Camel trek in the Sahara Desert of Morocco
Adam Field is a fifth-year senior from Davis, California majoring in History and double-minoring in Natural Resources and Recreation Resource Management. Adam is a Tour Ambassador for Oregon State University and has been showing prospective students around campus for the past four years. He is graduating in Spring 2015. When asked about his future goals or plans after college Adam replied,
I just got a volunteer position with the National Parks Service at Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii. I will be working with the Hawksbill Sea Turtle Recovery Project. I’m a hands-on person and working outdoors is something I really want to do. I hope to get a job in interpretation or park redesign after my volunteer experiences.
In Fall 2014, Adam participated in Semester at Sea where students travel the world and take university classes on a ship. Semester at Sea wants to educate students by using the world as a classroom where they can engage with the global community.
Originally I was supposed to do a six week internship in Antarctica helping with ice core sampling. When I found out the program had been discontinued I searched for the next most unique study abroad experience OSU had to offer. That’s when I found Semester at Sea. Traveling is one of my passions and I was able to do that while taking university credit classes. Exploring the world by ship was the cherry on top!
Visiting the Loughcrew passage tomb in Ireland for an Archaeology field lab
Semester at Sea’s Fall 2014 voyage traveled to 14 countries around the Atlantic Ocean. The experience began in Southampton, England and ended in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Students took classes on the ship when traveling to each country and “weekends” were spent in port exploring the wonders of each country. Some of the countries visited include Russia, Belgium, Ireland, Portugal, Morocco, Brazil, and Cuba.
How do you really explain a trip like this to friends, family, and strangers? It’s hard to explain and I’m still learning how to do it in a concise manner. Semester at Sea changed my life and it’s a program I would recommend to anyone looking for adventure.
Adam joined the Social Entrepreneurship Club on the ship. The students were tasked with creating a social venture that benefits people, and limited to no internet access put their creative minds to the test. About 20 proposals were made and eight finalists were chosen to present in front of the shipboard community. Adam and his partner, Rayne Newswanger, who attends Coastal Carolina University, developed the ‘Student Salt Initiative’ and were one of the eight finalists. The ‘Student Salt Initiative’ (SSI) is an international internship where students assist with habitat restoration for migratory bird species, invasive species control, and bird monitoring in the salt marshes of Cádiz, Spain. Their goal would be a cooperative partnership between SSI, the local non-governmental organization ‘Salarte’, Oregon State University, and Coastal Carolina University.
Both Rayne and I went on a Semester at Sea impact project to the salt flats outside Cádiz. We learned about how Salarte is trying to improve the habitat for migratory birds and gave it a try ourselves. The President of Salarte expressed the need for help and that’s when I got the idea. This [creating a social venture] is something Rayne and I have never done and it was very overwhelming at first. Both of us are passionate about the environment and we saw this as a way to make a positive change. I just spoke with the President of Salarte last week and we are moving forward with negotiations, so this idea is slowly becoming a reality. A big thank you to Professor Doughty from University of Texas-Austin who helped us with the proposal!
The voyage made national headlines on NBC in November 2014 when the shipped docked in Havana, Cuba. Camera crews and reporters lined the gangway as the roughly 650 students and 70 staff and faculty made their way onto land. The entire shipboard community spent the first day at the University of Havana interacting with students and faculty, attending lectures, and enjoying a few musical dance performances.
I don’t really have a ‘favorite’ country because they are all unique but if I had to choose it would be Cuba. The people were very inviting and loved interacting with the Semester at Sea students and staff. They have an incredibly vibrant culture! One of my most memorable moments in Cuba was a men’s and women’s basketball game between the University of Havana and Semester at Sea. Students from each side filled the bleachers cheering on their teams. The University of Havana won both of the closely-contested games and it was fun to watch. Our other adventures in Cuba included visiting the Bay of Pigs, Zapata National Park, and getting a tour of Old Havana in a 1950s lime green convertible Chevrolet taxi.
My Semester at Sea experience was nothing short of amazing. I recommend studying abroad to everyone because it expands your cultural horizon and you get to meet some amazing people. I now have friends all over the world and I can’t wait to meet up with them again for the next adventure.
Old Havana, Cuba