The seventh Stanford@SEA class arrived in Tahiti and after loading aboard students, equipment and lots of food is headed for an adventure in French Polynesia and Kiribati. We cast off our lines at 16:00 from the port and headed out towards Rangiroa. The students are full of enthusiasm and along with Stanford faculty Rob Dunbar, Barbara Block and SEA chief scientist Jan Witting the science and nautical instructors are looking forward to an ambitious sail plan. The seas are relatively calm, weather is balmy and the trip ahead looks fantastic.
We plan to conduct reef surveys at populated and unpopulated islands and atolls, blue water oceanography and deployments across the equatorial regions that are experiencing above average oceanic warming associated with a significant El Nino event. Stanford students have prepared for the trip for five weeks at Hopkins Marine Station and practical oceanographic experience will begin within a day.
I know I am looking forward to a great cruise with a fantastic group of students a wonderful instruction team from SEA in Woods Hole, Mass.