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Nathan Kemp '16 participates in a research expedition in the Pacific Ocean. Like other Knox students, he has many options for studying and doing research work off-campus.

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Knox Student Joins Pioneering Pacific Research Expedition

Nathan Kemp '16 participates in a research expedition in the Pacific Ocean. Like other Knox students, he has many options for studying and doing research work off-campus.

by Niki Acton '16

Nathan Kemp '16 is spending his summer at sea. Supplementing his study of environmental studies and biology, Kemp is a participant in the Sea Education Association (SEA) Semester program, Protecting the Phoenix Islands.

Through the program, Kemp spent two weeks completing preparatory coursework and developing a research project at SEA Semester's campus in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. In early July, Kemp and his 21 classmates began their ocean voyage. (Kemp and his classmates are pictured above; Kemp is in the second row from back, far left.)

Kemp boarded the SSV Robert C. Seamans in Honolulu, Hawaii, and spent the next two weeks on a 1,600-mile open ocean voyage to the Phoenix Islands, one of the world's largest Marine Protected Areas and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once Kemp and the other students arrive, they will spend the next three weeks studying the coral reef ecosystem, before ending their voyage in American Samoa in mid-August.

"Between our expedition last year and what we're up to this year, SEA Semester students have had a hand in developing most of the existing knowledge about the oceanography of this area," said Jan Witting, SEA Semester professor of oceanography and chief scientist for the voyage. "It's valuable knowledge that will go directly to help make management decisions about the future of PIPA (Phoenix Islands Protected Area), and helping gather it on board our ship is also a terrific learning experience for our students."

To follow Kemp and the other SEA Semester students' journey, check out their blog here.

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Printed on Wednesday, June 26, 2019