Using the same portable next generation sequencing platform employed on the International Space Station and in both the Arctic and Antarctic wilderness, students enrolled in SEA’s Marine Biodiversity & Conservation Program learn how to use modern molecular tools to ask and answer ecological and conservation questions as they sail from New Zealand to Tahiti.
Traversing a range of bioregions, including temperate, blue water, and tropical, students will collect zooplankton specimens from the mesopelagic (the Ocean Twilight Zone), and conduct group research projects addressing population genomics and biodiversity. Students will examine how these ecosystems are responding to climate change, and gain an understanding of how such research informs conservation policy.
The MBC program along this cruise track is planned as a long-term and much needed data set that can help shape conservation in the Pacific.
The program ends in Tahiti with a two-week second shore component and student-led symposium with local stakeholders, scientists, and conservationists.
The Marine Biodiversity & Conservation program is geared toward students interested in in ocean science as a career, as well as those interested in marine ecology and conservation, molecular biology, or environmental marine policy.
Prerequisites are one introductory science course and one 200-level science lab.