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Paper: Teaching sustainability at the high sea: the “One Ocean Expedition”

This case study explores educational practices and processes in an interdisciplinary summer course addressing SDG14 (Life below water), SDG13 (Climate action), SDG4 (Education), SDG3 (Good health and wellbeing), and SDG17 (Partnerships). From May to August in 2022, students from 12 countries participated in an undergraduate summer course (SDG 200 Ocean–Climate–Society) on the sailship Statsraad Lehmkuhl as part of the One Ocean Expedition. Sustainability, marine biology, behavioral science, and sail training were core aspects of the daily assignments for the 86 students during the Pacific crossing from Chile to Tahiti. The students took part in watch duties 24–7 and were assigned to 18 working groups in their academic studies. Active learning approaches such as team-based learning and storytelling proved essential to engage students in interdisciplinary exchange on sustainability issues. A major challenge was to strike a balance between the academic work and the requirements from sea duties and life on board a sailship. Student feedback and assessment contribute to contextualize the learning experiences and personal development during the first five weeks on board. This case study provides an example of how life on a sailship can present a formative learning experience and an interdisciplinary laboratory to study and live in alignment with SDGs and with the overall mandate of the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Authors: Jarle Eid, Marianne Aanerud & Katja Enberg (Published October 2023)

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Latest update: 03.11.2023