C-285 students are all aboard and ready to depart for the high seas! The full ship's company have spent the past day and a half preparing for the voyage, orienting themselves to safety, lab operations, sailing, and life aboard their new 134-ft drifting home away from home. We'll set sail tomorrow on our voyage through the Sargasso Sea from Key West, FL, to Bermuda, to New York City.
Over the past three weeks on shore in Woods Hole, students have designed research projects to examine the unique biodiversity of the North Atlantic gyre, the ocean's mesopelagic, and floating Sargassum habitat; these projects explore biological diversity on a variety of scales, from morphological to molecular, communities to populations. Students have simultaneously investigated issues related to conservation and policy on the high seas, with particular focus on the Sargasso Sea and mesopelagic (100-1000m, also known as the 'twilight zone').
On shore, and during port stops, students will interact with guest speakers and stakeholders as they explore the methods and challenges of biodiversity research and conservation in remote ocean environments. Following our sail, the MBC program will culminate in a final Symposium, convening experts in the fields of marine science, policy, and conservation to discuss the role of 'ocean literacy' as a precursor to the conservation of marine biodiversity in remote regions.
For now, we turn our focus to the ship, the SSV Corwith Cramer, our platform for learning, oceanography, sailing, and living for the next five weeks as we sail into the remote ocean region of the Sargasso Sea! Please follow along with us on our journey!