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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: The Global Ocean: New Zealand


September 22, 2016

SEA Semester alumna’s marine biological research continues at Amherst

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News

We’re always interested to hear about the continuing research conducted by recent SEA Semester alumni, so we thought we’d share this report about Taylor Hallowell from The Amherst Student.  Taylor sailed with C-266, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, last spring.

Thoughts on Theses: Taylor Hallowell ‘17
By Jacob Gendelman ‘20; Staff Writer, The Amherst Student

Taylor Hallowell ’17 majors in biology. Her thesis examines the sensory drive hypothesis in cichlid fish that express different retinal genes while living under different colors of light. Professor of Biology Ethan Clotfelter is her advisor.

Q: Can you describe your thesis?

A: The sensory drive hypothesis is essentially that there’s a difference in the environment, [which] leads to sensory divergences, like divergences in animals’ sensory systems. That leads to reproductive isolation, and that leads to speciation. There isn’t a ton of evidence for it right now, but there’s an increasing amount. People are starting to take more of an interest in it. I’m trying to get more data for it. I’m working with cichlid fish, which are really common fish to work with because they’re so easy to breed. I have hundreds of little babies already. I’m making them grow up in extreme light environments. A third of them are only getting red light, a third are only getting blue light, and a third are getting just white light. I’m trying to show that differences in light environment cause differences in the expression of the genes in the retina. That would contribute to the sensory drive hypothesis.

Read the full story.

Categories: News, • Topics: c-266  marine biodiversity  featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

September 22, 2016

S-269: Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems

Study Abroad Voyage Map

The students of S-269, Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems, will join the SSV Robert C. Seamans in American Samoa by Monday, September 26th. They will arrive in Auckland, New Zealand around November 7th, with port stops in Tonga and Fiji.


September 22, 2016

C-269, The Global Ocean: Europe

Study Abroad Voyage Map

The students of class C-269, The Global Ocean: Europe, will join the SSV Corwith Cramer in Barcelona by Tuesday, September 27th. They will arrive in the Canary Islands by November 6th, with port stops in Mallorca, Cádiz, and Madeira.


September 21, 2016

Stony Brook University students recount Phoenix Islands adventure

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News
SoMAS Students Participate in SEA Semester Journey
Stony Brook University School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences News

Alexandra Bonecutter, a student in the Environmental Studies program with a Marine Science minor, and Ruthann Monsees, a student in the Coastal Environmental Studies program Sustainability Studies program, were part of a SEA Semester voyage that was recently featured in The New York Times.  According to an email distributed by SEA Semester, the voyage “discovered good news regarding coral health in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) in July, 2016”

The message continues:

PIPA is one of the last remaining coral wildernesses on Earth, about which little is known. An expanse of ocean about the size of California, it is the largest – and deepest – UNESCO World Heritage site.

Accompanied by 21 other undergraduates, SEA Semester faculty, and researchers from the New England Aquarium and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Alexandra and Ruthann gathered data on the health of the islands’ coral reef ecosystem in order to recommend policy implementations to the PIPA management office in Kiribati – all while sailing as active crewmembers aboard our tall ship research vessel!

Ruthann and Alexandra were on voyage class S-268 Protecting the Phoenix Islands.  According to Ruthann, “We sailed for six weeks from Honolulu to the American Samoa, focusing on the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA); a Marine Protected Area belonging to Kiribati.”  This area, she says, “is recognized as an area with the most “pristine” coral reef system” that “has shown remarkable resilience in the face of climate change, El Nino bleaching events, and anthropogenic effects.”

Categories: News,Protecting the Phoenix Islands, • Topics: pipa  s-268  featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

September 19, 2016

Lectureship honors Ambrose Jearld, Jr. for promoting diversity

SEA Semester

The Woods Hole scientific community on Saturday honored Ambrose Jearld, Jr., influential NOAA researcher and SEA overseer, with an annual lectureship in recognition of his efforts to make oceanography and marine biology more accessible to a diverse body of students and research faculty.

