“I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.”
-- Sir Isaac Newton
By focusing the school on the intersection between man and the sea, an entire world of opportunities for learning and leadership opens to our students. Whether engaging in scientific field research or building partnerships with environmental non-profits, Ocean School students will benefit from an education that is directly applied and deeply grounded in experience. At the same time, it has become clear that the future of our planet is closely intertwined with the fluctuating state of the oceans. Thus, anyone who leads or even fully engages in active citizenship in the 21st century will need a thorough understanding of the natural environment, man’s impact, and possibilities for change moving forward.
The ocean makes for an extremely vibrant natural laboratory. Within the intertidal and nearshore environments, students can actively observe, measure, and begin to understand wave movement, hydrodynamics, bathymetry, geology, chemistry, marine zoology, and marine botany. Perched on the edge of the Pacific, students can move seamlessly between lab and field in order to develop hypotheses, perform experiments, observe phenomena, and analyze findings.
For a project-based curriculum, the constantly changing, constantly evolving ocean environment provides nearly endless opportunities for experimentation and innovation. Students can tackle many of the future’s most perplexing problems via their hands-on research and interaction with the sea—pollution and greenhouse gas mitigation, the harnessing of natural energy sources, fresh water sourcing, preparation for extreme weather events, and fisheries management, amongst others.
As future leaders, Ocean School students will be uniquely positioned to serve as experts and activists. They will have closely measured the ocean environment, developed innovative projects to address the challenges, and partnered with local and international non-profits to leverage positive change.