SEA Currents: News
August 23, 2016
This past week SEA President Peg Brandon joined 114 other ocean leaders in sending a letter to campaign representatives for Secretary Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump seeking clarification on what they will do if elected President to protect our public seas, ocean economy and maritime security (see letter that follows). The aim is to get a response by early September on how the next President will act on key coastal and ocean issues. These include the fight against illegal pirate fishing, establishment of marine protected areas – like National Parks in the sea - and coastal adaptation to sea level rise and other climate challenges.
The letter also calls for appropriate levels of funding for frontline agencies involved in exploration, conservation and maritime law-enforcement including the U.S. Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
The Ocean leaders who’ve signed this letter include CEOs of seafood and other businesses, directors of major science labs, aquariums and diver organizations, well known ocean explorers, authors, artists, marine conservationists, members of Congress and former heads of EPA and NOAA.
August 18, 2016
SEA Semester in the News
In summer at sea, adventurous student continues a personal academic journey
By David Orenstein
PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Peter Baek traces his inspiration as a scientist, pre-med student and explorer to a beloved movie.
“Ever since watching ‘Finding Nemo’ with my grandpa and dad, our love for fish and the ocean blossomed as every shelf around the house became occupied with aquariums,” said Baek, a rising sophomore at Brown University. “My fascination with fish ultimately led to my interest in science as I continued to get deeper into the water chemistry and biology of fish keeping. The passing of my grandpa from laryngeal cancer, however, transformed my interest of science to something deeper — the desire to pursue a career in oncology in dedication to my grandpa.”
August 16, 2016
We like to say SEA Semester students adventure with a purpose. Nowhere is that more true than on our recent expedition aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans to the rarely visited Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), in the island nation of Kiribati.
SEA Semester students, crew and scientists, led by SEA Professor of Oceanography Dr. Jan Witting, together with researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New England Aquarium, sailed 1,600 miles across the Equatorial Pacific from Honolulu to reach the remote archipelago, one of the last coral wildernesses in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
August 01, 2016
Dr. Richard Cost succeeds Dr. Susan Humphris as Chair of the SEA Board of Trustees
After five years as Board Chair of Sea Education Association, Dr. Susan Humphris passed the gavel to Dr. Richard Cost at the SEA Annual Meeting, held Monday, June 13th at the SEA campus in Woods Hole.
Dr. Humphris, a Senior Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was elected Chair in 2011, having served as an overseer since 1999 and as a trustee since 2003. She is also a former Dean (1986-1992) and was a scientist at SEA from 1979-1986.
During a period of significant growth, Dr. Humphris oversaw many organizational changes, including the selection of its first alumna president, Peg Brandon.
July 22, 2016
Researchers have struck oil at SEA’s Woods Hole campus; well, not exactly oil, but tar.
Thousands of samples of floating tarballs have been collected in surface tows on SEA Semester cruises over a period of more than 30 years and have been carefully stored away in small glass jars, unstudied. Until now.
July 14, 2016
Scientists from the New England Aquarium are currently on board the SSV Robert C. Seamans as she approaches the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) with SEA Semester class S-268. Our students and scientists, together with New England Aquarium scientists, will help gather data to help protect this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site – one of the world’s last remaining coral wildernesses. Dr. Randi Rotjan, Associate Research Scientist at the New England Aquarium, Chief Scientist of the PIPA Conservation Trust and Co-Chair of the PIPA Scientific Advisory Committee, recently sent SEA President Peg Brandon the following letter, which summarizes our unique collaboration and explains why it’s so important….
June 16, 2016
SEA Semester in the News
SEA Semester: students set sail to Ireland
By Sasha Nyary
This June, two Mount Holyoke College students joined 13 other undergraduates on a transatlantic voyage aboard the SEA Semester tall ship, SSV Corwith Cramer, a 134-foot brigantine. Molly Lapointe ’17 is a French major, and Kate Armstrong ’19 intends to major in environmental studies.
The ship departed Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on June 3 and will arrive in Cork, Ireland, on June 30. During the crossing, Lapointe and Armstrong are conducting oceanographic research, honing their sailing skills, and cultivating leadership and management skills, all for academic credit.
June 09, 2016
SEA Semester in the News:
Three ways the Northeastern community is addressing ocean plastics pollution
By Greg St. Martin
World Oceans Day is Wednesday, and events held around the world will celebrate the planet’s oceans and raise awareness of the ways society can honor, protect, and conserve them. This year’s theme of “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet” is meant to promote the prevention of marine plastic pollution.
Students, faculty, and staff at Northeastern are engaged in numerous research projects across many disciplines and other efforts around climate change, marine science, and urban coastal sustainability—particularly through the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Massachusetts. Here are three ways members of the Northeastern community are already focused on ocean plastic pollution.
May 27, 2016
We love to hear updates from SEA Semester alumni and former shipmates. Their continuing adventures and achievements never fail to impress us, as evidenced by Darcy Cogswell (C-260).
Last week, Darcy graduated summa cum laude from Trinity College with a degree in classical studies. Darcy was the class of 2016 salutatorian, and her twin sister, Jami, was valedictorian!
April 27, 2016
It’s been well reported in this blog and elsewhere: vast quantities of plastic and microplastic debris (pieces smaller than 5 mm) have been observed and sampled in oceans around the world. But accurately measuring it, on a global scale, is still a major challenge.
SEA’s Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography, is doing just that. Working with colleagues at other institutions, she’s employing a rigorous statistical approach to standardize a global dataset and thus better estimate the size and scope of the problem – and gauge the danger it poses to marine life.