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Sea Education Association | SEA Currents

SEA Currents: featured


Jan

07

New Study: Far More Floating Plastics in Ocean Than Thought

Kara Lavender Law, SEA Semester Research Professor of Oceanography
SEA Semester

Dr. Kara Lavender Law, a SEA Semester research professor of oceanography, co-authored a new study entitled, “A Global Inventory of Small Floating Plastic Debris,” published with international colleagues on December 8, 2015 in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Research Letters. This study finds larger quantities of tiny plastic bits floating in the world’s oceans than previously estimated. But even this amount accounts for only 1% of plastic that likely enters the ocean annually, and scientists are still working to understand where the rest of it ends up.

The majority of data for this study came from plastic samples collected and analyzed during decades of SEA Semester voyages. Here, Kara discusses what these findings mean for future scientific research directions and anyone trying to make sense of the massive amounts of plastic entering the world’s oceans every year.

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Dec

10

New Study: Microbes on Marine Plastic Debris Differ by Ocean

Anne Broache, communications@sea.edu
SEA Semester

Microplastics—tiny fragments less than 5 millimeters in size—are now the most abundant form of ocean debris, prompting growing concerns from the public about the array of potential impacts on marine ecosystems. For SEA Semester faculty and students, one key line of research is better understanding the “Plastisphere,” the communities that colonize and thrive on these floating plastic islands.

A newly published scientific paper co-authored by SEA Semester Professor of Oceanography Dr. Erik Zettler reports an important finding: The make-up of the Plastisphere microbial communities appears to differ significantly on a global ocean basis. Notably, their analysis revealed genetic “signatures” that distinguish microbial communities found on plastic floating in Atlantic Ocean gyre environments from those found in the Pacific Ocean.

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Nov

18

SEA Research Offers New Insight on Caribbean Seaweed Invasion

Anne Broache, communications@sea.edu
SEA Semester

Massive quantities of Sargassum, a distinctive brown seaweed, have flooded Caribbean shores in recent years, setting off local concerns about economic impacts on fishing and tourism. The country of Trinidad has even declared these so-called inundation events to be a natural disaster. But little is understood about the ecological implications of Sargassum invasions or how they should be managed. New research published by Sea Education Association provides first-hand observations in support of these questions.

Categories: News,Corwith Cramer, • Topic: featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

Nov

10

LSU Student Spotlighted for Oceans & Climate Voyage

SEA Semester

SEA Semester® in the News:
“LSU Geology Student Sets Sail to Investigate Global Climate Change”
LSU News | Nov. 10, 2015

BATON ROUGE – LSU Department of Geology student Jennifer Kenyon (’16) will set sail on an oceanographic research vessel across the Atlantic Ocean to investigate one of today’s foremost scientific challenges: global climate change. As part of a selective 12-week study abroad program, Kenyon and her classmates in the SEA Semester: Oceans & Climate program, will become working crew members of an 134-foot research vessel, the SSV Corwith Cramer and will use advanced oceanographic instruments to research diverse marine ecosystems as they sail from the Canary Islands to St. Croix from Nov. 14 to Dec. 23.

Read the full story.

Categories: News,Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topic: featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

Oct

15

Roger Williams Highlights Student’s Fall Transatlantic Voyage

SEA Semester

SEA Semester® in the News:
“Hawk on the High Seas: Emma Wightman ’17 to Sail Across the Atlantic with SEA Semester”
Roger Williams University | Oct. 15, 2015

This fall, Roger Williams University environmental studies major and Livingston, N.J., native Emma Wightman ’17 is joining a distinguished class of upper-level science undergraduates who will sail an oceanographic research vessel across the world’s second-largest ocean to investigate one of the foremost scientific challenges of their generation: global climate change.

Read the full story.

Categories: News,Corwith Cramer,Oceans & Climate, • Topic: featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

Oct

13

Wellesley Features SEA Semester students & alumnae

SEA Semester

SEA Semester® in the News:
“Through Study Abroad, Wellesley Students Conduct Marine Research in the Atlantic Ocean”
Wellesley College | Oct. 13, 2015

About 45 percent of Wellesley juniors choose to study abroad for a semester or a year, according to the Office of International Study. Though most students choose programs that allow them “to perfect a foreign language, conduct field research, or to gain a new perspective on their major” on dry land, others choose to pursue an adventure that’s a little less landlocked.

Read the full story.

Categories: News,Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topic: featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sep

30

Furman Focuses on Student’s Summer Hawaiian Voyage

SEA Semester

SEA Semester® in the News:
“Aloha ‘Aina: for the love of the land”
by Erika Haavie, Furman University | Sept. 30, 2015

While she spent part of her summer sailing through Hawaii, Kelsey Orr ’17 wasn’t on a leisure trip. Her 12-hour days as a student and rookie sailor were often spent cleaning, line hauling, and collecting water samples aboard a 134-foot-long sailing ship for her team’s research project.

Read the full story.

Sep

16

Global Ocean Europe Student Spotlighted by Stonehill College

SEA Semester

SEA Semester® in the News:
“Setting Sail: Oscar Tsao ’17 to Spend Semester At Sea”
Stonehill College | Sept. 16, 2015

At the end of the month, Stonehill’s Oscar Tsao ’17 will embark on a sailing adventure to Spain and Portugal through the highly competitive Sea Education Association (SEA) Semester Study Abroad Program. One of 14 students selected for SEA’s “Global Ocean” voyage, Tsao will be investigating the human impacts on the ocean throughout his six week’s at sea on the SSV Corwith Cramer, a state-of-the-art 134 brigantine.

As an international business major, the decision to take part in a program focused on environmental issues may seem unorthodox but to Tsao, that was exactly the point.

Read the full story.

Categories: News,Corwith Cramer,The Global Ocean: Europe, • Topic: featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sep

02

George Washington Features Transatlantic Crossing Student

SEA Semester

SEA Semester® in the News:
“GW Student Learns to Lead on the High Seas”
by Brittany Dunkins, George Washington University | Sept. 2, 2015

This summer, while George Washington University student Joseph Sitzmann’s classmates were toiling in cubicles in Midtown Manhattan and downtown D.C., Mr. Sitzmann was more than 60 feet above the Atlantic Ocean clinging to the mast of a 134-foot sailboat bound for Ireland.

He had been working up to the feat for nearly five weeks as a crewmember and student in the SEA Semester program, an academic summer excursion designed to teach students leadership skills through a trans-Atlantic voyage on a working sailboat.

Read the full story.

Categories: News,Corwith Cramer,Transatlantic Crossing, • Topic: featured • (0) CommentsPermalink

Aug

31

Stony Brook University Chronicles Student’s Transatlantic Crossing

C-260 class and crew

SEA Semester® in the News:
“Sarah McTague ’18 Joined a Club, Made a Journey”
by Glenn Jochum, Stony Brook University | Aug. 31, 2015

Joining one of the more than 400 student clubs or organizations at Stony Brook can lead to unexpected journeys. For Sarah McTague ’18, membership in the marine science club sent her all the way across the ocean.

Through the club, the Averill Park, New York, marine science major heard about a Sea Education Association program called SEA Semester, which gave her the opportunity to earn four college credits while making a 3,300-nautical-mile transatlantic crossing in a research vessel – all the way from Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to Cork, Ireland.

Read the full story.

Categories: News,Corwith Cramer,Transatlantic Crossing, • Topic: featured • (0) CommentsPermalink
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