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Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: Various, Various
  • Program Terms: Program Cost, Spring
  • PROGRAM COST: Program Cost
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2019 10/03/2018 ** Rolling Admission 02/11/2019 05/05/2019

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Fact Sheet:
GPA: 2.75 Disciplines offered: College of Arts and Sciences, Environmental and Ocean Sciences (ENVR), Marine Science (MARS), Political Science and International Relations (POLS), Undergraduate
Prerequisite(s): Consent of SEA instructor, Three lab sciences (inc. one 300-level or higher) Research: Yes
Graduate Courses Offered: No Program Advisor: Derek Brendel -
Tuition Remission Eligible Program: No Program Type: Undergraduate
Program Description:


SEA Education Association (SEA)

Oceans and Climate

Fall/Spring Semester Program




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: Oceans & Climate attracts upper-level science students who are passionate about environmental change and interested in developing a better understanding of public policy. To be eligible, students must have taken at least three science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or received permission from SEA faculty.

Prerequisite: A minimum of three lab science courses, including one at the 300-level or higher. In special cases, this prerequisite may be waived pending SEA faculty approval.

CLICK HERE to watch the SEA Semester Video


Oceans & Climate


Understanding climate change is the predominant scientific challenge of our time, and the timely application of this knowledge to public policy is crucial to the future of the planet. SEA Semester: Ocean's and Climate attracts upper-level science students interested in understanding the ocean's role in the global carbon cycle and climate change. This oceanographic research intensive semester incorporates public policy perspectives to learn how scientific knowledge is used in policy making. Students will play an active role in answering critial questions related to one of the foremost challenges of their generation. Together with SEA's experienced faculty, prominent visiting lecturers will share their research and work directly with students. While on shore, intensive academic coursework will prepare them for their research cruise. Students will also have access to the world-renowned Marine Biological Laboratory/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Library as they design their original research projects to be completed at sea.

As a full, working member of the scientific team and sailing crew aboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans, this open ocean research cruise offers a unique opportunity to study the remote ocean environment through directed research projects. Students will work through the scientific method by conducting an independent research project related to climate change. They will also implement their experimental design, analyze collected data, and present their findings upon completion of the sea component.

Special Program Features

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.

Previous Distinguished Lecturers have included:

Dr. Scott Doney, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (SEA Semester Alumnus)
Dr. Hugh Ducklow, Marine Biological Laboratory
Dr. Andrea Hawkes, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Dr. Rick Murray, Boston University Marine Program (SEA Semester Alumnus)
Dr. Sarah Das, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (SEA Semester Alumna)
Dr. Cynthia Pilskaln, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Dr. Christopher Sabine, NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Lab
Dr. Jorge Sarmiento, Princeton University




See Pre-Approved SEA Semester Course Listing

NOTE: Core Curriculum designations on this list pertain to the OLD Core only 

Oceans in the Global Carbon Cycle, CAS NS 321 (4 credits)

This course covers global carbon budgets, as well as physical and biological mechanisms of carbon transport and sequestration in the ocean and deep-sea sediments. In a major component of the course, students develop a research project that they will carry out at sea. In addition to SEA's experienced faculty, prominent guest lecturers will share their research and work directly with students throughout the course.

Ocean Science and Public Policy, CAS NS 320 (3 credits)
Oceans and climate have emerged in the last decade as a battlefield for the role of science in government policy. This course will examine the development of science within a political context, and how current policy disputes emerging from climate issues shape and are shaped by scientific, political, and social values.

Nautical Science: Seamanship for Oceanographers, CAS NS 223 (3 credits)
Nautical Science teaches the practical skills and theoretical background necessary to safely operate a tall ship on the high seas. Students learn and apply essential concepts in general physics, astronomy, and meteorology. During the sea component, students apply these concepts while acting as active and increasingly responsible members of the ship's crew, working toward the ultimate role of Junior Watch Officer.

Oceanographic Field Methods, XAS NS 324 (3 credits)
Students learn how to safely deploy and recover modern oceanographic sampling instruments, conduct shipboard laboratory research, analyze oceanographic data, and operate a fully equipped laboratory at sea.

Directed Oceanographic Research, XAS NS 325 (4 credits)
Students collect, analyze, and present data for projects of their own design. Each student completes an original research project in oceanography under the guidance of the Chief Scientist on board the vessel.

Download the program flyer: Oceans and Climate.pdf


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 new merit-based financial aid awards for SEA Semester students. For more information, please, click here.




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!




Coming Soon!




2013-2014 Schedule


CLICK HERE to watch the SEA Semester Video

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