Research at SEA Semester
Undergraduate research is a cornerstone of SEA Semester, with an emphasis on field-based study in the marine and social sciences. SEA faculty and staff are active in their respective fields through grant-funded research projects, participation in professional conferences, and publication in scholarly journals.
Faculty encourage SEA Semester students to contribute new aspects to ongoing research or to develop their own avenues of inquiry, as they guide students through the entire research process from defining the scope of study to final presentation of their work. Many students continue their research upon return to their home institutions, using the field data collected at SEA as the basis of capstone or senior thesis projects. Others remain involved in the research they contributed to during their time at SEA and are subsequently invited as co-authors on presentations and publications resulting from their work.
We invite you to explore the major avenues of research conducted by SEA Semester students and SEA faculty and staff.
Recent SEA Research in the News
Below are highlights from recent SEA research. To view all of our research-related news, click here.
Protection of the High Seas
April 25, 2021
Daviana Berkowitz-Sklar & Martha Stevens, Yale University & Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
The oceans are essential to our planet and our lives. They provide oxygen in the air we breathe, food for millions, a habitat for aquatic species, and magnificent beauty, as well as many other benefits to humankind.
Rocking and Rolling Around Florida
April 24, 2021
Ava Kiss, A-Watch, Cornell University
Slept through breakfast for a whopping 10 hours of sleep last night! Much needed after a night full of processing Neuston tow contents during lab Dawn Watch the morning before followed by a night watch shift on deck.
Partners in Research
April 27, 2020
Monica Bowman, Director of Stewardship
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.
Student Researchers Dive Deep to Better Understand Sargassum and Its Impact on Coastal Communities
May 22, 2019
Alexandra Reilinger, Cecilia Howard, Gail Johnson, Vassar College, Johns Hopkins University, Oberlin College
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.
The Ocean as Classroom
May 16, 2019
Doug Karlson, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.