For four weeks this summer, rising juniors Josh Friedman and Schuyler Nardelli sailed from Honolulu, Hawaii, to Sausalito, Calif. Aboard a 134-foot vessel with 17 other students and 12 crew members, they conducted research on the effects of ocean acidification on tiny pelagic snails and used celestial navigation to chart their ship’s course.
The two students were part of a study program run by Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass. The SEA program is divided into two sections: one on land and the other on sea. Undergraduates first study oceanography, marine studies and nautical science, before taking off for a four-week, 3,000-mile sea trip.
Besides conducting self-designed research on the pteropod Limacina, research that culminated in a 51-page paper, Friedman and Nardelli learned how to sail a big boat without relying on GPS devices or radars. “We used a sextant to shoot the sun and the stars, and after doing reductions we were able to plot our position on a chart to find out where we were — the old way,” Friedman said. Read the full story and see a slideshow of the trip.