Program Details

The islands of French Polynesia have a history of demonstrated sustainability despite the fact that they have been profoundly shaped by European colonization. Today, they are thought by many to be so dependent on those colonizers that they cannot sustain
Location:
Faaa, French Polynesia; Programs at Sea, Programs at Sea
Program Type:
Study Abroad
Degree Level:
Undergraduate
Term:
Spring Semester, Winter Semester

Program Overview

Program Description:
SPICE attracts students who want to understand environmental, political, and cultural changes from an interdisciplinary perspective and in an historical context. This writing-intensive program is particularly appropriate for environmental studies/science majors, but students of any major are encouraged to apply. Limited to 24 students per cruise.17 credits through Boston University.

The islands of French Polynesia have a history of demonstrated sustainability despite the fact that they have been profoundly shaped by European colonization. Today, they are thought by many to be so dependent on those colonizers that they cannot sustain themselves without foreign financial support. At the same time, a movement for independence looks towards a sustainable future that acknowledges the persistence of the Polynesian culture. In this semester, we examine what the future holds for these islands, and whether they can give us answers that apply to other regions of the globe as well. Central to students' academic work is the production of a web based historical, cultural, and environmental atlas of Polynesia. As researchers, authors, editors, and fact-checkers of atlas entries, students engage in every aspect of a humanities-based research project.

SEA Semester provides an experiential opportunity to gather firsthand knowledge that will influence your lifelong relationship with the ocean. As our society becomes more aware of how integral the oceans are to the planet, from climate patterns to energy production to the origins of life itself, we must also understand how to conserve these important resources. Moving beyond the textbook toward practical application, hands-on research, and personal experience, SEA Semester prepares students to take a more active role in solving today’s environmental problems. Isn’t it worth one semester to study three-quarters of the world?
Setting Description:
During the initial 4-week shore component in Woods Hole, intensive academic coursework prepares students for their research cruise. Students then join the crew of the SSV Robert C. Seamans to sail among the islands of Polynesia for approximately 7 weeks. Students visit historical, cultural, and agricultural sites on the islands and meet local people. Using state-of-the-art shipboard laboratory and research facilities, they also investigate the complex factors that threaten fragile island ecosystems and the surrounding marine environment. Students close with a one-week shore component on the campus of the University of Hawaii in Honolulu.
Cost:
Visit our website for information on cost, scholarships and financial aid, and affordability.

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