SEA Currents: research at sea
May 15, 2018
New Collaboration on Marine Debris
In partnership with the University of Georgia, SEA was awarded a grant from 11th Hour Racing. Working with the University of Georgia, SEA will support curriculum and in-port research activities around waste management and ocean plastic pollution in the next Sustainability in Polynesian Island Cultures & Ecosystems (SPICE) program.
January 29, 2018
Plastics Paper Gains Widespread Attention
Congratulations to Dr. Kara Lavender Law, SEA Research Professor of Oceanography, whose article, “Plastics in the Marine Environment,” was among the top ten downloaded articles out of 1,075 articles published in the scholarly journal, Annual Reviews, in 2017.
In the article, Dr. Law presents a comprehensive framework with which to evaluate the sources, distribution, and environmental impacts of plastic pollution in the ocean. The framework was a collaborative work of the Marine Debris Working Group of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, supported by Ocean Conservancy, of which Law was a co-Principal Investigator. The working group’s goal was to advance the scientific understanding of the problem in order to inform strategies to reduce or eliminate future contamination of the ocean by plastic debris.
For a limited time, the article may be accessed without a subscription here.
November 16, 2017
Building Bridges for Conservation
SEA Alum Meghan Jeans Brings Multidisciplinary Approach to SEA
As a biology major turned lawyer, Meghan Jeans (W-144) has been working across disciplines, geographies and issues areas to build bridges throughout her career. She brings that approach to SEA this fall as a visiting faculty member for Class C-276, Caribbean Reef Expedition.
According to Meghan, a multi-disciplinary approach is critical to both solving problems and preparing students for the real world. She says it’s an approach that’s been critical in her own work. “I use my science training to inform and inspire the implementation of market-based and policy solutions to marine conservation challenges.” Whether stimulating public-private partnerships in support of conservation, building capacity within communities to manage resources sustainably, collaborating with researchers and resource managers to translate science into action, or working with decision makers to enact meaningful policy reforms, her multidisciplinary background has proven to be an asset.
July 19, 2017
SEA Professor Co-authors Analysis of All Plastics Made
In order to help guide strategies to confront the problem of plastics pollution, scientists today published the first-ever global analysis of all the plastics made since widespread production began in the 1950s.
The study, published by Science Advances, traces worldwide plastics production, use and what we do with plastic after we’re done with it.
“Production, use, and fate of all plastics ever made” was co-authored by Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography at Sea Education Association, Dr. Jenna Jambeck , University of Georgia, and Dr. Roland Geyer, University of California, Santa Barbara.
November 28, 2016
SEA alumni present Sargassum findings at Gulf & Caribbean Fisheries Institute conference
Recent SEA graduates Maddie Taylor (C-264) and Corey Wrinn (C-257), and former SEA Associate Professor (and SEA alumna, C-142) Dr. Amy Siuda (now at Eckerd College) attended a meeting of the Gulf and Caribbean Fisheries Institute (GCFI) in Grand Cayman earlier this month to present the results of their research related to drifting Sargassum.
The GCFI is a forum that brings together scientific, government, and commercial stakeholders to share scientific findings to better understand and manage the marine ecosystem of the Caribbean and Gulf region.
September 07, 2016
SEA Semester Faculty Report on Sargassum Beaching Phenomenon
SEA Semester in the News
Sargassum Watch Warns of Incoming Seaweed
SEA Semester professors Deborah Goodwin, Jeffrey Schell and Amy Siuda contributed to this Eos article on efforts to track Sargassum - including by satellite and from the deck of the SSV Corwith Cramer - to better understand and mitigate the recent phenomenon of Sargassum beaching events.
August 16, 2016
SEA Semester students find signs of hope in remote Phoenix Islands
We like to say SEA Semester students adventure with a purpose. Nowhere is that more true than on our recent expedition aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans to the rarely visited Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), in the island nation of Kiribati.
SEA Semester students, crew and scientists, led by SEA Professor of Oceanography Dr. Jan Witting, together with researchers from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the New England Aquarium, sailed 1,600 miles across the Equatorial Pacific from Honolulu to reach the remote archipelago, one of the last coral wildernesses in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
July 14, 2016
SEA, New England Aquarium collaborate to study Phoenix Islands
Scientists from the New England Aquarium are currently on board the SSV Robert C. Seamans as she approaches the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) with SEA Semester class S-268. Our students and scientists, together with New England Aquarium scientists, will help gather data to help protect this amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site – one of the world’s last remaining coral wildernesses. Dr. Randi Rotjan, Associate Research Scientist at the New England Aquarium, Chief Scientist of the PIPA Conservation Trust and Co-Chair of the PIPA Scientific Advisory Committee, recently sent SEA President Peg Brandon the following letter, which summarizes our unique collaboration and explains why it’s so important….
May 26, 2016
Video: 2016 National Science Board Public Service Award Recipient
To help spread the word about Sea Educations Association’s National Science Board Public Service Award, presented in Washington on May 5th, the National Science Foundation produced this stunning video.
April 27, 2016
Marine Plastics Study Gets Noticed by Environmental Journal
It’s been well reported in this blog and elsewhere: vast quantities of plastic and microplastic debris (pieces smaller than 5 mm) have been observed and sampled in oceans around the world. But accurately measuring it, on a global scale, is still a major challenge.
SEA’s Dr. Kara Lavender Law, Research Professor of Oceanography, is doing just that. Working with colleagues at other institutions, she’s employing a rigorous statistical approach to standardize a global dataset and thus better estimate the size and scope of the problem – and gauge the danger it poses to marine life.