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SEA Currents Blog

SEA Currents: hthh


February 08, 2019

SEA Semester / NASA research trip to Tonga reported by BBC

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News
New Tonga island ‘now home to flowers and owls’
BBC News

Scientists have found signs of life on one of the world’s newest islands, just four years after it was spawned by a volcanic eruption.

Unofficially known as Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, it lies in the kingdom of Tonga, and is already nurturing pink flowering plants, sooty tern birds, and even barn owls.

Tonga is made up of over 170 islands in the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia.

A team from the Sea Education Association and Nasa visited the small land mass in October, having previously kept watch through satellite imaging.

Read the full story.

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February 04, 2019

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai - A Science Perspective

Rachel Scudder, Chief Scientist

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(The following blog post first appeared in October, 2018, and is being reposted due to public interest. See also two student blog posts from Oct. 8 and Oct. 9 about the SSV Robert C. Seaman’s visit to this new island.)

Greetings from the Robert C. Seamans in the middle of the South Pacific.

Over a number of days in the past week the students, faculty, and staff of SPICE 2018, Class S-282, have been extremely privileged to spend time on Hunga Tonga Hunga-Ha’apai (HTHH). The students have done an excellent job of summing up our time there so far, but what we have been doing here is as close to the original explorers of old as you get in the modern day, so here is everything we’ve done all in one place.

January 31, 2019

NASA Scientists join SEA Semester Students on Research Mission

SEA Semester

SEA Semester in the News
NASA Blogs
NASA Earth Expeditions
Land Ho! Visiting a Young Island
By Ellen Gray

Excitement was in the air when research scientist Dan Slayback of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, approached a small trio of islands in the South Pacific island nation of Tonga. It was October 8th, and Dan had joined the scientists and students with the Sea Education Association’s SEA Semester South Pacific cruise to visit a three-year-old island he’d only seen from space.