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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Apia, Samoa; Multiple, Multiple; Woods Hole, United States
  • Program Terms: Summer Quarter
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SEA Semester 
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer Quarter 2018 05/01/2018 ** Rolling Admission 06/11/2018 08/13/2018

** 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.
Program Information:
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Who Should Apply?

This program is ideal for students with an interest in conservation policy and marine science. Students may choose a policy or science track, offering flexibility in project topics and transfer credit. We welcome students of all majors to apply.

Program Description

A joint effort with the New England Aquarium, this program invites students to explore the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), a tropical ocean wilderness of diverse deep-ocean ecosystems dotted by eight spectacular coral islands. Students join experts from SEA, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the New England Aquarium to conduct research that will assist in the development of an effective conservation plan for the region.

Beginning with a three-week shore component in Woods Hole, students use PIPA as a case study to develop their own research project in either ocean science or conservation policy. They then join the SSV Robert C. Seamans for a five-week research voyage throughout the archipelago.

Students work side by side with experts to collect samples from the marine environment and visit the region's islands and pristine coral reefs. By providing real-time data, student projects will ultimately compose a picture of the state of the ocean for the benefit of the PIPA management office in Kiribati.

Academic Coursework & Credit

SEA Semester Summer: Protecting the Phoenix Islands carries 11 semester hour credits from Boston University for successful completion of the program.

Toward a Sustainable Ocean: Conservation & Management (300-level, 3 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
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.

The Ocean & Global Change (300-level, 4 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
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.

Research Course Options (choose one):

Advanced Ocean Policy Research (400-level, 4 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Junior standing or consent of instructor. 
Advanced policy research focusing on a topic of current importance (may include fisheries, biodiversity, marine spatial planning, and cultural heritage). Emphasis on theoretical concepts, research methods, and communication skills. Requires critical review paper, original research, final report and presentation.

-- OR --

Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 credits)

Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or consent of instructor.
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.