A Day in the Life

There is no “typical” day at Williams-Mystic. One day our students may take in the crashing surf of the Pacific Northwest and the following day be back on the Mystic River kayaking to take data for a science research project. History may meet on the deck of a fishing schooner one day, while the Policy class meets onboard a fishing trawler to examine by-catch and discuss timely issues in fisheries policy. While weekends are often free, here is what a typical weekday might look like.

On Campus: Mystic, Connecticut

  • 9:30-10:45 AM – Joint Oceanographic Processes and Policy class on “Coastal Climate Hazards and Risk.”
  • 10:50–11:10 AM – Coffee break at Mallory House!
  • 11:15-12:30 PM – History meets below deck on the fishing schooner L.A. Dunton at Mystic Seaport’s waterfront.
  • 12:35 PM – Home for lunch…PB&J or leftover macaroni and cheese?
  • 2:00 PM – The day for everyone is different!
    • Time for skills: sail on the Mystic River, try your hand at blacksmithing, or learn a few sea chanteys.
    • Marine Science Field Lab: Explore the biodiversity of the Barn Island salt marsh, collect crabs in Rhode Island for an experiment, or measure longshore currents on the Atlantic shoreline at Napatree Point.
    • Work on your Literature paper, meet a faculty member to get help with a lab write-up or examine rare 19th-century documents for your history research project.
  • 5:00 PM – A game of Ultimate Frisbee, a walk into town, some leisure reading on your porch—or maybe tonight you’re on for dinner duty.
  • 6:00 PM – Dinnertime! What’ll it be: chicken, wild rice, and home-baked bread, or fresh fish and veggies from the farmer’s market?
  • 7:30 PM – Off to the CMSC to study, meet with your lab partner, or maybe go to Sturges Cottage to watch a movie—Master and Commander or The Perfect Storm?
  • 11:30 PM – Take a walk by the tall ships before going home to make chocolate-chip cookies, sit up late and talk with your housemates, read aloud from Moby-Dick, or just fall into bed!

Field Seminar: Northern California

  • 7:00 AM – Time to get up! Have a quick breakfast before we meet up as a group and walk to Cannery Row.
  • 8:30 AM – A collection of lectures from faculty and staff while gazing out on the Pacific Ocean from Cannery Row:
    • Cannery Row: John Steinbeck and Edward F. Ricketts
    • Coastal zone management and competing interests on Cannery Row
    • Sardines and anchovies: Links between fisheries and climate change in central California
  • 10:00 AM – Explore Monterey Aquarium—what to see first… the jellies or kelp forest exhibit?
  • 1:00 PM – Head north along Pacific Coast Highway
  • 2:00 PM – Snack break and a mini-lecture at Elkhorn Slough and Moss Landing Wildlife Area on Pacific Coast salt marshes
  • 3:00 PM – Look through the Surfing Museum in Santa Cruz and watch the locals on Steamers Lane.
  • 5:00 PM – Arrival at Point Montara Lighthouse Youth Hostel, followed by some free time to rest and relax before dinner.
  • 6:30 PM – Dinner at Spanishtown Restaurant in Half Moon Bay.
  • 8:00 PM – Back to the Hostel for around-the-room reflections. Get a good night’s sleep, we’re starting early again tomorrow. Remember to wear your closed toed shoes for tomorrow’s tugboat ride!