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The Fall 2013 Semester at Sea voyage returned to Havana, Cuba after nine years and was greeted by officials and students from the University of Havana. The dock was lined with reporters, Cuban students and professors eager to meet their American neighbors. In this podcast, SAS voyagers share their experiences while visiting the university along with excitement from the Cuban students and staff.

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Greg Brusseau, a research scientist in the University of Washington’s School of Oceanography, joined the Fall 2013 voyage shipboard community during our trans-Atlantic crossing from Cape Town to Buenos Aires. Brusseau hitched a ride with the MV Explorer to conduct research on climate change and other ocean properties for the Univ. of Washington and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). He called his temporary home a “vessel of opportunity” because the MV Explorer sails in waters that many research vessels do not. While aboard, Brusseau deployed temperature, salinity, nitrate, and pH-level probes into the ocean. Data from similar probes has been used in 1,100 scientific peer-reviewed papers and is open to the public. Such information is vital to constructing climate models, learning about sea storms and hurricanes, and monitoring the ocean’s recent dip in pH levels. This isn’t the first time the MV Explorer has hosted probe research, having accommodated NOAA in past years. In this podcast, Brusseau talks about his work aboard our vessel of opportunity.

Fellow SAS student, Mia Wetmore, contributed to the editing and production of this podcast.

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Mario Marino, a student at Cabrini College, is passionate about fair trade issues to help improve communities throughout the world. Mario is currently sailing on the Fall 2013 voyage and is a presidential scholar on this 50th anniversary voyage. As part of his project for his scholarship, Mario is investigating fair trade issues and projects in the various ports to which SAS is traveling this semester. In this podcast, Mario explains more about fair trade, his work at his university and what he's learned during his semester exploring the world.

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The San people were the true indigenous people of southern Africa, whose territory had spanned most areas of South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Angola. The San were hunter-gatherers and considered expert trackers. They have been studied by anthropologists for nearly a century because they are thought to be part of the origin of the human species. To better understand the San people and their culture, students from Prof. Wenda Trevathan's Introduction to Anthropology class visited a cultural center that provides a replica of a traditional San village. In this podcast, Prof. Trevathan and several of her students recreate the day through description. All of the photos were provided by the following students in Trevathan's class: Sarah Bond, Daniela Kriegbaum, Keaton Crawford, Jessica Zaksek and Willa Baker.

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Doctoral student Warrick Moses joined the Fall 2013 Semester at Sea voyage as the interport lecturer to South Africa. During his time on the ship, he spoke with several classes about South Africa apartheid and post-apartheid transition, about his life growing up in a middle-class colored family and about various types of music in South Africa during the seven-day transit from Accra, Ghana to Cape Town, South Africa. Moses is completing his Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at Harvard University. Interport lecturers are a great resource for the SAS community. They join the ship at different points along the journey to help provide the shipboard community with an overview of the history and culture of the country they will visit. In most cases, interport lecturers are from the countries that the MV Explorer visits.

In this podcast, Moses shares experiences growing up in Cape Town during the 1980s and the sensitivity that travelers should have while visiting townships.

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Cliff Roberts, an agent with the William Morris Endeavor agency in Hollywood and a SAS legacy voyager and alum, took some time out of his schedule (in the middle of two business trips), to travel to the MV Explorer during its transit from Portugal to Spain, to talk with students on the Fall 2013, 50th anniversary voyage about SAS, his career trajectory and to give advice about getting started as an agent in Hollywood (or any career really). Roberts, who sailed in Spring 1993, is a true SAS legacy voyager: Not only did his parents both sail on Semester at Sea, but they met on a voyage as students, returned as staff and then sailed again as lifelong learners. Listen in as Roberts shares his story with SASers in this podcast.

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Cathy Rodgers, vice president of global opportunities at IBM, sailed on the Fall 2013 voyage from Ireland to Morocco, and held a captive audience among our shipboard community during her talk on sustainability and global responsibility for the environment. Ms. Rodgers is a frequent speaker on SAS voyages and last sailed on the Spring 2013 Unreasonable at Sea semester.  During her talk to the shipboard community, Ms. Rodgers addressed the social significance of sustainable development as well as the impact it can have from a community to a global scale. In 2010, Ms. Rodgers founded Rooted in Hope, a nonprofit organization that plants trees throughout sub-Saharan Africa to promote the conservation and restoration of natural resources through reforestation, watershed protection, and  environmental education. The organization to date has planted over 40,000 trees.

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Eighteen students from the Fall 2013, 50th anniversary voyage received a special (and rare) opportunity to visit Geneva, Switzerland and attend the 24th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The students, who each submitted applications in order to participate, were among the first group of young people to actually sit in the actual council room and watch the Human Rights Council in session. Three members of the group also had the rare opportunity to make short presentations during a special side event on youth and the right to development. Several of the student participants share their impressions of one day at the U.N. that is certain to have many lasting memories.


SAS Fall 2013 student Mia Wetmore and voyage photographer Bryan Koop contributed to the audio editing and compilation of this podcast.
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Over the past 50 years Semester at Sea’s library has grown into one of the largest floating resource centers.  Open day and night, the library aboard the MV Explorer gives students access to thousands of materials ranging from reference books to fiction novels to UVa’s full electronic academic catalog. Listen to this podcast with Semester at Sea librarian Mary Johnston as she shares the importance of the ship’s library.

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The Fall 2013 Semester at Sea community had the pleasure of sailing with Dmitry Strovksy, a professor at the Ural Federal University in Russia, from Southampton, England to St. Petersburg, Russia. It would be tough to find one student or faculty that was not impacted by his presence, whether it was his enthusiastic Russian singing, his emotional personal stories, or his in-depth lessons of Russia’s past and present status.

 

Dmitry was a wealth of knowledge and a great resource for students to get advice before disembarking on their first in-port experience. He hopes to give students an education that exceeds textbook definitions of Russia, and instead give a taste of the real Russia he knows so well. 

 

+“Russia is full of our contradictions at the moment and people abroad have lots of stereotypes about this country. I would like to flesh out these stereotypes from the minds of the students and at the same time I would like to give them a more balanced understanding of Russia. This is my professional duty and my human duty.”

 

Not only was he crucial in the Cultural Pre-Port Lecture, but also his deep singing voice accompanied by his piano playing could be heard all throughout Deck 6, emanating from the Piano Lounge. During a visit to the Global Music course, he explained that Russian music gives the listener a taste of the time period that the song was written in. Comparing pre-Soviet music to the songs of the mid 1900s was a great lesson in the fact that history can be learned from all sorts of contexts and mediums.

 

Russia music symbolizes the very origins of this culture because songs illustrate how Russian spirit exists. Through the song it’s possible to better understand the Russian spirit, not only the mind of Russians but mostly Russian spirit. We would also come to a certain conclusion that the Russian spirit is somewhat different compared to the western spirit.”

 

Listen to this podcast to hear more about Dmitry’s experience on board the MV Explorer.

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