SEA Currents: Sep 2018
September 28, 2018
Yesterday we started our journey through the South Pacific. However, many little things matter when getting the ship in motion. We start by going over drills for the various emergencies that can occur while we are underway – man overboard, fire in the galley, and prepare to abandon ship.
September 27, 2018
SEA Professor of Oceanography Jan Witting recently completed his 5th research expedition to the remote Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) with SEA Semester class S-281, Protecting the Phoenix Islands. As a member of PIPA’s Scientific Advisory Committee, he will be contributing data collected on his voyages at a meeting of the PIPA Trust later this month.
Q: Jan, can you begin by briefly telling us more about both PIPA’s Scientific Advisory Committee and the PIPA Trust.
A: When the Phoenix Islands Protected Area was established in 2006, it was by an act of Kiribati parliament. In that legal framework, the PIPA Conservation Trust has the task of guiding and governing the operation and future development of PIPA, working with a broad array of international partners. The Trust oversees the funds that have been raised to help compensate Kiribati for lost fishing license revenue. Under the Trust, the PIPA implementation office (PIO) is a body whose job it is to implement the Trust’s decisions on the ground. The Science Advisory Committee (SAC) serves to inform both the PIO and the Trust to advise them of the current scientific understanding of a broad array of topics relevant to managing the ecosystems within PIPA. Members of the SAC come from many different disciplines and backgrounds, and some of us are involved in active research programs within PIPA.
September 26, 2018
Hello to all following the journey of S-282! This is your first student blog post, I hope you’re excited. We are currently still docked in Pago Pago, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t action on board. We spent all of yesterday learning our way around the ship and all that we will have to do on board when we are underway.
September 25, 2018
The students of S-282, Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures and Ecosystems (SPICE) join the SSV Robert C. Seamans on Sept. 24th in American Samoa. Their cruise ends in Auckland, New Zealand on Nov. 5th, after stops in Tonga and Fiji.
September 25, 2018
All students, faculty, and staff have safely arrived aboard SSV Robert C. Seamans. After a full day of ship orientation yesterday, today’s mission is to enjoy an umu—a traditional Samoan earth oven feast—with our good friends Reg and Su’a Fitiao, at their home in nearby Leone.
September 19, 2018
Dr. Kara Lavender Law, SEA Research Professor of Oceanography, will testify about ocean plastics pollution before the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on Wednesday, Sept. 26th, beginning at 10 am.
September 17, 2018
In the fall of 2019, SEA Semester will launch a new program called Climate and Society in New Zealand. According to the course description, this new semester “takes a human-centered approach to climate change informed by the humanities and social sciences, and explores possibilities found within social and political institutions, economic markets, cultural practices, and the creative forces of art, literature, and design.” Dr. Jeff Wescott, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, explains…
Q: Why was there a need for this program?
A: Recently, we met with faculty from several of our sending institutions to discuss new directions for SEA program offerings. They described the broad interest in climate change across social sciences and humanities majors. We already have an excellent SEA Semester program with a climate change focus, called Oceans and Climate. But that program is geared toward science majors. Our discussions with external advisors, and our own internal deliberations, led us to develop a new program that appeals to non-science majors.
September 13, 2018
SEA in the NEWS
Watching the Phoenix Rise - Debriefing Stage
Nat Geo Open Explorer
By Jacob Jaskiel
For a couple of weeks now, I’ve had the opportunity to reflect upon what we just experienced and accomplished on this wildly successful expedition through the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. Our cohort of 19 students and 15 scientists and crew sailed the Robert C. Seamans over 3,500 nautical miles while contributing to a dataset that now spans five years of oceanographic, biological, and chemical data. We conducted 46 Hydrocasts and 96 plankton net tows.
September 12, 2018
Muscongus Bay, Saint George River, Maine - After making our way north to Maine, we anchored at Muscongus Bay Monday evening. Through the night, we kept short anchor watches, which meant we also were able to catch some extra sleep.
September 10, 2018
Williams-Mystic F18 enjoyed warm temperatures, calm seas and light winds for the first part of our offshore field seminar, but as we head north the air is getting a little chillier and the wind is expected to pick up a bit. With 15 knot winds expected, the students learned to reef the mainsail during our afternoon nautical class. After reefing, more jackets and hats came out, and it’s starting to feel like fall.