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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: News


May 24, 2019

Grinnell College Student Experiences Natural Wonders, Natural Tragedy in New Zealand

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the NEWS
“Student Experiences Natural Wonders, National Tragedy in New Zealand”
by Phuc Huynh Le ’22
Grinnell College News

Standing watch on a 134-foot-long sailboat from 1 to 7 a.m., Isaac Ferber sighted what appeared to be a fast line of light traveling near the ocean surface off the coast of New Zealand.

“It was cloudy that night. I heard what sounded like something breathing in the water, which is somewhat alarming in the pitch dark,” Ferber says. After scanning the water, he spotted a dolphin maneuvering in such a way as to cause water-suspended bacteria to glow brightly due to fluorescence. He figured they were likely from the Vibrionaceae family of bacteria because he had learned about their fluorescent properties in his classes aboard ship.

Categories: News, • Topics: grinnell college  featured  study abroad • (0) CommentsPermalink

May 23, 2019

Exploring the Ocean’s Twilight Zone

Sharla Friend, Mary Noyes and Sarah Stover, University of San Diego, Whitman College, Wellesley College

SEA Semester

Student Researchers Investigate the Microbiome of the Sargasso Sea

In the high seas region of the Sargasso Sea, college researchers pluck samples from the ocean’s twilight zone to study how microbes might affect climate change. On March 30th, undergraduates of Sea Education Association’s Marine Biodiversity and Conservation Program (MBC) boarded the SSV Corwith Cramer, and sailed East from Key West, FL toward the Sargasso Sea, also known as the North Atlantic Gyre. Student researchers Sharla Friend, Mary Noyes and Sarah Stover investigated the microbial biodiversity of the Sargasso Sea’s deep and surface regions, specifically targeting the twilight zone; the region where the sun’s light begins to fade away, sampling communities from as deep as 650m which is about a half mile below the sea’s surface is nearly.

Categories: News,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: mbc  research • (0) CommentsPermalink

May 23, 2019

A Hitchhikers Guide to the Sargasso Sea

Jane Sheng, Will Sandke, Leah Martinez, University of Washington, Smith College, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

SEA Semester

Researchers study the isopod parasite infecting slender Sargassum shrimp

Known as the slender Sargassum shrimp, Latreutes fucorum plays a critical role in the Sargasso Sea ecosystem, but could a common parasite be a threat? Students of SEA’s Marine Biodiversity and Conservation program recently returned from a six-week voyage sailing north through the Atlantic aboard the tall ship ocean research vessel SSV Corwith Cramer.

Categories: News,Marine Biodiversity & Conservation, • Topics: mbc  featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

May 23, 2019

Steering by the Stars

Julien Ueda, Stanford

Beige sand sifts through my feet as I look up to see the many mounds of an expansive desert. Behind me, a pillar of burnt orange sandstone rises out of the dry air and dominates the horizon… “Julien, hey, Julien.” Confused I turn to hear, “it’s um 12:30 on the 13th and you have dawn watch in like 30 minutes.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans, • Topics: stanford@sea  life at sea • (0) CommentsPermalink

May 22, 2019

SEA to Host Ned Cabot Marine Biodiversity & Conservation Symposium

SEA Semester

This one-day symposium is the capstone experience for students from SEA Semester class C-285 Marine Biodiversity & Conservation. The event includes oral presentations of the students’ science, policy and conservation research to a panel of invited experts, and contributes directly to international effort to protect the Sargasso Sea.  Student presentations will be interspersed with related talks given by some of the invited participants. The public is invited to attend. Space is limited.


May 22, 2019

Student Researchers Dive Deep to Better Understand Sargassum and Its Impact on Coastal Communities

Alexandra Reilinger, Cecilia Howard, Gail Johnson, Vassar College, Johns Hopkins University, Oberlin College

SEA Semester

The seaweed appears as if out of nowhere, vast swaths suddenly blanketing the beaches of Caribbean islands, yet little is known about the many various forms of the Sargassum seaweed.  Student researchers set out to study the genetics of the pervasive weed, a critical building block of the ecologically rich Sargasso Sea, to better understand the role it plays in the dynamic ocean environment.


May 21, 2019

SEA PROFILE: Victoria Smith, Alumni Coordinator & Illustration Instructor

SEA Semester

As many mariners and naturalists do, SEA Semester students make sketches and keep journals. For members of the Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean program, illustration and journaling are part of the curriculum.  Leading the instruction this past winter with Class C-284 was Victoria Smith, SEA’s alumni coordinator, and an accomplished artist in her own right.

Categories: General, • Topics: sea profile • (0) CommentsPermalink

May 21, 2019

THE VIEW FROM ALOFT: Planning for Yard Periods

Jen Haddock, Port Captain

SEA Semester

Greetings from the marine department, where we’re constantly thinking about our ships. As I write this, spring is in the air and we’re gearing up for the arrival in Woods Hole of the SSV Corwith Cramer.

Categories: General, • Topics: None • (0) CommentsPermalink

May 19, 2019

The Best 6-Hour Watch

Alique Fisher, C Watch, Colgate University

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I will admit that when I heard we were to sail on the Corwith Cramer from NYC to Woods Hole at the beginning of our summer break, I was expecting blue skies, warm sun, and essentially beach weather. Yes, I packed a bathing suit.

Categories: Corwith Cramer, • Topics: colgate  c285a • (1) CommentsPermalink

May 17, 2019

Stanford@SEA: Report from the South Pacific

Barbara Block, Chief Scientist

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Spirits are high aboard the SSV Robert C Seamans as our Stanford@SEA students are now experienced sailors with over 4 days and nights at sea.  We are very close to Iles Maria, the first stop on our cruise track in the outer islands of French Polynesia.

Categories: Robert C. Seamans, • Topics: stanford@sea • (1) CommentsPermalink

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