Recent actions by the Trump Administration imperil the ability of federal agencies to fight the devastation wrought by invasive species.
That’s according to a letter published in the February 7 edition of Science and written by Williams-Mystic Director Emeritus Jim Carlton, along with coauthors from around the country.
Jim and his coauthors point to the staggering scale and scope of effects that invasive species can have — an impact that can be just as devastating as climate change. They argue that, with such wide-ranging impacts, invasive species must be managed at the federal level. And a recent 50% budget cut to the National Invasive Species Council, they say, “crippl[es] the ability of federal agencies to work with each other and with nonfederal stakeholders to address invasive species.”
From how to steer or furl sail, to how to wake people up for class or sanitize dishes, we have been learning specific methods to allow 37 people to safely and happily travel, live, and learn together on a ship only 40 meters long.
Above: S’19 students Chris (Clark University) and Em (Vassar College) help recover sediment from the bottom of San Juan Harbor.
29 January 2019
19 N x 066 W, 30 nautical miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico
Greetings from SSV CorwithCramer!
On Sunday, January 27, the Williams-Mystic Class of Spring 2019 joined SSV Corwith Cramer in San Juan just in time for lunch. For the last 48 hours or so, we have been busy learning ship operations, getting used to walking on a rolling ship, and enjoying being out at sea.
For many, of us, it is our first time out at sea. And as Melville wrote in Redburn, “People who have never gone to sea for the first time as sailors cannot imagine how puzzling and confounding it is.” Unlike Melville’s protagonist, however, we have watch officers who are kind and patient teachers, and who allow us to ask lots of questions. From how to steer or furl sail, to how to wake people up for class or sanitize dishes, we have been learning specific methods to allow 37 people to safely and happily travel, live, and learn together on a ship only 40 meters long with three heads and two showers.
During orientation, we got to know the parts of the ship and our responsibilities on board. Everyone participated in safety drills and we also conducted our first science deployments in San Juan Harbor.
Then we headed out to sea, into deep water north of San Juan. Two days in, spirits are high. We are getting used to the routine and the warm tropical weather. The food has been amazing thanks to our fantastic stewards and we have even enjoyed some entertainment thanks to some talented students.
Stay tuned for more updates from our Offshore Field Seminar!
Track the Cramer‘s progress by clicking the link below!
Important Note: Vessel tracking information isn’t updated continuously and the Cramer isn’t always able to provide updated location information. (Good reception isn’t a guarantee at sea!) If you notice that the Cramer appears to be in the same location for an extended period of time, it simply means the website has not yet been updated.
The last day aboard the Cramer is a microcosm of everything we’ve experienced aboard: science, hands-on learning, our duty to the ship, and team bonding via songs and puns.
Muscongus Bay, Saint George River, Maine
September 12, 2018
After making our way north to Maine, we anchored at Muscongus Bay Monday evening. Anchoring brought a welcome reprieve from the watch schedule offshore; we’ve been keeping short “anchor watches” during our time here, which have allowed us to catch up on some much-awaited sleep.
Tuesday morning brought rain, but also some excellent poster presentations, as the students crowded into the main salon of the Cramer to share the results from their scientific research projects. Another highlight of the day: marlinspike seamanship class, in which students worked on knots — and “knautical” puzzles. (When you’ve been together on a ship for 10 days, your humor tends to take a turn for the punny.)
As part of the ship’s crew, our duty to Cramer has structured our days here. Tuesday, as our last full day on the ship, was no exception; our afternoon was designated a “field day,” a time to clean and care for every inch of this ship that’s been our home this week and a half. The rain stopped as we finished field day, and we were rewarded with a beautiful, final night aboard, full of poetry, conversation, and songs.
Now, it’s early morning Wednesday. Everyone is still asleep but soon the ship will be abuzz as we prepare to get underway and head toward Rockland. Tonight, we will make our way back to Mystic as shipmates, ready for the next adventures of our fall semester.
It’s day eight of our semester, and we’re embarking on a ten-day sailing voyage in the Gulf of Maine: an opportunity to experience life out of sight of land, and to learn about the ocean by living on it.
Monday, September 3, 2018 At anchor, Menemsha Bight, Martha’s Vineyard
It’s our second day aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer — and the eighth day of our Fall 2018 semester. Last Monday, our 17 students — representing 19 majors, 13 colleges and universities, and 12 US states — had just arrived on campus. Today, they’re embarking on a ten-day voyage in the Gulf of Maine: An opportunity to experience life out of sight of land, to work as part of the crew of a sailing ship, and to learn about the Atlantic firsthand, in the lab and on the deck.
We — the F’18 class, oceanographer Lisa Gilbert (S’96), historian Alicia Maggard, and lab manager Laurie Warren (S’89) — left Mystic on Sunday morning. We boarded the Cramer in bustling Woods Hole just before lunch.
After a brief orientation from the ship’s professional crew, we cast off our dock lines and headed for our overnight anchorage in quiet Menemsha Bight, Martha’s Vineyard.
We plan to be sailing through the night for most of our 10 days aboard Corwith Cramer, taking turns sailing the ship, running science operations, and sleeping. Three groups, or watches, take responsibility for the ship for four or six hours at the time, under the direction of professional crew members acting as watch officers.
At anchor on Sunday, we continued orientation and safety training until sunset. Then, the stewards delighted us with a hearty meal of spaghetti, salad, and garlic bread. Soon after, we tucked into our bunks for a rare, full night of sleep at anchor.
This morning, we continued our training. We learned to furl sails on the bowsprit and practiced deploying scientific gear. C Watch even brought back a sample of the seafloor: some black, Menemsha mud, a quahog, and dozens of slipper limpets. It was our first glimpse into the world we’re passing through and over — a world we’re just beginning to discover.
Please note: The information on the location of the vessel is not always updated regularly. If you notice the vessel staying in the same location for extended periods of time, it simply means the website has not updated recently.