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 for more information.

Shoals Marine Lab Students Make Archaeological Discovery

The first prehistoric archaeological site in the Isles of Shoals (NH and ME) has been discovered on Smuttynose Island, Maine, by students in Cornell’s Archaeology Field School at Shoals Marine Laboratory. “This is a special discovery,” said Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, Assistant Director at the Shoals Marine Laboratory and co-director of the Isles of Shoals archaeology project. “We always suspected that native peoples may have stopped at the Shoals before the 17th century fishing station was established, but now we have clear evidence for their presence.” A guest at the field school this summer was Native American archaeologist, Sharon Moses, who recently received her Ph.D. in Archaeology from Cornell University. Dr. Moses, who has worked on prehistoric sites in Central America and Turkey, was also very excited about the discovery, stating, “Congratulations to Professor Hamilton and the Isles of Shoals archaeology project for confirming what the archaeological community has only been able to speculate about until now.”

The director of the project, Professor Nathan Hamilton of the University of Southern Maine, documented several stone tools (arrow points, knives, and scrapers) recovered along with stone flakes from tool manufacture, ceramics and fire-cracked rock. These artifacts represent a substantial activity area that appears to date to AD 800-1200 on the basis of artifact styles that include a Levanna point, a side-notched point and a Stemmed point. Excavations during 2009 produced evidence sufficient to designate a prehistoric site number, and an application will be filed with Maine Historic Preservation Commission in coming months. The site will be known as the Hubbard-Oberlander Site.

Shoals Marine Lab Director William E. Bemis noted that: “Archaeological studies on Smuttynose Island go hand-in-hand with ongoing investigations on the historical ecology of the Isles of Shoals. As we build a better picture of human habitation of the islands, we can better understand the context for ongoing ecological change in marine and terrestrial environments.”
The Isles of Shoals are most famous for the colonial fishing station sited on Smuttynose Island that existed in the 17th-19th centuries and whose origin predated the arrival of Puritans to Massachusetts. Adjacent Appledore Island is home to Shoals Marine Laboratory, Cornell’s marine field station and the base for the archaeological project on Smuttynose.

For more information contact Robin Hadlock Seeley <>.

MATE Underwater Robot Competition Winners

California and Canadian Teams Snare Top Honors at International Student Competition

Buzzards Bay, Mass. At the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center’s International Student ROV Competition, teams of students from five countries gathered around poolside workstations, working together to guide remotely-operated vehicles (ROVs) that they designed and built to function as submarine rescue systems.

Fifty-four student teams from five countries, including the U.S., Canada, China (Hong Kong), Scotland, and Russia, participated in MATE’s International Student ROV Competition, held June 24-26 at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, Mass.

Competitors include student teams representing middle schools, high schools, home schools, community colleges, universities, after-school clubs, outreach programs, and 4-H and Scout clubs. Teams compete in either the “Ranger” or “Explorer” class, depending on the sophistication of their ROVs and the mission requirements. At the end of the competition, three teams in each of two classes rose above the rest.

Explorer Class Winners

Veteran competitors Long Beach City College of Long Beach, Calif. won overall first place in the Explorer class. The team swept all of the Explorer class categories, earning the top awards for their engineering evaluation, poster presentation, and technical report.  They were the only team that completed all of the pool missions under the allotted time.

Second place went to Flower Mound Robotics of Flower Mound, Tex. Team member Luke Cragin earned one of three Explorer class “Engineering MVP” awards.

Sea-Tech 4-H Club of Skagit County, Wash. won overall third place. The team also won the “Sharkpedo” award for innovation and originality, and was recognized for being the most safety-conscious team.

Ranger Class Winners

In the Ranger class, Dalbrae Academy of Mabou, Nova Scotia took overall first place and had the highest mission score. Heritage Collegiate of Lethbridge, Newfoundland won overall second place honors and had the top technical report.

Monterey Academy of Oceanographic Sciences of Monterey, Calif. earned overall third place. Team member James Caress received one of three Ranger class “Engineering MVP” awards.

Submarine Rescue and Recovery Missions

MATE worked with OceanWorks International and the Deep Submergence Systems Office at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to develop the mission scenarios, which focused on a submarine rescue training exercise. Student teams piloted their ROVs to inspect a simulated submarine for damage, deliver emergency supplies, and replenish the onboard air supply, among other tasks.

In addition to the pool missions, the teams were required to submit and present an engineering report and prepare a poster presentation for volunteer judges that are professional technologists and engineers in marine-related industries.

First held in 2002, the MATE ROV competition program has grown to include 16 regional contests that feed into the international event. The competition teaches science, technical, engineering, math, and critical thinking skills, in great demand in today’s workplace. ROVs help students become aware of marine technology careers in which they can apply these skills, a critical step in addressing the shortage of qualified engineers and technical professionals. The competition also featured the Ocean Career Expo, which provides a forum for students to speak with representatives of sponsoring organizations to learn more about career opportunities.

Sponsors of the MATE ROV competition include the Marine Technology Society (MTS) ROV Committee, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), National Science Foundation (NSF), Oceaneering International, and many other businesses and organizations.

About the MATE Center

Funded by the NSF and headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Calif., MATE is a national program that works with educators and industry to improve marine technology education and expose students to marine-related careers.  More information about MATE

Complete list of ROV competition winners and award prizes