SEA Education Association (SEA) offers college students a study abroad that challenges them intellectually and physically by combining the sailing adventure of a lifetime with the study of the deep ocean.
SEA students participate in a 12-week program that takes place half on shore and half at sea. The interdisciplinary program begins in Woods Hole, MA one of the world's great centers for ocean research.
SEA Semester: Energy & the Ocean Environment (EOE) attracts students interested in investigating the problems and uncertainties associated with utilizing ocean resources for energy security while fostering healthy, sustainable marine ecosystems. The interdisciplinary curriculum is open to all majors; it is especially suited for students interested in holistically solving problems in energy potential and production, as well as its economic, political, and environmental impacts. Limited to 24 students per cruise.
Prerequisites: A minimum of two lab science courses, at least one at the 200 level OR two sequential 100-level labs
CLICK HERE to watch the SEA Semester Video
Global Ocean (New Zealand)
Among Maori people of New Zealand, ancient genealogies are described in terms of the voyaging canoes that brought their ancestors to the islands. When the English explorer James Cook arrived in the late eighteenth century, he opened the door to European expansion and colonization in the South Pacific. Today New Zealand is a complex modern society tied by historical connections and a global trading network to Asia, Europe, both American continents and other islands in Polynesia. The nation's reliance on the sea is visible everywhere.
With its two main isalnds extending nearly 1,000 miles from north to south, new Zealand offers starkly contrasting natural environments. To the Northeast on the North Island, the Bay of Islands offers a lush sub-tropical landscape and climate similar to the Hawaiian islands. The rocky steep hills, seascape, and damp cooler temperatures and earthquakes make the capital city of Wellington seem cut from the same landscape cloth as San Francisco. Crossing into the South Island, the sparsely populated west coast, hemmed in by the Southern Alps, transitions into Milford Sound where glacial fiords and brisk temperatures seem more like Norway or Alaska than a Southern Pacific Island. Indeed, introduced northern species such as trout and Pacific salmon thrive in the clean colder waters of the Island lakes and streams.
Using the metrics of the OCean health Index (OHI) we will attempt to understand how centuries of seaborne commerce, fishing, and coastal development have impacted and changed the natural environment of New Zealand's littoral zones and offshore waters. We will look at demands made on natural resources by a growing tourist industry and expanding harbor facilities. What balance can be struck between nature and economic development? And what role can ancient traditions play in developing a "sense of place" that respects both traditional cultures and natural landscapes?
New Zealand's coast runs from the warm subtropics near Auckland to the remote reaches of the South Island, some of the southernmost settled land on the globe. This SEA Semester program will traverse this beautiful coastline, amidst the lively challenges and variable conditions of near-shore sailing. Students on this voyage will learn quickly in a setting that is likely to require frequent maneuvers and careful navigation. Like all SEA Semester program, The Global Ocean offers, at its core, a unique opportunity for students to develop leadership and teamwork skills in dynamic environment. There are no passengers on board our sailing vessels (SSVs). Instead, students go to sea as crew-in-training, and learn to run all aspects of a 134' sailing research vessel through hands-on experience under the guidance of professional mariners and oceanographers.
Who should apply?
Students from any academic major. The interdisciplinary curriculum draws students from all majors. Limited to 24 students per cruise.
Students work individually with SEA faculty and a series of visiting lecturers, all of whom are specialists in their fields, to design an original research project during the shore component. A poster session and scientific paper allow students to present their findings to one another.
Below are the courses that are offered on the SEA Global Ocean program. To see how they will transfer to USD, please review the SEA Semester Pre-Approved Course Equivalencies
NOTE: Core Curriculum designations on this list pertain to the OLD Core only
Leadership in a Dynamic Environment (300-level, 3 credits)
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)
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)
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 (300-level, 3 credits)
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)
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 (3 credits)
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 Course;
Directed Oceanographic Research (4 credits)
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.
Practical Oceanographic Research (4 credits)
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.
All students are expected to live on the SEA campus in student housing. Each house accommodates 10 students. Please take note of the following:
- The cost of food is included in your program cost. Each house is provided with a weekly prepaid grocery card. Students provide their own food and do their own cooking in fully equipped kitchens. You will plan menus, shop, cook, and clean after meals as a house. This setup provides great community building!
- Bring bed linens and towels. Each student is provided with a pillow and a standard size twin bed. There are laundry facilities in one of the student cottages.
- Each student bedroom has desks and storage areas.
- Students may bring cars to campus. A bicycle is also helpful to have during the Shore Component (spring, summer, fall).
- No pets allowed.
On board ship, you will share space with up to 35 people. Your bunk will line the inside of the ship somewhere between the bow and the stern. Each bunk has two small storage areas. Though there is very little personal space, your ship and shipmates become your home and family for six weeks.
Take a virtual tour of one of SEA's ships!
For a detailed description of program costs please see the Program Cost in the box at the top of this webpage. Click on the link which corresponds to the term you plan to study abroad.
Sea Education Association (SEA) is pleased to announce a variety of merit-based financial aid awards for SEA Semester students. For more information, please click here.
All students are required to have a passport for international travel. SEA Semester will be in touch with the student directly about any additional entry requirements.
To view SeaSemester's photo gallery, CLICK HERE