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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: c266


September 22, 2016

SEA Semester alumna’s marine biological research continues at Amherst

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News

We’re always interested to hear about the continuing research conducted by recent SEA Semester alumni, so we thought we’d share this report about Taylor Hallowell from The Amherst Student.  Taylor sailed with C-266, Marine Biodiversity and Conservation, last spring.

Thoughts on Theses: Taylor Hallowell ‘17
By Jacob Gendelman ‘20; Staff Writer, The Amherst Student

Taylor Hallowell ’17 majors in biology. Her thesis examines the sensory drive hypothesis in cichlid fish that express different retinal genes while living under different colors of light. Professor of Biology Ethan Clotfelter is her advisor.

Q: Can you describe your thesis?

A: The sensory drive hypothesis is essentially that there’s a difference in the environment, [which] leads to sensory divergences, like divergences in animals’ sensory systems. That leads to reproductive isolation, and that leads to speciation. There isn’t a ton of evidence for it right now, but there’s an increasing amount. People are starting to take more of an interest in it. I’m trying to get more data for it. I’m working with cichlid fish, which are really common fish to work with because they’re so easy to breed. I have hundreds of little babies already. I’m making them grow up in extreme light environments. A third of them are only getting red light, a third are only getting blue light, and a third are getting just white light. I’m trying to show that differences in light environment cause differences in the expression of the genes in the retina. That would contribute to the sensory drive hypothesis.

Read the full story.

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May 15, 2016

Anchor Watch

Valerie Falconieri, A Watch, SEA Semester Admissions Counselor

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Greetings from the Corwith Cramer! We are currently anchored off of Aquidneck Island on the Sakonnet River in Rhode Island. An anchor watch is currently in effect which means that the watch responsibilities we had at sea have changed to fit the needs of the ship. On anchor watch, we continue doing boat/safety checks in addition to taking bearings from objects on land and checking the ranges on the radar to make sure the boat is not dragging. We will be heading to Newport on Tuesday.

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May 13, 2016

Productive Slope Waters

Kathleen McKeegan, A Watch, Whitman College

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

I would just like to preface this blog post with a quick statement: I absolutely love being out at sea! Every day has been an adventure and the whole experience is incredibly rewarding. With that being said, there have definitely been moments, especially at 3 or 4 in the morning, when I’m half asleep and looking through a microscope, counting copepod after copepod after copepod, wondering why on earth I’m sitting in the dark lab and not fast asleep in my bunk. However, today made every dawn watch, every bruise, every policy paper completely worth it.

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May 12, 2016

Sargassum, Whales, and Adventures Aloft

Isabella Du Mond, Smith College

SEA Semester

Living on the Cramer has filled our lives with many exciting moments≈today specifically was full of amazing moments. My day started out with morning watch, where I shadowed the C watch mate, Rebecca Johnson. Initially, watch seemed to be moving along like most other morning watches on deck, we scrubbed the deck, wrote out the weather, and did boat checks, while the lab persons did science. However, our morning policy class was interrupted by something we have been lacking: clumps of Sargassum!

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May 11, 2016

FISH

Kat Running, B Watch, American University

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Today when I first went up on deck for watch (0650), I knew something was different. By 0900 I had figured it out. The water was grey, not the brilliant blue we were all used to. Of course, I questioned myself and had to ask my mate, Scott, if the water was a different color. He kind of rolled his eyes at me saying “yes…” as if it should have been obvious. I replied that I didn’t like it and he laughed. We had entered the Gulf Steam overnight! I was a little sad I missed it.

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May 10, 2016

Entre Mares e Marés

Pedro Silva, A Watch, University of the Azores

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Hi everyone, here is the Portuguese guy speaking/talking/righting to you. The swells keep on rocking and rolling the ship from side to side and leaving their mark on the crew…either by rocking them to sleep (I’m not saying that that is my case!...although it might be…) or simply by throwing stuff from side to side and making progress on science and navigational work slower. Sea-sickness seems to have disappeared from the crew, everyone is doing way better!

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May 09, 2016

When the swells aren’t so swell

Taylor Hallowell, C-Watch, Amherst College

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

09 May 16, 10:27- Someone told me I look tan. (This is not common occurrence, as I am typically either extremely pale or have a peeling sun burn.)

The westerly winds we have begun to encounter have continued to make for some of our best sailing. For a few hours this morning we were traveling at about 7 knots, a relatively high speed for us thus far. The large swells from yesterday have carried over into today, with some as high as 12 feet.

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May 08, 2016

Farewell Bermuda

Robin Petersen-Rockney, B-Watch, Oberlin College

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Well, the storm passed and we are under way. It was fairly clear and sunny this morning when we woke up and we made our final preparations for leaving the Isle of Bermuda. This involved waking up early and getting back into our normal watch schedule. We pulled up dock lines, took off sail ties, and prepped the boat to get underway. It almost went off without a hitch, but the anchor we had set out to keep us off the dock during the previous days’ wind and rain had dug deep and required quite a bit of hauling and maneuvering of the boat to pull up.

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May 07, 2016

Getting ready to head back to sea

Agathe Wallin, C-Watch, Bowdoin College

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

Today marked our last day in Bermuda. We were supposed to leave this morning. However, due to windy conditions, we had to delay our departure to tomorrow. Before leaving, we had one more field day, wherein we gave the Cramer an intense wash. So, as the winds blew and the waves rolled, we cleaned every corner of the ship. For some reason, these were the dirtiest they’d ever been. Perhaps, we’ve mastered the art of cleaning and become experts at finding hidden dirt.

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May 06, 2016

Safe Harbor

Alex Duncan, B-Watch, Colorado College

Marine Biodiversity and Conservation

The weather today is glorious. We’re all happy to be safe and warm in St. George’s harbor! It’s a small jalapeño (a little chilly) outside. Small whitecaps lap at our boat and the dock, sending salt spray into the air. Winds steadily rip around the island of Bermuda and are periodically punctuated with awesome gusts (one such gust was 50 knots!). Rain has been both perpendicular and parallel to the ground.

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