SEA Currents: News
February 20, 2020
PRESS RELEASE: SEA Semester Students Set Sail in New Zealand
WOODS HOLE, MASS. — 25 undergraduates from a variety of U.S. colleges and universities recently arrived aboard the research vessel SSV Robert C. Seamans to continue their Winter/Spring 2020 SEA Semester program sailing through the waters of New Zealand. Their goal is to study one of the most pressing issues of the 21st century: human impacts on the environment.
The students, whose majors range from literature to marine biology, are enrolled in SEA Semester: The Global Ocean, a study abroad program offered by Sea Education Association (SEA). To better understand New Zealand’s changing marine environment, the program offers a multidisciplinary, place-based examination through the lenses of natural science, policy, history, and culture.
The semester began in early January with six weeks of preparatory coursework on shore at SEA Semester’s campus in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. On February 14, the students arrived aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, SEA’s state-of-the-art 134-foot brigantine, in Auckland, New Zealand to begin a six-week coastal and blue water voyage ending March 23 in Christchurch.
As an island nation, the health of New Zealand’s ocean, land, and people are inextricably connected. New Zealand has made a national commitment to sustainable management of its marine resources, but its innovative policies and conservation efforts at times compete with economic goals. Through planned port stops including Russell, Wellington, and Dunedin, the students will attempt to understand how centuries of seaborne commerce, fishing, and land development have influenced the natural environment of these coastal zones and offshore waters.
Individual research projects are an integral component of a SEA Semester voyage. Past Global Ocean research projects range from “The Spatial Distribution of Micro- and Macroplastics in New Zealand Waters,” to “Maori Cultures in New Zealand Ports: Imperial Reign and Succession of Traditions.”
Like all SEA Semester programs, The Global Ocean also focuses on leadership and teamwork skills in a dynamic environment. During their voyage, the SSV Robert C. Seamans will serve as home, classroom, and laboratory. On board, students will become full working members of the ship’s crew, sharing responsibilities for standing watch, processing oceanographic samples, navigating by the stars, and participating in round-the-clock operations under the guidance of professional mariners and oceanographers.
- Track the students’ six-week voyage on the SEA Semester blog through March 23.
- The Global Ocean: New Zealand will next be offered in Spring 2021.
- Download photos and access more information about SEA Semester through our online press kit.
About Sea Education Association/SEA Semester®
Sea Education Association (SEA) is an internationally recognized leader in undergraduate ocean education. For nearly 50 years and with 1.3 million nautical miles sailed, SEA has educated students about the world’s oceans through its Boston University accredited study abroad program, SEA Semester. SEA/SEA Semester is based on Cape Cod in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts and owns two research vessels: the SSV Corwith Cramer, operating in the Atlantic Ocean, and the SSV Robert C. Seamans, operating in the Pacific. In 2016, SEA was honored with the National Science Board’s Public Service Award for its role in promoting the public understanding of science and engineering. Last year, the National Maritime Historical Society presented Sea Education Association with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education.
Lindsay Agvent, University of Rhode Island
Amelia Austin, Smith College
Juliette Bateman, Boston University
Ava-Rose Beech, Kenyon College
Lily Danna, Carleton College
Lilli Dwyer, University of Rhode Island
Ashby Gentry, Boston University
Tash Golden, Oregon State University
Devin Goldsmith, Muhlenberg College
Kendall Hanks, University of Virginia
Allison Klei, Franklin and Marshall College
Kaitlin Kornachuk, Stonehill College
Grace Leuchtenberger, Carleton College
Marija Miklavcic, University of Rochester
Gillian Murphey, DePaul University
Julian Murray-Brown, University of North Carolina Wilmington
Jackie O'Malley, Kenyon College
Amy Phung, Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering
Anna Roethler, Carleton College
Tom Rubino, Carleton College
Justin Sankey, Lawrence University
Leif Saveraid, Luther College
Ella Simon, Bennington College
Matthew Watowich, Carleton College
Annabel Weyhrich, University of Washington, Seattle