SEA Currents: research at sea
April 27, 2020
Partners in Research
In addition to coordinating SEA’s assistant scientist team, SEA’s Science Program Coordinator Kimberly Reed Nutt oversees SEA’s oceanographic database and processes requests for use of data collected during SEA programs from interested students and collaborating research scientists. Over the past 50 years, SEA has sailed extensively in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and collected data on annually recurring cruise tracks, allowing us to investigate ocean questions over time.
May 22, 2019
Student Researchers Dive Deep to Better Understand Sargassum and Its Impact on Coastal Communities
The seaweed appears as if out of nowhere, vast swaths suddenly blanketing the beaches of Caribbean islands, yet little is known about the many various forms of the Sargassum seaweed. Student researchers set out to study the genetics of the pervasive weed, a critical building block of the ecologically rich Sargasso Sea, to better understand the role it plays in the dynamic ocean environment.
May 16, 2019
The Ocean as Classroom
An in-depth conversation with SEA Professor of Oceanography Jeff Schell on teaching at SEA, the health of coral reefs, and the mysteries of the Sargasso Sea
Professor of Oceanography Jeff Schell is the former director for SEA’s Colonization to Conservation in the Caribbean program and led the creation of SEA’s Reef Expedition programs. A graduate of College of the Holy Cross (BA), SUNY Stony Brook (MS) and University of Wisconsin at Madison (PhD), his areas of interest include the ecology of marine and freshwater habitats with a focus on distribution, diversity, and species composition of plankton communities, the ecology of pelagic Sargassum and its associated community, marine environmental history, interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, science illustration and storytelling.
May 01, 2019
Sample New York City’s Hidden Canyon
Although millions of people live less than a hundred miles away from it, very few people know about one of the largest canyons in the United States, Hudson Canyon. This amazing underwater landmark is located south east of New York City and is the largest marine canyon on the United Sates Atlantic Coast. It supports a large array of organisms and has been nominated to be a National Marine Sanctuary.
April 02, 2019
Sailing for Science!
What a whirlwind these past four days have been! We are in full swing now; Mama Cramer is under sail as we cruise past Eleuthera and into the open ocean. It is wonderful to see everyone becoming more familiar with her, getting the hang of very busy watch schedules and all the various tasks that must be performed to ensure that she is in true working ship shape.
February 11, 2019
SEA Semester voyage with NASA scientist featured in New York Times
SEA Semester in the NEWS
A Young Island on Earth May Reveal Clues to How Water Shaped Mars
By Niraj Chokshi
The New York Times
Four years ago, an underwater volcano erupted in the South Pacific, creating a new island. And NASA took notice.
February 08, 2019
SEA Semester / NASA research trip to Tonga reported by BBC
SEA Semester in the News
New Tonga island ‘now home to flowers and owls’
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.
February 04, 2019
Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai - A Science Perspective
(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.
February 01, 2019
Dolphins and Sunsets
Thursday began with students conducting a Science Super Station, including deploying a carousel in order to collect samples from throughout the water column, with the deepest from nearly a mile below the surface. As detailed in an afternoon class presentation by Angus from Middlebury, Dayana from Williams, and Charlotte from Wellesley, this information can be critical in understanding oceanographic processes, such as the way temperature and salinity change as the ocean becomes deeper and deeper, and in turn helps us trace the origin of such water.
January 31, 2019
NASA Scientists join SEA Semester Students on Research Mission
SEA Semester in the News
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.