Jake Peirson Summer Cruise
Every year, students admitted to the MIT/WHOI Joint Program are welcomed to the world of oceanography with a 10-day “Jake Peirson" Summer Cruise in the North Atlantic. The cruise is operated by Sea Education Association that also runs the popular “Sea Semester” program, utilizing one of SEA's sailing school vessels.
The cruise is named in honor of Jake Peirson who worked at WHOI from 1967 to 1996 serving as Assistant Dean and Associate Dean/Registrar always being a champion for the education programs, especially the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. After his retirement from WHOI's Academic Programs Office, Jake took on the role of Executive Director of the Alumni Association.
On the cruise each summer, students will gain practical experience in oceanographic research as they investigate biological, chemical, physical and geological characteristics of the marine environment along the cruise track. As a Coast Guard recognized SSV-sailing school vessel, cruise participants not only have the opportunity, but are needed to function as active crewmembers, thus contributing to most aspects of ship operation. Sail handling, navigation, collection and analysis of oceanographic samples, as well as daily ship cleaning and maintenance are necessary aspects of shipboard life. The cruise is also an opportunity for the students to bond with the classmates with whom they will study, work alongside, and commiserate for the next five or so years.
The cruise is offered initially to first-year students, and if berths remain available, they are offered to current students who had not yet had the chance to participate. One caveat - students are only to join the cruise once in their Joint Program career.From past participants:
"On this cruise we also had a task to make a "water retrieval device" from stuff around us... Our team won with the IPFRASWTAS (Inflatable Puffer Fish for Retrieval and Analysis of Sea Water Temperature And Salinity) device."
"...Atop the second platform, I ventured further to the topmost ratlin, shaken slightly by wind, not frightened, but satisfied with that limit."