Mass Maritime Cadets Participate in  “Hawaiian Experience” Course

Massachusetts Maritime Academy
Photo, back row, left to right:  Massachusetts Maritime Academy students Ryan Almeida, Blythe Stephenson, Shannen Allen, Thomas Mulvehill, Adam Veloso, Thomas Roy; front row, left to right:  Evangeline Gosselin, Miranda Courteau, Kaila Collins.

Published Apr 6, 2023 9:20 AM by The Maritime Executive

It was an adventure of a lifetime for nine cadets from Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA; www.maritime.edu), a top-ranked public university with undergraduate degree programs focusing on science, engineering, technology, math, and business that blend academics and experiential learning when they traveled to Hawaii for the Academy’s first geological oceanography field trip. 

The two-week course, which ran from January 3-17, was created by the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Marine Science, Safety and Environmental Protection (MSSEP) Department and provided upper-level undergraduate students the opportunity to witness an active volcanic eruption, explore natural resources and geohazards associated with volcanic landforms, sediment, and rock, as well as observe coastal processes on the shoreline and marine life beneath the ocean waves.

“The field trip facilitated experiential learning of active hot spot lava eruptions, volcanic landforms, tropical marine life, beach sedimentation and erosion, geohazards and safety, environmental protection of marine and island resources, and Hawaiian culture,” said MSSEP student Shannen Allen, who participated in the “Hawaiian Experience” along with classmates Adam Veloso, Thomas Mulvehill, Evie Gosselin, Miranda Courteau, Blythe Stephenson, Kaila Collins, Ryan Almeida, and Thomas Roy, and accompanied by field course instructor Dr. Kevin Hefferan, associate professor, Marine Science, Safety, and Environmental Protection Department. 

“An outstanding group of MSSEP students experienced Kilauea's transformation from a quiescent steam vent phase to an active, fiery, lava lake fountain eruption in real-time,” said Dr. Hefferan. “These extraordinary field course experiences vividly create lifelong marine geology memories and highlight an excellent MMA education."

The next geological oceanography field trip to Hawaii will occur in late April 2024.

“This new and exciting course offers an outstanding learning experience with the bonus of taking place in beautiful Hawaii,” said Rear Admiral Francis X. McDonald, USMS, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy. “The cadets who participated in our first geological oceanography field trip returned with great knowledge and memories to last a lifetime.”

About Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA): MMA is a fully accredited, co-educational, state university offering Bachelor's and Master's of Science degrees that are highly regarded in the worldwide maritime industry and beyond. For more than 100 years, MMA has prepared students for exciting and rewarding careers on land and sea. As the nation's finest maritime university, MMA challenges students to succeed by balancing a unique regimented lifestyle with a typical four-year college environment. 


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