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Programs : Brochure

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  • Locations: Apia, Samoa; Multiple, Multiple
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SEA Semester 
  • Restrictions: WWU applicants only
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2018 04/01/2018 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Indicates rolling admission application process. Applicants 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:
Program Type: Field Study, Study Abroad Language of Instruction: English
Fields of Study: Anthropology, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, Engineering, English, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology, History, Humanities, Independent Studies, Liberal Arts, Marine Biology, Physics Housing Options: Other, Student Residence/ On Campus
Minimum GPA: 2.5
Program Description:
SEA Semester Banner

Who Should Apply?

This program is ideal for students with an interest in conservation policy and/or 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

In a joint effort with the New England Aquarium, Protecing the Phoenix Islands invites students to explore one of the last coral wildernesses on earth through one of two academic tracks: science or policy. The Phoenix Islands comprise the Pacific’s largest marine protected area (MPA) and were recently named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Students will join marine scientists from SEA, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and the PIPA management office on an unprecedented research voyage to the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), a region of the world which remains largely unexplored and unvisited.

During the first two weeks on shore in Woods Hole, students will begin a survey of large-scale marine conservation efforts around the world. They will use PIPA as a case study for the state of current international ocean conservation efforts while developing their own research project in either ocean science or conservation policy.

Students will then join the SSV Robert C. Seamans for a six-week research voyage from Hawaii to American Samoa. They will first cross the Equator in a 2-week, 1,600 mile voyage to the Phoenix Islands. The next three weeks will be spent in PIPA, documenting the oceanic ecosystem around this archipelago: something that has never been done before. Working side by side with experts, students will provide real-time data that will lay the groundwork for an effective conservation plan.

A final leg to American Samoa will round out the voyage.

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.