Ready for an adventure with a purpose? Request info »
  • Search SEA Semester, Summer and High School Programs
Sea Education Association

About SEA

Student Stories

Maximilian Spielmann

Maximilian Spielmann

SEA Semester Class:

S-237 (Ocean Exploration)


Cornell University


Science of Earth Systems

SEA Semester Research Focus:

Scientific Research - Phytoplankton Dynamics

Why did you choose SEA Semester?

SEA Semester offered a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream of living and working in a tall ship. This coupled with the scientific field research made for an intriguing experience.

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

As we on the RCS approached Oahu in the wee hours of our final day of sailing I was the junior watch officer of the dawn watch. As we came closer and closer the lights in the island became brighter and brighter. Eventually the sea and radio traffic increased, Diamond Head became more clear and suddenly we were upon Honolulu. Our sailing had come to an end for now but for me it was a new beginning.

What were the strongest aspects of SEA Semester?

The hands on learning was possibly the best educational aspect. By literally getting our hands dirty we were able to gain a better appreciation for what we had learned.

What were the most challenging aspects of SEA Semester?

When the JWO phase starts things can be stressful but your watch mates are essential to your success. Learn to be a team. Also baking brownies onboard is a true challenge.

Words of advice for future SEA Semester students?

Bring a notebook to document the trip, take pictures when you are too tired to write and go to the Falmouth Farmers Market, the doughnuts are phenomenal.