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SEAmester – South Africa’s Class Afloat introduces marine science as an applied and cross-disciplinary field to students who have shown an affinity for core science disciplines. It will combine traditional class-room lectures with hands-on ship-based deck activities for a maximum of 50 students; while providing them with an opportunity to support specialist scientists in recognised marine research activities. Our research group comprises of over 30 oceanographic, fisheries, biogeochemical and biological experts, who jointly have trained over 600 Southern African students onboard a wide variety of international and local research vessels.

To find out more read the South African Journal of Sciences article here

How do I qualify?
A maximum of 50 post-graduate (Honours/BTech, MSc/MTech, Interns) University and University Technikon students will be selected nationwide. Applications will be accepted from currently registered post-graduate students with a background in marine or similar sciences. Past sea-going experience is not compulsory.

What ship will SEAmester II take place on?
The new South African polar research vessel SA Agulhas II will be used for SEAmester II. The SA Agulhas II is a state-of-the-art icebreaker and is fully equipped for all marine research activities.

To find out more, visit the Links page and specifically the Life At Sea article.

What will it cost me?
Nothing. The SEAmester programme is fully funded through the Departments of Science and Technology (DST) and Environmental Affairs (DEA). All board and lodging onboard the SA Agulhas II will be provided free of charge through SEAmester.

What research will SEAmester II be involved in?
SEAmester II will run in parallel to the scientific objectives of the South Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (SAMOC) programme and will carry out a full hydrographic survey of the SAMBA line, which stretches from Cape Town to 0°E. SAMOC is a multi-institutional, international collaboration and designed to provide long-term observations of the Agulhas Current’s leakage volume, heat and salt transport and its variability from seasonal to interannual timescales. SAMOC’s objectives are to determine how the Agulhas Current and its role in the global conveyor belt varies over time.

To find out more go to the SAMOC Initiative website and this article on the Wiley Online Library website

What will be expected from me?
You will be expected to choose one of two module steams – either Tools of the Trade or Oceans in a Changing World (see below). Learning will comprise of daily class-room lectures, daily assignments and deck work – running in parallel to the SAMOC programme. Students will provide research support to specialist scientists and obtain real hands-on deck training, data collection, sampling and data analysis. You will gain experience working with the full suite of oceanographic, atmospheric and biological ship-based instrumentation such as CTD, underway measurements and autonomous devices such as Argo, SVP drifters as well as gain experience on all biological net tows. Training on data analysis following each deployment will be given, as well as technical and electronic experience in calibrating, assembling and modifying each instrument. In addition, each student will work on a specific scientific miniproject related to their area of interest and the scientific research underway.

What are the dates for SEAmester II?
SEAmester II will depart on the 17th July returning on the 28th July 2017. Departure and arrival will be in Cape Town. Travel arrangements and costs will be made through the SEAmester programme for all students residing outside of Cape Town.

PLEASE NOTE: Applicants to be aware that the cruise dates may be subject to change by a few days.

What travel documentation must I have?
SEAmester II will be working outside of South African waters and therefore all participants are requested to have a valid passport at the time of departure. All passport applications need to go through Home Affairs and take approximately 5 working days. In addition, SAMSA approved medicals will be required and costs incurred for the medicals will be covered by the SEAmester programme.