Rhodes chemistry major Kayla Wilson ’17 has been sailing across the Atlantic Ocean with other upper-level science students on a state-of-the-art oceanographic research vessel. Through a study abroad program offered by Sea Education Association (SEA), the students are examining first-hand the ocean’s role in the global carbon cycle and climate dynamics.
The journey began in September when they arrived at SEA Semester’s campus in Woods Hole, MA, for six weeks of intensive scientific and policy coursework on shore. With guidance from SEA Semester faculty and area ocean science and policy experts, they focused on complex questions of climate, sustainability, and policy as well as designed their own research projects to be completed at sea.
In November, the class flew to the Canary Islands (Spain) to go aboard the oceanographic research vessel SSV Corwith Cramer, which is serving as their home, classroom, and laboratory. Students have become working members of the ship’s crew and use advanced oceanographic instruments to research diverse marine ecosystems in the Atlantic Ocean. They will implement their experimental design, analyze their collected data, and present their scientific findings in peer-reviewed poster sessions at the end of the program.
Students will make a port stop in Dominica (Caribbean) and end their voyage mid-December in St. Croix.
Updated December 2, 2016: Read Wilson’s blog entry about her chance encounter on the high seas.