Students from the floating university programme, “Semester at Sea”, visited Galway last weekend on a collaborative marine science field-trip led by NUI Galway and the Strategic Marine Alliance for Research and Training (SMART).
Over 570 students from 20 different countries were aboard the MV Explorer which docked in Dublin on Friday. The vessel previously visited Galway in 2012 after a trans-Atlantic voyage in which marine science students from NUI Galway participated. The field-trip was led by NUI Galway oceanographer Dr Rachel Cave and investigated submarine groundwater flow in County Clare and East Galway.
According to Professor Rob Young, professor of marine biology and oceanography for Semester at Sea, and professor of marine science at Coastal Carolina University, “Collaborative programmes such as the one between SMART/NUI Galway and Semester at Sea give students the opportunity to see ongoing research projects in action while promoting inter-cultural understanding.”
“Through the SMART partnership programme, and the Marine Institute’s research vessel funding programme, Ireland has very much become a leader in practical offshore training in marine science and technology. Developing collaborative marine initiatives with international programmes such as “Semester at Sea” helps us to cement this” Dr Rachel Cave of the Earth and Ocean Science Department stated.
This voyage marks the 50th Anniversary of the “Semester at Sea” programme which has trained over 60,000 students since its inception in 1963. The Autumn voyage will visit 13 countries including South Africa, Brazil and Cuba. Semester at Sea plans to return to Ireland in Summer and Autumn of 2014.