SEA Currents: Events
April 15, 2015
The abundance of plastic debris in our world’s oceans has become increasingly well documented, thanks in part to decades of intensive data collection by SEA scientists and SEA Semester students. But determining just how much plastic has entered the ocean, and where it all goes, remains a challenge.
A new study co-authored by Dr. Kara Lavender Law, SEA Research Professor of Oceanography, sheds new light on one piece of this puzzle: Can plastics from the bellies of deceased seabirds provide an accurate sense of pollution levels in a given ocean environment?
April 15, 2015
Another lovely day under sail. Thanks to a little help in the form of wind from a low pressure system to the south, we were able to shut off the old ‘iron sail’ (the engine) for most of the day today. Although as Assistant Engineer this piece of equipment is fairly central to my role here, I much prefer the sound of the wind in the rigging to the rumble of cylinders.
April 15, 2015
Continuing our celebration of Undergraduate Research Week, we’re featuring the inspiring investigations planned by our current class, C-259, Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, when they set sail in just a few days from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York City via Bermuda. Along the way, they’ll undertake a variety of scientific studies on the Sargasso Sea, that vast portion of the North Atlantic Ocean that is a major focus of conservation efforts.
Here’s a look at two more projects that student teams plan to pursue while aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer:
April 14, 2015
Today was the second day in a row of absolutely beautiful weather. Not too hot or cold, with only scattered clouds. The sun seems to be bringing out everyone’s happy side, and on the deck (even more than usual) people are all smiles. There are musical jam sessions on top of the doghouse, relaxed readers resting up against a furled sail, smoothie consumers on the quarterdeck, and generally jovial people all around.
April 14, 2015
It’s no secret that field research is a mainstay of SEA Semester programs. But this week, in celebration of national Undergraduate Research Week, we wanted to shine a special spotlight on our students’ ambitious work.
Take the Sargasso Sea, that giant expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean that has in recent years become a major focus of multinational conservation efforts.
Our current class on campus, C-259, Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, is one week away from sailing from San Juan, Puerto Rico to New York City via Bermuda—right through the heart of this critical ecosystem. And, as they proved during presentations of their research proposals on Monday, they’re ready to do some serious science to aid the Sargasso Sea’s long-term protection plans.
Over the next few days, we’ll feature their research plans on this blog, starting with these two projects:
April 13, 2015
When I applied for SEA Semester back in early 2014 I knew that I was signing up for a semester unlike most study abroad programs. What I did not expect was to have my entire world turned upside down by a plethora of new and exciting experiences. Even with a hundred more blog posts I do not think that we could tell you all of the amazing things that we have been able to try for the first time, so I will just tell you about a few that were perhaps unique to me.
April 12, 2015
Wow, life at sea can be rough. Rough, rough, rough. To begin with, the days at sea go by slowly, to the point where I almost wouldn’t be surprised if when we land in Tahiti in May 1st, we’ll be informed that actually 50 years have passed like in Interstellar instead of 6 weeks. It feels like I’ve been on the water for years. This is for many reasons but mainly due to the fact that on shore, you go to sleep, wake up, and then it’s already the next day.
April 11, 2015
I will start apologizing with almost everyone who is reading this blog, but tonight I am too tired to write in English. Y para los que entienden espanol, me disculpo porque las siguientes lineas no tendran tildes ni tampoco enes; podran tambien carecer de coherencia debido al mismo motivo. Hoy hace 17 dias nos embarcamos en el Robert C. Seamans con el firme proposito de recorrer mas de 3000 millas nauticas para llegar a la Polinesia Francesa.
April 10, 2015
During the shore component, our little group of 24 quickly became a close-knit community. We were advised to avoid cliques and strive to include everyone, and we took that advice to heart. When we arrived onboard, I expected the close quarters to put a strain on our group dynamics. Since we are only 135 feet away from each other at all times wouldn’t we get tired of each other? But as the weeks progress I’m finding the opposite becoming a problem.
April 09, 2015
Skye Moret, a SEA Semester visiting instructor of information design, former crew member and student program alumna, made headlines this week in the Boston Globe for her important work to communicate huge scientific datasets via information graphics—in this case, eye-opening SEA research on the magnitude of ocean plastics.