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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

ESF Student Takes to the Seas

Senior spends semester at sea aboard a tall ship

James Duerr, a student at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, was set to spend a semester at sea through SEA Semester, a study-abroad program through Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass.

Duerr, a senior in the Department of Environmental and Forest Biology, completed the Sea Semester's six-week shore component earning academic credit for curriculum in oceanography, nautical science and maritime studies.

At the program's Woods Hole campus on Cape Cod, Duerr developed a research project to be tested and completed aboard SEA's 134-foot sailing school vessel, the Corwith Cramer, one of the most sophisticated research-equipped vessels under sail in the United States, according to SEA Semester.

Duerr, of Massapequa Park, was scheduled to sail on the tall ship from Key West, Fla., with possible port stops in Samana, Dominican Republic, and Port Antonia, Jamaica, before returning to Key West - a journey of approximately 3,000 nautical miles and six weeks at sea. During that time, in addition to collecting data for his research project, Duerr was to help provide weather observations to a national database, learn to chart the course of the vessel using celestial navigation and serve as the junior watch officer, taking full command of the vessel during a watch. Duerr's shipmates come from colleges and universities around the country.

SEA was founded in 1971. It is the only full-credit undergraduate program in the United States that combines academic and research curriculum with a voyage to the deep ocean under sail.