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New Zealand Fall Study Abroad

SEA Semester: The Global Ocean

Humans are tied to the ocean... No matter your major, if you’ve always wanted to know more about the ocean, this is the SEA Semester for you. Customize your experience by selecting the electives that best suit your interests, and explore through this diverse place-based curriculum. Sail in the waters of New Zealand to learn about this nation's unique relationship with its ocean environment.

Overview: Fall 2018 | New Zealand

Voyage Map

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Application Deadline: Rolling Admissions

What?

In this semester at sea study abroad program, students will explore the unique environmental and complex cultural influences that have shaped these islands. They will also visit marine and coastal protected areas and various ports of call to examine the relationship between different cultural groups and the ocean environment that surrounds them.

Where?

Cruise Track: Auckland, New Zealand » Auckland, New Zealand
Destinations: Auckland › Russell › Napier › Auckland
Port stops subject to change.

When?

September 24 - December 20, 2018

Sept. 24 - Nov. 2: On shore in Woods Hole
Nov. 11 - Dec. 20: At sea

Program Highlights

  • Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • Explore relationships between people and their ocean/coastal environment
  • Choose electives to tailor coursework
  • Engage in a place-based curriculum

Who Should Apply?

This semester welcomes students from all majors. Elective credit allows students to choose a program track that best meets their academic needs.

Program Description

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Human actions have caused measurable changes in the global ocean. The rate at which resources are being extracted and pollutants are being added is significantly impacting human health, global economic systems, and local cultural practices – and threatens to further degrade the world’s oceans. Many coastal communities are already struggling to cope with sea level rise, depleted fisheries, loss of habitat, and increased catastrophic storm effects. To understand how such changes occur we need to look not only at how natural systems work, but also at the histories, cultures, and policies of people who live on coasts and islands in different regions. This requires a place-based, multi-disciplinary approach, drawing from the humanities, sciences, social sciences and arts.

New Zealand, called Aotearoa by the Maori, is our laboratory. As an island nation, the health of its ocean, land, and people are inextricably tied. With jurisdiction over a huge area of ocean and one of the largest Exclusive Economic Zones in the world, New Zealand’s marine ecosystems range from sub-tropical to sub-Antarctic, deep trenches to shallow banks, and coastal mangrove forests to coral reefs. In 1993, New Zealand’s Tongariro National Park became the first UNESCO World Heritage cultural landscape site, acknowledging the spiritual links between the Maori community and their natural environment. Having made a national commitment to sustainable management of such resources, New Zealand’s innovative policy and conservation efforts at times compete with its desire for economic prosperity.

Gain a unique perspective on one of the most pressing environmental issues of the twenty-first century - human impact on the environment - through interactions with diverse communities in ports of call and hands-on research from the platform of a sailing research vessel during this investigative semester at sea.

Course Descriptions & Syllabi

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Academic Credit

SEA Semester: The Global Ocean carries 17-18 semester hour credits from Boston University for successful completion of the program.

Required Core Courses

Leadership in a Dynamic Environment (300-level, 3 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Be an effective leader while leveraging the individual strengths of a team. Use leadership theory and case studies to understand how decisions affect outcomes. Participate as an active member of a ship’s crew, progressively assuming full leadership roles.

Maritime History & Culture (300-level, 4 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Explore impacts of European maritime ventures on the societies they contacted in the Atlantic or Pacific, with focus on the resulting social, political, economic, and cultural changes. Investigate responses documented in the post-Colonial literature of indigenous people.

The Ocean & Global Change (300-level, 4 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Ocean ecosystem change in the anthropocene: warming, acidification, fisheries depletion, and pollution. Review principles of circulation, seawater chemistry, nutrient dynamics, and biological production to understand causes and consequences of change. Conduct field measurements for contribution to time-series datasets.

Electives (Choose Two)

Cultural Landscapes & Seascapes: A Sense of Place (300-level, 3 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Field-intensive analysis and documentation of dynamic relationships between nature and culture in specific coastal, island, and ocean places. Apply cultural landscape and related interdisciplinary bio-cultural approaches to place-based environmental studies.

Data Communication & Visualization (300-level, 3 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Information visualization strategies and associated software, emphasizing communication to diverse audiences. Select between geospatial (GIS) and qualitative data foci. Develop graphics and/or multimedia products supporting research projects in concurrent courses. Compile iterative digital portfolio.

Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management (300-level, 3 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Comparative and issue-driven introduction to managing human uses and conserving coastal and ocean places and resources.  Explore concepts of technology, governance, sector and ecosystem management, and marine protected areas through expert content lectures, topical seminars, and field trips.

Your Choice of Research Courses:

Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or consent of instructor.
Design and conduct original oceanographic research. Collect data and analyze samples. Compile results in peer-reviewed manuscript format and share during oral or poster presentation session. Emphasis on development of research skills and written/oral communication abilities.

-- OR --

Practical Oceanographic Research (200-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
Introduction to oceanographic research. Design a collaborative, hypothesis-driven project following the scientific process. Collect original data. Conduct analysis and interpretation, then prepare a written report and oral presentation.

Syllabi

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How to Apply

  1. Complete an application form
    Apply online. (Note: the application fee is waived for students from affiliated institutions. Contact your Admissions Counselor for the code!)
  2. Submit two writing samples (500-750 words each)

    List your full name on each. Submit via email to admission@sea.edu or fax to 800-977-8516.

    1. Two-part essay (500-750 words): Why have you chosen to apply to SEA Semester and what do you expect to gain from your experience? How will the SEA Semester program to which you're applying (The Global Ocean, Oceans & Climate, etc.) complement your education? Be sure to address both questions.
    2. Academic writing sample of your own choosing (2-4 page excerpt if longer than 4 pages). This should be a reflection of your best written work from a recent course, and on a topic applicable to your SEA Semester program of interest (science, history, environmental studies, literature, etc.). Please include your name and the context of the sample (course title and brief description of the assignment). Poetry or college entrance essays may be submitted only as a secondary sample.
  3. Request and submit transcripts
    Official college transcripts are required for all applicants. E-transcripts must be emailed to admission@sea.edu. Hard copies must remain sealed and be sent directly from your institution to:

         SEA Office of Admissions
         P.O. Box 6
         Woods Hole, MA 02543

    High school transcripts are required for students who have not yet completed two years of college. They may be unofficial and submitted via email to admission@sea.edu or by fax to 800-977-8516.
  4. Submit two (2) undergraduate academic references
    Both should be from undergraduate level instructors; at least one should be from an instructor (i.e. professor, academic advisor) who has taught you within the past year. We also welcome additional references (i.e. coach, academic, personal, etc.). The online application will provide a link to email the reference form to your professors directly. If you require a PDF version, please click here.
  5. Schedule an interview with your Admissions Counselor
    Interviews may be conducted over the phone or in person, depending on the Counselor’s schedule. Topics of conversation may include life at your college/university, academic and extracurricular interests, transition from high school to college, your expectations for life at SEA, and how you learned about our program. The interview is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions about SEA.
  6. Submit the Student Participation Approval Form to the appropriate authority (study abroad office or academic advisor) on your campus
    This form is accessible through our online system and ensures that you go through the appropriate channels at your school for off-campus study approval (if applicable) and credit transfer. If you're not sure who to contact on your campus, ask your SEA Admissions Counselor.

​Apply for a Passport: Please note that all SEA Semester students must have a valid passport - NOT a Passport Card - before joining the program.

Apply for Financial Aid: If you plan to apply for need-based financial aid, download a financial aid application (pdf) and submit it with your application for admission.