This is a special issue of Ship, Shipmate, Self.
On the ships, we hold watch meetings to check in, see how everyone is doing, have discussions, share information, skills, and help resolve issues.
We're holding this special watch meeting to bring you up-to-speed with your SEA Community.
You may have read on our website and e-newsletters that, in response to COVID-19 and with an abundance of caution with regard to student, crew, faculty and scientist safety, SEA had to cancel our spring and summer sea-going and campus-based programs. Since then we have altered and reduced our 2020-2021 program offerings to recognize COVID-19 risk management challenges including social distancing as well as reduced port stops and international travel.
The cancelled programs and continued uncertainty in higher education  resulted in the difficult decision to reduce staff hours and eliminate some positions.  We've been working reduced hours and positions since July with hopes to return to full staff and hours in the future.
Without students, both ships were furloughed throughout the spring and summer in Woods Hole, MA and San Diego, CA with a small number of crew to oversee regular maintenance and safety.
That's the rough weather we're sailing through. However; storm clouds also have silver linings, and we want to share those with you.
SSV Robert C. Seamans
The Seamans remains alongside the San Diego Maritime Museum with two shipkeepers on board overseeing basic functions and safety. This dockage is made possible by Ray Ashley, W-1, president of the Maritime Museum. Our shipkeepers not only keep watch over the Seamans, but also check on the museum's other docked vessels. We're grateful to have this special connection!
Recently, with local alumni volunteers as crew, the shipkeepers successfully got underway to top-off diesel fuel and lube oil. Thank you shipkeepers and volunteers!
Oceans & Climate is the next scheduled SEA Semester aboard the Seamans scheduled to begin February 1, 2021.
SSV Corwith Cramer
After a furlough period in Woods Hole, MA, the Cramer recently completed a maintenance period at Rockland Marine Shipyard in Rockland, ME.  The SEA crew worked with the shipyard on several projects including some hull and tank top steel work. A generous donor funded this entire yard period including crew travel to Maine and back! This support allowed us to maintain our regular schedule for preventative maintenance and safety.
Our heartfelt gratitude to this donor, members of the Marine Department and crew who chipped away at our maintenance list while alongside in Woods Hole and in yard.
As of this weekend, the Cramer is back in Woods Hole preparing for C-294 and their sail south to Key West.

Campus (our ship without sails)

Our Woods Hole campus is getting some important attention, too, made possible by a special gift restricted to campus maintenance and improvements. This gift covers much needed interior painting in all five cottages, paint and repair of the iconic Madden Center pergola, and new exterior siding and trim for one cottage. Renovations to the Stone Cottage continue, as well.

Fall & Winter SEA Semesters

SEA Semester C-294, combining Ocean Exploration and Atlantic Odyssey (SEA's gap year program), is fully enrolled!  Students are currently on campus and will join the Cramer in Woods Hole on October 10th and sail to Key West.  While on campus, students and faculty maintain social distancing practices, wear masks and, when possible, hold classes and meals outdoors.
In addition, faculty are now on campus getting ready for SEA Semester: Caribbean Reef Expedition, C-295, which begins October 26th. There are still spaces available for gap-year and college semester students.  Let us know of any qualified candidates by contacting
Check out how we're maintaining COVID-19 safety practices while in-program: SEA Fall Planning: COVID-19.
In watch meetings, we include a self check-in, and this is about you!
How are you doing?  What are you working on?  What are your challenges and how are you coping?  What are your silver linings?
You may have donated funds or supplies to help others in need, defended a thesis, published a paper, gone for a bike ride or hike. Tell us your silver lining, and we'll share it on our social media channels.
Three alumni share their silver linings:
(Left) Casey Dannhauser, C-245, is part of a joint project with Barnstable Clean Water Coalition, the EPA, and The Nature Conservancy to restore wetlands and improve water quality on Cape Cod by creating a bioreactor. This video describes the project in a Marston Mills cranberry bog.

(Middle) Dr.Skylar Bayer, S-209, loves the art of storytelling and co-author an article about how scientists with disabilities or medical conditions do their work. Our Disabilities Have Made Us Better Scientists was recently published in Scientific American. She is also co-writing a book about the same subject, called Uncharted, which will be published by Columbia University Press. This fall, Skylar begins a new position as a tenure track assistant professor of biology and aquaculture at Roger Williams University. 

(Right) Sarah Nickford, C-267, was on the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institutions ship, R/V Neil Armstrong, in late summer as part of the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) and the Overturning of the Subpolar North Atlantic Project (OSNAP). The research team recovered and re-deployed moorings. You can read more about OOI and OSNAP projects here.
Considering all the above action and a strong fall enrollment, we're optimistic about the future. Of course, in “normal” times, and especially now, much of our ability to sustain our programming and continue to fulfill our mission to inspire ocean scholars, stewards and leaders depends not only on funds from enrollment, but also donor contributions. In recent months and those ahead, we continue to count on that vital support.
We appreciate your patience and generosity as we navigate these unfamiliar waters and will keep you informed of our progress and changes as they come.  We can't wait to get back to working full-time with all hands on deck.  There is so much more we need to accomplish!
Thank you for being part of our community and for your commitment to our mission.
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