Williams-Mystic Program for College Students

Williams-Mystic offers 20 students each semester an exciting interdisciplinary curriculum of ocean and coastal studies integrating marine science, maritime history, public policy, and literature of the sea.  Over 1,300 students have participated in the program, which also offers experiential learning gained through field seminars to the Pacific coast, offshore waters (a 10-day voyage in the Gulf of Maine or the Caribbean), and the Mississippi Delta.  Williams-Mystic is located at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut, the world’s largest maritime museum.  Students work with experts, special collections, and materials that are inaccessible to most undergraduates.  Students can also learn boat-building skills, iron forging, music of the sea, celestial navigation, or climb the rigging of tall-ships as part of their extraordinary experience.

Students receive a full semester’s credit and transcript from Williams College, financial aid generally transfers, and additional Williams-Mystic scholarships are also available.

Applications for the Spring semester 2010 are still being accepted.  Visit online

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Eye in the Sea Mystery

Mystery Question from scientist Dr. Erika Raymond, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute
On the morning of Tuesday, July 21, the Ocean Research & Conservation Association’s Eye in the Sea (EITS) was placed at a depth of 2,000 feet, with a bait box to attract marine life, and its cameras set to record for one minute, every five minutes. For this deployment, the EITS would remain in place for several days capturing the marine life going about their everyday business. That afternoon, the Johnson Sea Link descended again with other scientists and they noticed that the EITS was on its side and had been dragged for about 20 meters. Nearby, they spotted something and picked it up. It was a tangled mess of fishing line with a large rusty hook and an illuminating lure – still flashing. Also swimming suspiciously nearby was a six-gill shark, a slow-moving very large, deep-sea shark that ambles along the ocean floor. The pilot righted the EITS and they went back to the business at hand.

Project scientists were puzzled by the mystery of what caused the EITS to be knocked down and dragged away and what did this hook and line have to do with it? Did a fisherman catch the EITS on its hook? Did that six-gill knock it down trying to get to the EITS bait box? Were the predatory pack of Cuban dogfish to blame?

What do you think happened? Submit your guess through our Ask an Explorer link. Your responses will be published on the Ocean Explorer website.  The amazing footage that the EITS captured that solved the mystery will be revealed Thursday July 30.

COASTSWEEP Needs Volunteers

COASTSWEEP, the Massachusetts annual coastal cleanup program, is looking for volunteers to coordinate cleanup events this fall.  Cleanup events can be held any time during September and October.  All supplies will be provided. For more information on COASTSWEEP and how to participate, visit www.coastsweep.umb.edu or email Coastsweep@umb.edu.