SEA Semester Undergraduates Explore Pacific Ocean off California

June 27, 2021
Members of SEA Semester Class S-299 aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans off San Diego.

For Immediate Release - Woods Hole, MA

The college students listed below recently arrived aboard the tall ship SSV Robert C. Seamans for an interdisciplinary scientific research voyage to study the rich and varied ecosystems off the coast of California.

Through an eight-week summer program called SEA Semester: Summer Session, the students will conduct research that includes observing whale and dolphin behavior though underwater soundscapes, studying chemical and physical oceanic processes, and sampling marine plastics debris in the near-coastal environments of California and further offshore within the Northern Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

The program began June 14th with an 11-day shore component held on the campus of the University of San Diego, where the students formed a COVID-free “bubble,” completed preparatory coursework and developed the research projects they will carry out at sea.

On Friday, June 25th, the class began a 43-day sailing voyage as active crewmembers and scientists aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, owned and operated by Sea Education Association. This 134-foot brigantine is the most sophisticated oceanographic research/sailing school vessel ever built in the United States. The research voyage begins and ends in San Diego, with no port stops.

Aboard the ship, the students become working members of the crew, steering by compass and by the stars, setting and striking sails, plotting the ship’s position using modern technology and traditional celestial navigation. Through their data collection and research projects, they will contribute to the ongoing research focused on human impact on marine ecosystems.

• Track the voyage through daily posts on the SEA Semester blog through August 6th.
• Download photos and access more information about SEA Semester through our online press kit.

About Sea Education Association/SEA Semester®
Sea Education Association (SEA) is an internationally recognized leader in undergraduate 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 Semester. SEA/SEA Semester 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.

Participating students
Payton Schlewitt, University of North Carolina, Wilmington
Rebecca Cox, Wellesley College
Haylie Schwarzenbach, Hawaii Pacific University
Nathan Miller, Franklin and Marshall College
Kelly Morgan, University of California, Berkeley
Jun Ru Anderson, Wellesley College
Sophia Garms, St. Mary's College of Maryland
Andrew Hoffman, Bates College
Kyla Perry, University of Vermont
Noah Rixom, Cornerstone Christian Academy
Christina Netta, New York University
Lexi Wagner, Roger Williams University
Emily Matthews, Washington and Lee University
Sarah Dettmer, St. John's College, NM
Ian Scott, Carleton College
Tadhg McKay, Boston University
Sam Fisher, Georgia Gwinnett College

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

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