The surprise presentation was made at Jearld’s retirement party at Fisher House, Church of the Messiah, in Woods Hole. Jearld retired from NOAA Fisheries Service on Sept. 2 after 38 years of service.

The Ambrose Jearld, Jr. Lecture, established and administered by the Diversity Initiative and Diversity Advisory Committee, will be given every summer in Woods Hole by invited scholars, scientists, and authors. The lectures will begin next summer, coinciding with the biennial John K. Bullard Diversity Award.

Categories: News, • Topics: pep  woods hole  lectures  news  featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

September 07, 2016

SEA Semester Faculty Report on Sargassum Beaching Phenomenon

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News
Sargassum Watch Warns of Incoming Seaweed
Eos

SEA Semester professors Deborah Goodwin, Jeffrey Schell and Amy Siuda contributed to this Eos article on efforts to track Sargassum - including by satellite and from the deck of the SSV Corwith Cramer - to better understand and mitigate the recent phenomenon of Sargassum beaching events.

Read the article


August 30, 2016

McDaniel College Student has “Adventure of a Lifetime” on SEA Semester Transatlantic Voyage

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News
Sailing the high seas for adventure and research
McDaniel College News

Before heading to Woods Hole, Mass., and boarding the tall ship he would help sail to Ireland, Ian Kasaitis ’18 had never been farther from his Maryland home than New Jersey. 

But the lore of adventure coupled with encouragement from Biology professor Katie Staab fueled his application to SEA (Sea Education Association) Semester and what would be a life-changing experience.

“I had never been on an airplane let alone a ship in the Atlantic,” says the junior Biology major from Crofton, Md. “I wanted an adventure and to get off land and to do research.”


August 23, 2016

Ocean Leaders to Nominees: What will you do as President for the Blue in our Red, White and Blue?

SEA Semester

 
This past week SEA President Peg Brandon joined 114 other ocean leaders in sending a letter to campaign representatives for Secretary Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump seeking clarification on what they will do if elected President to protect our public seas, ocean economy and maritime security (see letter that follows).  The aim is to get a response by early September on how the next President will act on key coastal and ocean issues.  These include the fight against illegal pirate fishing, establishment of marine protected areas – like National Parks in the sea - and coastal adaptation to sea level rise and other climate challenges. 

The letter also calls for appropriate levels of funding for frontline agencies involved in exploration, conservation and maritime law-enforcement including the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The Ocean leaders who’ve signed this letter include CEOs of seafood and other businesses, directors of major science labs, aquariums and diver organizations, well known ocean explorers, authors, artists, marine conservationists, members of Congress and former heads of EPA and NOAA. 

Categories: News, • Topics: news  ocean_policy • (0) CommentsPermalink

August 18, 2016

PIPA student profiled in Brown University’s “News from Brown”

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News
In summer at sea, adventurous student continues a personal academic journey
By David Orenstein

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Peter Baek traces his inspiration as a scientist, pre-med student and explorer to a beloved movie.

“Ever since watching ‘Finding Nemo’ with my grandpa and dad, our love for fish and the ocean blossomed as every shelf around the house became occupied with aquariums,” said Baek, a rising sophomore at Brown University. “My fascination with fish ultimately led to my interest in science as I continued to get deeper into the water chemistry and biology of fish keeping. The passing of my grandpa from laryngeal cancer, however, transformed my interest of science to something deeper — the desire to pursue a career in oncology in dedication to my grandpa.”

Read the full story.


August 16, 2016

SEA Semester students find signs of hope in remote Phoenix Islands

Doug Karlson, communications@sea.edu

SEA Semester

We like to say SEA Semester students adventure with a purpose.  Nowhere is that more true than on our recent expedition aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans to the rarely visited Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), in the island nation of Kiribati. 

SEA Semester students, crew and scientists, led by SEA Professor of Oceanography Dr. Jan Witting, together with researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New England Aquarium, sailed 1,600 miles across the Equatorial Pacific from Honolulu to reach the remote archipelago, one of the last coral wildernesses in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


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