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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: Jul 2017

July 24, 2017

SEASCape 2017, Session 2

We will welcome the second session of SEASCape 2017 to campus on Monday, July 24th. This three-week summer program at SEA offers motivated high school students the opportunity to study the marine environment from a variety of perspectives – scientific, historical, literary, and nautical. Participants live and study at our campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts.

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July 24, 2017

Science is One Big Field Day

Victoria Roberson, Auburn University

SEA Semester

For those of us who like the outdoors more than they like cubicles, ecosystem science is a field of opportunity. When you study coastal wetlands, every day is literally a field day. Since we use a portable gas analyzer that both collects and analyzes data in the field, there is very little need for lab work. This means I can spend my entire day working in coastal wetlands learning about the way each site sequesters carbon.

July 24, 2017

What’s in a Name?

Veronica Ellis, A Watch, UC Berkeley

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

I want to begin this blog entry by wishing belated but nevertheless enthusiastic HAPPY BIRTHDAY wishes to my mother (I love you and miss you very much) and my dear friend Julia (omg hi).

Now the real stuff.

We talk a lot about the idea of sense of place here on the Robert C. Seamans, in Conservation and Management class, as well as in Oceans and Global Change class. I hadn’t really thought about this concept before coming to SEA, but it’s become more prevalent in my mind as this trip goes on, and as I think about life when I’ve gotten back to the “real world”.

July 23, 2017

Mental Toughness

Carmen Chan, A Watch, Cornell University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Nothing about SEA Semester is easy. From memorizing all 54 lines of the ship, dealing with sea sickness while still expected to complete your responsibilities, to doing daily clean ups in steaming hot weather after 6 hours of dawn watch, every task pushes me beyond my limits. There are days I feel incapable, times I’m upset, moments I miss home incredibly, but what encourages me to face new challenges during the start of every morning is what Cassie, our Chief Mate who was our Watch Officer, said to my watch the first day:

July 22, 2017


Kate Benson, A-Watch, Stetson University

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

I do not get homesick.

I was raised to be independent. My younger brother and I were given every opportunity to flex our self-reliance. From very early ages, we were encouraged to follow our passions and seek out new experiences-no matter how far from home they took us. We didn’t have to worry or fret; we were secure in the knowledge that our parents were at home, patiently waiting for us to return to them.

July 21, 2017

Graduation Day

Sabrina Hutchinson, Steward

It’s hard to believe another SEASCape class has already come and gone from the SEA campus. Just three short weeks ago, the RAs and I welcomed 28 high school students from across the country and around the world to our little home here on Cape Cod. Little did they know what this program had in store for them! The amount of personal growth that occurred these past 21 days is astonishing – many of these students went from timid and unsure of being away from home to independent, strong leaders in their community here.

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July 21, 2017

An Eventful Day

Jared Rose, B Watch, Skidmore College

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Today marks our second day docked at Kanton, and it has been an eventful one. The morning started off for my watch, B Watch, tending to the Robert C. Seamans as we were tasked with helping reposition the fenders, which protect our ship from crashing into the dock. After completing this task, we then helped to prepare the gift our crew was to give the people of Kanton during tonight’s potluck dinner.

July 20, 2017

Scientific Setbacks

Louis Randall, St. Mary's College of Maryland

SEA Semester

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. Of course there will always be small miscalculations; running out of microscope slides, minor lab math mishaps, or running out of that one magical reagent you forgot about. Now these kinds of things are generally no problem, a simple run to the store or an hour or two with a pencil and paper can fix these. But what happens if there is an issue with the project itself? After all there are deadlines to meet, supervisors to answer to, and other people relying on your results.

July 20, 2017

Ashore in Kanton

Buster Coe, A watch, Oberlin College

Protecting the Phoenix Islands

Today was our first day ashore in Kanton. We spent the day snorkeling, doing chores around the boat, doing school work, and exploring the island. My watch, A watch, got to go snorkeling an do work/chores today, we’ll get to explore the island tomorrow.

The day started with a brief all hands meeting on the quarter deck with a briefing of the day’s festivities

July 19, 2017

URI Students Sail to Phoenix Islands to Study Effects of Climate Change

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News
URI students sail to remote Pacific islands to study effect of climate change on coral reefs
URI Today

Two University of Rhode Island students are sailing to remote islands in the Pacific Ocean to study any damage to coral reefs from climate change.

Hailey Simpson, of Rochester, N.Y., who has her B.S. in Ocean Engineering and is earning her master’s degree in Oceanography, and Kyle Alvanas, of Portsmouth, who will graduate next year with a degree in marine affairs, are among 24 students from American colleges conducting research in this largely under-studied region.

Simpson and Alvanas are making the voyage with Sea Education Association, or SEA Semester, an internationally recognized program that combines classroom learning on shore at Woods Hole, Mass., with study aboard a research vessel.

Read the full story.

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