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ESF Student Participates in SEA Semester Program

Fisheries and aquatic science major sets sail in the Atlantic Ocean
5/5/2016

Katelyn Barhite, a senior at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF), is participating in SEA Semester's Marine Biodiversity and Conservation program.

Barhite, a fisheries and aquatic science major from Homer, New York, joined undergraduate students from top colleges and universities nationwide to participate in the program that has students study a less-understood environment from the deck of a tall sailing ship.

Students conduct original scientific and policy research to shape ongoing international efforts to protect the Sargasso Sea, a remote North Atlantic region increasingly recognized for its strong ecological importance and economic impact.

After a selective application process, 22 upper-level science students arrived at SEA Semester's campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, March 21 and spent four weeks doing initial coursework. During the next four weeks, they learned practical shipboard skills; gained essential knowledge about marine ecology, governance and conservation; and designed research projects to conduct at sea.

The students are now in the core of their field-based learning experience: sailing as crew and scientists onboard SEA's ocean research vessel, the SSV Corwith Cramer, a 134-foot brigantine operating in the Atlantic Ocean. During a five-week research voyage from San Juan, Puerto Rico, back to Woods Hole, the class will collect original biodiversity data as part of the directed scientific research projects. A mid-cruise port stop in St. George's, Bermuda, will support the conservation policy research portion of their studies.