A Field Course in Ocean Conservation

Join us this summer for a different kind of field course in ocean conservation.
A three week voyage onboard a sailing research vessel through the Hawaiian archipelago will allow you to compare the health of our ocean environment throughout the islands. You will assess diverse ways to protect the marine environment, ranging from community-based fisheries management on the Big Island to the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Coupled with two weeks on campus, first to prepare for the voyage and then to synthesize and communicate your observations, this course will give you a new perspective on our islands and our ocean home. This program is a partnership between the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the Sea Education Association.

Information for 2010 Participants

UH@SEA Presentation.

UH@SEA Seminar Operations Manual.

UH@SEA Participant Contract.

UH@SEA Participant Medical Form.

Download, print and fill out, and then return the contract and medical form to the
Dept. of Geography, Saunders Hall 445, 2424 Maile Way.
Attention: A. Rieser.


The course runs for five weeks, from May 24 to July 2, 2010 during Summer Session I. Students will receive 6 credits for completing the course. Classes will be held on campus, on the vessel, and on field trips throughout the islands. Each student will develop and carry out a research project and prepare a final report.

Our interdisciplinary team of instructors includes:

Alison Rieser, Professor of Geography and Ocean Policy
Cynthia Hunter, Coral Reef Biologist and Director, UH Marine Option Program
David Hyrenbach, Marine Wildlife Biologist, Hawaii Pacific University
Jan Witting, Oceanographer, Sea Education Association
Rhian Waller, Biological Oceanographer, SOEST

Total cost: $4992 (tuition $1692; institute fee $3300) plus Outreach College fee

Week 1 on campus (May 24 - May 29):

Preparation for the voyage will include lectures and field trips highlighting Hawaii’s marine geography, current issues in marine conservation, traditional and western navigation and resource management principles; field sampling methods, designing research projects and working in interdisciplinary teams.

Weeks 2-4 at sea: (May 31 – June 24):

  • Leg 1 Oahu to Mokumanamana (Necker Island) and French Frigate Shoals
  • Leg 2 French Frigate Shoals (FFS) to Kauai
  • Leg 3 Kauai to Molokai
  • Leg 4 Molokai to Maui
  • Leg 5 Maui to the Big Island
  • Leg 6 Big Island to Oahu

Students will participate in all aspects of the cruise, including sailing the vessel, navigation, laboratory work, data analysis, daily logkeeping, and discussion.

Week 5 on campus (June 24 – July 2):

Preparation and communication of final reports.

Interdisciplinary teams will have lead responsibility for a cluster of research questions relating to the conservation of a focal species, ecosystem or issue (e.g., the coral reef team, the marine debris team, the fisheries team, the wildlife tourism team, etc.). Everyone will help each team collect data, but each team will be responsible for data analysis and final presentation. Shore visits to research and restoration sites and protected areas will demonstrate different approaches to ocean and coastal conservation.


Please contact Professor Alison Rieser, rieser@hawaii.edu