Skip to content

Programs : Brochure

This page is the brochure for your selected program. You can view the provided information for this program on this page and click on the available buttons for additional options.
  • Locations: St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands; Woods Hole, MA, United States;
  • Program Terms: Fall
  • Homepage: Click to visit
  • Program Sponsor: SEA Semester 
Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Notification Start Date End Date
Fall 2020 03/15/2020 ** Varies by program 10/01/2020 12/23/2020

** Applications must be submitted by 10:00 pm. Study Abroad applicants should note that the deadline indicated here is for Hopkins only; external programs may have earlier deadlines.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Housing Type: Cabin on ship, Residence Hall Language of Instruction: English
Areas of Study: History, International Studies Program Type: SEA Semester, Third-party provider
Credit Type: Transfer credit (grades do not appear on Hopkins transcript) Language Prerequisite: No
Hopkins Application Fee: $25 (provider/university may also charge an app fee) Application Process: (1) Complete Hopkins app by clicking "Apply Now", (2) Go to program website to complete program app (note deadline may be different)
Program Description:
SEA Header 2018

Who Should Apply?

This hands-on coral reef study at sea program is ideal for students with an interest in conservation policy and/or marine ecosystems. Students will approach solutions to effective reef management in the context of history, policy, and science. We welcome students of all majors to apply.

Program Highlights

  • Develop and refine snorkel-based reef survey techniques
  • Conduct research at a field station in the Virgin Islands
  • Contribute to marine conservation policy efforts
  • Assess effectiveness of reef management strategies

Program Description

Thriving, successful island communities depend on healthy oceans – and healthy coral reefs. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Caribbean. Throughout history, reefs and their linked ecosystems have protected islands and provided food for growing human populations. Today, they also attract tourists and drive economic development.

But coral reefs face many threats, including overfishing, reduced water quality, and rising temperatures and lower pH caused by climate change. Effective solutions require an understanding of the economic, political, and cultural landscape, as well as ocean and climate science.

Through fieldwork in Woods Hole and the US Virgin Islands, followed by a research voyage at sea, students in this semester will study tropical marine ecosystems, their diverse marine life inhabitants, and the impact of human actions upon them. Through this lens, you’ll examine how local, academic, governmental, and international organizations and businesses are working together to conserve and sustainably manage Caribbean coral reef ecosystems.

Academic Coursework & Credit

SEA Semester: Caribbean Reef Expedition offers 18 credits from Boston University. Courses are as follows:

Leadership in a Dynamic Environment (300-level, 3 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Be an effective leader while leveraging the individual strengths of a team. Use leadership theory and case studies to understand how decisions affect outcomes. Participate as an active member of a ship’s crew, progressively assuming full leadership roles.

Marine Environmental History (300-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
Employ methods and sources of historians and social scientists. Examine the role of human societies in coastal and open ocean environmental change. Issues include resource conservation, overfishing, pollution, invasive species, and climate change.

Ocean Science & Public Policy (300-level, 3 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Culture, history, political systems and science can shape ocean policy. Practice current strategies to build, analyze, and communicate about diverse policy issues. Examine the power, use and limitations of science and the scientist's voice in determining ocean policy.

The Ocean & Global Change (300-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Sophomore standing or consent of instructor. 
Ocean ecosystem change in the anthropocene: warming, acidification, fisheries depletion, and pollution. Review principles of circulation, seawater chemistry, nutrient dynamics, and biological production to understand causes and consequences of change. Conduct field measurements for contribution to time-series datasets.

Your Choice of Research Courses:

Directed Oceanographic Research (300-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester. Three lab science courses (one at the 300-level or higher) or consent of instructor.
Design and conduct original oceanographic research. Collect data and analyze samples. Compile results in peer-reviewed manuscript format and share during oral or poster presentation session. Emphasis on development of research skills and written/oral communication abilities.

-- OR --

Practical Oceanographic Research (200-level, 4 credits)
Prereq: Admission to SEA Semester.
Introduction to oceanographic research. Design a collaborative, hypothesis-driven project following the scientific process. Collect original data. Conduct analysis and interpretation, then prepare a written report and oral presentation.




IMPORTANT NOTE FOR ALL JHU APPLICANTS

There is a dual application process for this program:

(1) Students must complete the Hopkins application by clicking on the green "Apply Now" button
AND
(2) Students must complete the program application, which you can access on the program website.

Please make sure to abide by both the Hopkins and the program deadlines as they may be different.