Undergrad Chanel Vidal Shares Her Endeavor STEMSEAS Experience


STEMSEAS is an undergraduate program for early career students to get the experience of working on a research vessel.

Nine undergrads were chosen to sail from Rhode Island to Barbados. While we were only together for about 11 days, we bonded in a way that I will never forget. When you get seasick in front of each other and are completely thrown out of your comfort zone, the people around you are the best thing you have to feel more human again… and being in that condition helped me make some pretty amazing friends.

I also had the opportunity to learn from Joe Montoya, from Georgia Tech University. He and his team taught us things about phytoplankton in the ocean and their relationship with different contents in the ocean. Joe also gave us some very interesting lectures on ocean circulation and about phytoplankton. He opened my eyes to the research that is happening on the ocean… and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t make me want to switch to studying biology a little bit! Joe has had tons of experience at sea, and I felt so lucky to be able to learn about life aboard from him! There was also a team from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, where I worked with two microbiologists who are also studying phytoplankton.

More information about the NSF-funded STEMSEAS Program