A Day in the Life
We often say that there is no “typical” day at Williams-Mystic. Indeed, one day our students may take in the crashing surf of the Pacific Northwest and the next be back on the Mystic River taking the Snapdragon, our 16 ft. sailboat, out for an afternoon sail. Maritime History may meet on the deck of a fishing schooner one day, while the Marine Policy class meets onboard a fishing trawler to examine by-catch and discuss timely issues in fisheries policy. Here are a few things a student may encounter in a weekday in Mystic.
On Campus: Mystic, CT
- 9:30-10:45 AM – Joint Oceanographic Processes and Marine Policy class on “Coastal Climate Hazards and Risk.”
- 10:50–11:10 AM – Coffee break at Mallory House!
- 11:15-12:30 PM – Maritime History meets below deck on the fishing schooner L.A. Dunton at Mystic Seaport’s waterfront.
- 12:35 PM – All home for lunch…PB&J or leftover macaroni and cheese?
- 2:00 PM – Time for Skills: sail on the Mystic River, climb the main mast of the Charles W. Morgan, 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 long-shore 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 Sturges Cottage to study, meet with your lab partner at the MSC, or maybe just 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 together from Moby-Dick, or just fall into bed!
On the Road: Field Seminar Day, Northern California
- 7:00 AM – Time to get up! Get ready for the day and 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
- Sardines and anchovies: Links between fisheries and climate change in central California
- Coastal zone management and competing interests on Cannery Row
- 10:00 AM – Independently explore Monterey Aquarium—what to see first… the jellies or kelp forest exhibit? Make sure to save room for lunch at Archie’s American Diner!
- 1:00 PM – Head north along the 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. Then, one of the locals (also a fisheries scientist) walks out to meet us for a joint lecture with our resident expert (AKA our history professor) on the science and history of surfing. Looking forward to our chance to try surfing this weekend!
- 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, 515 Church St., Half Moon Bay.
- 8:00 PM – Back to the Hostel for a Daily Summary and sharing perspectives. Get a good night’s sleep, we’re starting early again tomorrow!