NUKU’ALOFA-June 8: 10.25am (R2R News): The Sea Education Association vessel, Robert C Seaman, opened its doors for a short tour on board by staff of the Environment Department and the Geology Department this morning at the Vuna Wharf here in Nuku’alofa, as part of the World Oceans Day observed internationally.
Government geologist Taaniela Kula was one of the senior staff who toured the vessel, joined by his staff and staff of the Environment Department.
The lead scientist on the vessel, Dr Jan Witting, who is a Professor of Oceanography said the vessel has on board under-graduate students from Stanford University, who have been part of this particular trip that will also visit Vava’u, Tahiti and then American Samoa.
Dr Witting said the vessel is used for practical learning by the students, who also work with professional crews in learning the art of sailing the vessel and how it operates.
While on their study tours the students and scientists on board work on getting samples from the ocean in the different countries they visit.
Dr Witting said the team would then submit the results of their work to the Governments in countries they visit.
“Our work is voluntary and we work with different groups,” he said.
The vessel does six trips in a year, with six different student groups who get to travel and learn on board.
The Robert C Seaman will leave Tongatapu today and will sail through Ha’apai to Vava’u, where they will spend a few days before travelling on to Tahiti.