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Student Stories

Lauren Krug

Lauren Krug

SEA Semester Class:

C-237 (Ocean Exploration)


Ithaca College


Environmental Studies

SEA Semester Research Focus:

Scientific Research - Western North Atlantic Myctophid Distribution

Why did you choose SEA Semester?

I have always loved the ocean and I wanted a study abroad program that was a little different. SEA seemed like a great way to have an adventure and study outside of your typical classroom.

What was the singular most memorable moment of your SEA Semester experience?

Being JWO* for the first time was an experience I won’t forget. At first it was an odd mix of anxiety and excitement. When my first JWO watch was over, the feeling of accomplishment was incredible.
*Note: JWO stands for Junior Watch Officer. Every SEA Semester student stands a watch as JWO during the final phase of the sea component, allowing them to take responsibility for their watch and put all of their knowledge and skills into practice through this leadership role.

What were the strongest aspects of SEA Semester?

The sense of community was the strongest for me. Living together for six weeks on shore before we set sail was invaluable because we learned how to live together in a community setting. Everything from grocery shopping and making meals to cleaning and studying was done together. By the time we got on the ship we all knew each other so well that it made the learning process easier. We were all there to learn and support each other.

What were the most challenging aspects of SEA Semester?

Learning the vast amount of information required for sailing the Cramer was a challenge for me. There were so many things to remember and sailing and navigational concepts to understand.

Words of advice for future SEA Semester students?

Definitely bring your notebook from class on board the ship. And write down all the steps required to do certain things like deploying the Neuston net or setting a sail. The more you go over it in your head, the easier it will be to do it for real. And if you have time while not on watch, go over your pin diagram! Memorize it! It will not only help in the line chase, but it will really help when it is Shadow phase, and JWO phase when someone tells you to get on a line and you can’t remember which one it is.