at 0050 for dawn watch.
SEA Semester Grad Makes Waves in the Science of 3D Printing
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.
Poster session and first lightening talk at WHOI-Redfield
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.
Last Day of Classes
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.
Reflections & Farewells
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.
Continuing Our Intellectual Voyage!
Today, all 25 of us woke up bright and early at 7:30 A.M. and started our day! During our daily watch meetings, we learned a new bend, which is when you tie two pieces of ropes together, called the Sheet Bend. Then, we started our academic day with Dan the man’s Oceans and Societies class, where we learned about the relationship between slavery in the Caribbean and the ocean, along with the history behind slavery itself.
Research, Research, Research!
Woods Hole continues to exceed my expectations. These past nine weeks with the Woods Hole Research Center (WHRC) have been fun, but very demanding: coring 30 centimeters (cm) of soil, hugging trees, and clipping vegetation. Not to mention, the bug bites! Regardless, this was the adventure I was seeking.
This internship has been a great and exciting experience. From the course on climate change, to the interesting field trips, and the cool research. Now that the days are beginning to count down and we’re close to our final presentation day it’s crunch time. Most of us are working hard with our mentors to finalize the work we have been doing for the past two months so we can present our findings.