While most of her classmates are at home diving into a traditional turkey dinner, Madeleine King ’19 is having quite a different Thanksgiving experience—doing environmental research aboard a tall ship, in New Zealand.
King, who’s majoring in environmental studies and earth and oceanographic science, is among a group of US undergraduates studying and sailing abroad through SEA Semester: The Global Ocean, a program offered by Sea Education Association, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit focusing on environmental education.
After six weeks of onshore preparation in the US, King and her fellow students joined the SSV (student sailing vessel) Robert C. Seamans—described by SEA as a “state-of-the-art 134 foot brigantine”—in Auckland, New Zealand on November 12, 2017 to begin a six-week voyage.
The voyage will take them to the coastal waters of New Zealand’s North Island, and farther offshore to the subtropical Kermadec Islands, which are nearly 700 miles northeast of Auckland. The students will be researching the natural environment, conservation and sustainability issues, and how different cultural groups have interacted with the environment.
The program’s organizers say the students will also be focusing on leadership and teamwork skills in a dynamic environment, during which they serve as working members of the ship’s crew.
Track the voyage of the Robert C, Seamans on the SEA Semester blog through December 21, 2017.