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Marine Environmental History

Marine Environmental History

Marine environmental history explores the intersection of humans and island ecosystems from mountain tops to coral reefs and across coastal exclusive economic zones (EEZs). Historical study begins at the time of migrations of indigenous peoples and continues through the tumultuous centuries of European conquest and colonization, leading to the contemporary era of island independence and the rise of mass tourism, especially as enabled by cruise ships. SEA Semester students study the role of ships, sailors and ideas as agents of environmental, cultural, social and economic change in island nations.

Research Themes

Sea Education Association Research

Coral reef ecosystem services

Coral reef ecosystems and the natural resources they provide are essential to the livelihood and economy of island residents.  In the past, unregulated development and resource-limited management has led to a decline in fisheries, loss of marine species and threats to coral reef ecosystems as a whole.  In response, many island nations are now on the forefront of marine resource management and innovation. SEA Semester students collect field data on coral reef snorkeling surveys to compare the state of reef resources with respect to factors such as land use, watershed management and tourism.

Selected Coral reef ecosystem services papers and publications

Sea Education Association Research

Iconic, introduced and invasive species

Every island, due to geographic isolation and natural selection, is a hot spot of endemic species and hosts a diversity of habitats that contribute to the cultural identity of island residents (for example, the parrot on Dominica’s flag). However, these iconic species and habitats may be threatened by introduced (non-native) species such as the mongoose, and adversely affected by invasive species such as the lionfish.

Selected Iconic, introduced and invasive species papers and publications

Sea Education Association Research

Island tourism impacts

Tourism is the fastest growing economic sector for most island nations.  Unfortunately, the corresponding increase in demand on island resources by the massive influx of visitors threatens the natural beauty and unique environments that attract tourists in the first place. Thoughtful tourism development is required to achieve a sustainable balance between economic growth and a healthy, productive and resilient environment.

Selected Island tourism impacts papers and publications

Sea Education Association Research

Land use change and conservation

Islands are isolated ecosystems uniquely constrained by available natural resources. Human development of island landscapes for food, shelter and commerce quickly encounters a threshold of resource limitation requiring a change in management practices with a focus on conservation.

Selected Land use change and conservation papers and publications

Papers and Publications

Selected student research

Hampton, T., 2015. Perceived Volcanic Hazard in New Zealand: From Settlement to Colonization and Beyond. Unpublished student research paper, Class S-257, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Reardon, A., 2015. A Look Into the Colonial Influence on Each Island's Identity Process, and its Impression on Current Marketing Strategies. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-257, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Rubinstein, E., 2015. Deep Roots: The Legacy of Kalingo Agricultural Practices. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-257, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Beard, S., 2015. Nassau Grouper Conservation. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-257, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Hall, T., 2015. Environmental Health Concerns Derived from Waste Management in Puerto Rico and the Lesser Antilles. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-257, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Godfrey, Z., 2014. Long Term Effects of Introduced Species in the Caribbean. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-256, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Sokolowski, S., 2014. Port de Barcelona: Environmental Effects and Consequences of Cruise Tourism. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-255, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Ceely, A., 2014. Water Supply Struggles of Palma de Mallorca. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-255, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Enright, K., J. Jesse and H. Wagner, 2014. Black Pearl Aquaculture in French Polynesia and Photo Journal. SPICE Atlas student research paper, Class S-252, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Gauthier, M., 2014. Wastewater Treatment in French Polynesia: Priorities and Practices. Unpublished student research paper, Class S-251, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Maskus, E., 2014. Sustainability in Polynesian Agriculture: Consistency and Changes in Practice Over Time. Unpublished student research paper, Class S-251, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Jenkins, K., 2013. Management of Suspended Sediments in the Caribbean. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-250, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Stokes, M., 2013. Sea Turtles of the Caribbean: Then and Now. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-250, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Matthews, T., 2013. Threatened Birds in the Caribbean: The Grenada Dove and the Imperial Amazon Parrot. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-250, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Salem, S., 2013. Artificial Coral Reefs: Cost Benefit Analysis for the Environment and Tourism. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-250, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Halberstadt, M., 2013. Natural Disasters in the Caribbean. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-250, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Binkowski, J., 2013. Socially and Economically Sustainable Tourism. SPICE Atlas student research paper, Class S-245, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Burri, D., 2013. Solar Power Feasibility in the Southern Pacific Island States. SPICE Atlas student research paper, Class S-245, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Bell, H., 2012. Cruise Ship Tourism in the Caribbean Islands of Dominica and Jamaica: A Case Study of Two Nations and their Relationship with the Cruise Industry. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-244, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Pyda, P., 2012. The Revitalization of Local Farmers in the Caribbean. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-244, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Schulz, E., A. McDonagh and M. Burkett, 2012. Megafauna Distributions and Supporting Habitats. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-244, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.

Fenzel, K., and P. Pyda, 2012. Deadliest Catch: The Prevalence of Gambierdiscus sp. Responsible for Ciguatera Fish Poisoning. Unpublished student research paper, Class C-244, Sea Education Association, Woods Hole, MA.


* SEA faculty and staff
^ SEA Semester alumnus

News

SEA Semester

Meet Our Faculty: Dr. Mark H. Long

Posted on: October 30, 2015
By: Anne Broache, communications@sea.edu

For the 2015-16 school year, SEA Semester welcomes several new faculty to our roster. Periodically, we’ll introduce them to you on this blog.

We’re pleased to introduce Dr. Mark H. Long, our newest Associate Professor of History and Social Science.

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Aloha Aina

Moloka’i: A New Island to Explore

Posted on: June 27, 2015
By: Joe Capellupo | Kelsey Orr, State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry | Furman University

Aloha!
Today we awoke to the ship being anchored just outside of Kaunakaka’i Harbor on the island of Moloka’i. This was the last island on our itinerary we had yet to visit, which made our 0630 wakeup call slightly more tolerable. The prospect of spending an entire day on land after 7 straight days at sea also provided extra incentive to get the day started.

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Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Departing Dominica

Posted on: March 13, 2015
By: Sarah Tyrrell, Miami University

Hello All,
This morning we parted ways with the beautiful island of Dominica. Although it’s exciting to be underway again and fall back into our “normal” routines, the last few days at anchor were wonderful. On Tuesday I celebrated my 21st birthday exploring Roseau with friends and hiking to Trafalgar Falls. I was also able to phone home to my parents and sister, an opportunity which I now realize that I often take for granted when in the States.

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Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean

Little Bay, Montserrat

Posted on: March 05, 2015
By: Thomas Hiura, C Watch, Carleton College

“Please be aggressive when you wake me up for mid-watch. I’ll need it.”

That’s what I told Colin and the B Watch crew before going to bed last night. We had spent the past day and a half sailing under the wind/wave protection of St. Kitts and Nevis, and I knew that my C Watch crew would be responsible for launching a potentially tumultuous journey to Montserrat. at 2300 at night. Shout-out to my mom Kazumi and sister Lisa, who know how slow I can be to get going in the morning!

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Resources

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