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Covid-19 Update

Updates: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Update on Coronavirus

March 24, 2020 - Effective today, at noon, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has ordered that all organizations that don’t provide “essential COVID-19” services must close their physical workplaces. This order is in effect until Tuesday, April 7th. Therefore, SEA’s Woods Hole campus is now closed, and faculty and staff are working remotely. As we transition to remote work, the best way to contact us is by e-mail.

As COVID-19 commands the world’s attention with its continued global spread, please know that we are monitoring developments closely. We are alert to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control’s advice that additional spreading of COVID-19 should be anticipated. We will continue to gather information from the CDC, the World Health Organization, New Zealand’s Health Ministry, the US State Department and the Massachusetts Department of Health.

At this time, we have made the below listed changes to our spring and summer programs.

If additional modifications to programming or special precautions in Woods Hole or abroad are indicated, we will be in contact with students, their families, and their sending institutions directly, and post additional updates here.

Contact Information

Please call us with any questions or concerns at 508-540-3954 x 770, or email our Associate Dean for Student & Financial Services, Virginia Land McGuire, at vland@sea.edu.

Program Changes


SEA Semester C-290, Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean (Program Completed as Scheduled)
January 2 - March 18 | San Juan, Puerto Rico >> St. Croix, USVI

  • The program's final port stops in Dominica and St. Martin were cancelled in order to allow the Corwith Cramer to remain at sea for 15 straight days.
  • The ship arrived as scheduled in St. John, USVI on March 14, and students disembarked as scheduled in St. Croix, USVI on March 18.
  • Students were given the option to disembark early in the USVI if they preferred.
  • All students have departed.

SEA Semester S-290, The Global Ocean (Program Completed Early)
January 2 - March 23 | Auckland >> Christchurch, New Zealand

  • We concluded the program early on March 17 (New Zealand time; March 16 U.S. time) in Wellington, and encouraged all students to disembark early and fly home directly.
  • Faculty and crew helped to facilitate students’ travel from Wellington to connect with their outbound international flights.
  • All students have departed.

SEA Semester S-291, Oceans & Climate (Program Modified)
February 10 - May 7 | Christchurch, New Zealand >> Pape'ete, Tahiti

  • The sea component has been cancelled.
  • Students have left campus and returned home. Online classes are currently being organized so that students may complete their coursework and receive full or near full credit.

SEA Semester C-291, Marine Biodiversity & Conservation (Program Cancelled)
March 23 - June 13 | St. Croix, USVI >> New York City, NY

  • The program has been cancelled. All students, families, and sending institutions have been notified of options to enroll in a future program or to receive a refund.

SEA Semester S-292, Pacific Reef Expedition (Program Modified)

April 20 - June 24 | Honolulu >> Honolulu

  • We now anticipate that this program will begin and end in Honolulu.  We will be communicating changes directly with applicants and accepted students, as well as updating the S-292 webpage.

SEA Semester S-293, Protecting the Phoenix Islands

June 8 - Aug. 13 | Honolulu >> American Samoa

  • No changes have been confirmed, though we anticipate some modifications as the result of our spring program changes. We will be communicating changes directly with applicants and accepted students, as well as updating this page and the S-293 webpage.

SEASCape & SEA Expedition High School Summer Programs

  • No changes at this time

Summer 2020 Refund Policy

Based on the fluid and ever-changing circumstances surrounding COVID-19, SEA has revised our refund policy for summer 2020 SEA Semester undergraduate and summer high school programs to provide students with more time to commit to enrolling.

All refund language below refers to deposits, tuition, and program fees only. SEA will not refund any personal costs incurred in association with the program, including but not limited to airfare, visas, etc.

Refund Policies for Summer 2020 SEA Semester & High School Summer Programs

If SEA cancels the program:

  • Program cancellation before the program start = students may apply funds to a future SEA Semester or SEA High School Summer program pending space available. If a future program is not possible, we will issue a full refund.
  • Program cancellation after the program start = partial refund prorated based on the week of cancellation. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester summer programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.

If a student chooses to voluntarily withdraw from the program:

  • Withdrawal 20+ days prior to the program start = 100% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal 19 to 0 days prior to the program start = 50% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal after the program start = no refund. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester summer programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.

If a sending institution suggests that a student not participate in the program:

  • Withdrawal 20+ days prior to the program start = 100% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal 19 to 0 days prior to the program start = 50% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal after the program start = no refund. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester summer programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.

If a sending institution requires that a student not participate in the program:

  • Withdrawal 20+ days prior to the program start = 100% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal 19 to 0 days prior to the program start = 50% refund of total program cost (less deposit).
  • Withdrawal after the program start = no refund. Unfortunately, no partial credit will be granted for SEA Semester summer programs, and SEA cannot support remote completion of any SEA Semester coursework.