SEA Class S-304.

On Pacific Voyage, SEA Students Address Critical Environmental Issue: Ocean Plastics

June 28, 2022

This summer, a select group of 21 college undergraduates are sailing on a blue water voyage aboard a tall ship ocean research vessel. The students will gather data that contributes to a deeper understanding of a critical problem impacting our oceans: marine plastics pollution. The voyage began in Honolulu, Hawaii on June 25th and ends in San Diego, California on July 24th.

The students are enrolled in a new Sea Education Association (SEA) summer program called “Ocean Exploration: Plastics Expedition.” After a very competitive application process, on June 13th, students arrived at the SEA campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, on Cape Cod, for 11 days of preparatory coursework before traveling to Honolulu where they boarded the SSV Robert C. Seamans, SEA’s state-of-the-art tall ship and ocean research vessel.

The ship will serve as the students’ home, classroom, and laboratory for four weeks as they sail across the Pacific to San Diego. This voyage traverses key portions of the North Pacific Gyre, known for its accumulations of marine plastics and debris. Because of this unique cruise track, students will gain first-hand experience with marine plastics research and sampling techniques. Students conduct their own guided research projects and receive college credit through SEA’s accrediting institution, Boston University.

All students are working members of the ship’s crew, sharing responsibility for standing watch, processing oceanographic samples, navigating by the stars, and participating in round-the-clock operations. Perhaps most importantly, students learn to challenge themselves and cultivate new skills in leadership, teamwork, and field research.

  • Track the voyage on the SEA Currents blog through July 24th.
  • Download photos and access more information about SEA through our online press kit.

About Sea Education Association (SEA)
Sea Education Association (SEA) is an internationally recognized leader in undergraduate, gap year, and high school ocean education. For 50 years and more than one million nautical miles sailed, SEA has educated students about the world’s oceans through its Boston University accredited study abroad program. SEA is based on Cape Cod in the oceanographic research community of Woods Hole, Massachusetts and has two research vessels: the SSV Corwith Cramer, operating in the Atlantic Ocean, and the SSV Robert C. Seamans, operating in the Pacific. In 2016, SEA was honored with the National Science Board’s Public Service Award for its role in promoting the public understanding of science and engineering. In 2018, the National Maritime Historical Society presented Sea Education Association with the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Maritime Education.

Contact: Douglas Karlson, Director of Communications | 508-444-1918 | |

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