Inaugural Transit of STEMSEAS Arrives in Honolulu

Posted on 6/8/2016 7:19:51 AM

STEMSEAS (STEM Student Experiences Aboard Ships) is an NSF-Funded pilot project aimed at improving retention, enhancing outcomes, and increasing diversity and overall numbers in geoscience fields by providing undergraduate students transformative experiences at sea.

Principal Investigator (PI) Jon Lewis (Geoscience) and co-PI Sharon Cooper (Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory) anticipated great interest among undergraduate students, but they were stunned when over 800 applications flooded in. Successfully poring through this many applications required contributions from a huge number of enthusiastic colleagues around the country. Without their help, the PIs would have been sunk. The first transit from San Diego to Honolulu aboard the R/V Oceanus, operated by Oregon State University, made landfall in Hawaii on May 19 with a cohort of happy students from all over the U.S.

STEMSEAS students on their way to Honolulu

The mentors for the transit were Kristen St. John of James Madison University and Mark Leckie and one of his PhD students, Raquel Bryant (front and center in photo with all of the student participants), of the University of Massachusetts–Amherst.

The next transit will be from Morehead City, N.C. to Gulfport, Miss. starting July 15 on the R/V Endeavor, operated by the University of Rhode Island. Then, on August 16, the last planned transit for the pilot project will set out on the University of Alaska at Fairbanks’ R/V Sikuliaq from Seattle, Wash. heading for Nome, Alas. with PI Lewis aboard. The PIs and many contributing partners are very keen to continue the program, so by all means stay tuned via their blog or Facebook page.