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SEA Media Attention Following Publication on Plastic Debris Research

SEA Semester at Woods Hole gained more international attention this week due to an article in Science magazine highlighting the almost 25-year data set on plastic debris in the North Atlantic Ocean, the foremost of its kind in the world. NPR’s “Science Friday” picked up the story and interviewed SEA Oceanographer and faculty member Dr. Kara Lavender Law on Friday. Listen to the full interview at http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129324783.

Generations of SEA Semester students from all majors have contributed to this significant research, and the work continues with each SEA Semester program offered.  For further information on the Science article, the history of this research, or SEA Semester programs, visit www.sea.edu.

SEA Scientists and Students Contribute to Finding Widespread Floating Plastic Debris in North Atlantic Ocean

Students at SEA collected tens of thousands of plastic pieces at 6,100 offshore locations. Credit: Sea Education Association

Undergraduates working through the Sea Education Association (SEA) play major role in discovery.

Despite growing awareness of the problem of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans, little solid scientific information has existed about the nature and scope of the issue. This week, a team of researchers from the Sea Education Association (SEA), Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and the University of Hawaii (UH) has published results in the journal Science of a study of plastic marine debris based on data collected over 22 years by undergraduate students. Read more:

http://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=117541&WT.mc_id=USNSF_51&WT.mc_ev=click

To read a report on this topic from WHOI, visit here:

http://www.whoi.edu/oceanus/viewArticle.do?id=80106&sectionid=1021

Research Cruise to Measure Atlantic Plastic Marine Debris

Sea Education Association (SEA) is preparing to conduct the first-ever research expedition dedicated solely to examining the accumulation of plastic marine debris in the North Atlantic Ocean.  The expedition, scheduled to begin in June, will expand upon a 20-year data set previously collected by SEA that reveals a region of extensive plastic pollution in a narrow latitude band in the western North Atlantic Ocean.   This trip will explore an area southeast of Bermuda that, it is hypothesized, is an extension of the high plastic pollution region defined by more than 200 previous SEA voyages in the Western North Atlantic. Observations from those trips indicate the area has large concentrations of plastic debris comparable to the region of the Eastern North Pacific Ocean dubbed the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

The expedition is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Marine Debris Program, and is in collaboration with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Woods Hole Sea Grant.  The cruise, tentatively scheduled for June 10-July 14, will take place on the SSV Corwith Cramer, SEA’s 134-foot brigantine-rigged sailing oceanographic research vessel. The crew will consist of 11 professional mariners and up to 22 additional participants, many of them alumni of SEA’s core academic program, SEA Semester.

Cruise details


Student Programs at SEA

Sea Education Association (SEA) still has a few spots in the 3-week High School Summer Seminars and Fall 2009 undergraduate SEA Semesters. Based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, SEA has educated students about the world’s oceans for nearly 40 years through a fully accredited study abroad program combining the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and public policy. Intense coursework and preparation during a shore component is followed by the immediate application of students’ newfound knowledge during a sea component. Significant financial aid and new merit-based scholarships are available. Contact admission@sea.edu for more information.

Sea Education Association Program Openings

Sea Education Association still has a few spots in our 3-week High School Summer Seminars & our Fall 2009 undergraduate SEA Semesters! Based in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, SEA has educated students about the world’s oceans for nearly 40 years through a fully accredited study abroad program combining the sciences, humanities, social sciences, and public policy. Intense coursework and preparation during a shore component is followed by the immediate application of students’ newfound knowledge during a sea component. Significant financial aid & new merit-based scholarships are available. Contact admission@sea.edu for more information.