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Fall 2018 Voyage Familiar Waters for Wildlife Biologist Dr. Lindsay Young
For Fall 2018 Voyage Faculty member Dr. Lindsay Young, the ship may be different, but navigating the Semester at Sea program will be familiar waters. As an alumna of the Fall 1999 Voyage, Young first sailed as a student almost two decades ago — and voyagers approaching their time abroad with apprehension can take heart in the fact that one of their future professors once felt the same way.
“When I [sailed] as a student, I was not only an international student, but I’d also never really traveled abroad or lived away from home,” Dr. Young said. “I was kind of terrified of the whole thing, and it was by far one of the best experiences of my life!”
As a college student, Dr. Young studied Zoology at the University of British Columbia and received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaii. During the Fall 2018 Voyage, she will be teaching three classes on the MV World Odyssey: Oceanography, Biological Diversity, and Coastal Environmental Ecology.
Students enrolled in her Biological Diversity course will spend their field class in Hawaii at Dr. Young’s own research site, where voyagers can look forward to observing bird species such as island albatross and discussing how conservation and restoration efforts affect her work.
“I’m serving as the local host, and the cool thing about that is that they will get to actually participate in stuff that I do on a day-to-day basis,” Dr. Young said. “I do quite a bit of travel for work. My day job is actually not as a professor. I’m a wildlife biologist, so I spend a lot of time on ships, on remote islands, and with my staff who, often times, are about the same age as students.”
Like all alumni returning to the ship, Dr. Young is prepared for some big changes since her maiden voyage. She’s interested to observe how the shipboard community reacts to being disconnected from the outside world for three-and-a-half months.
“I’m looking forward to students getting to experience what it’s like to be without regular technology and the sense of community that can come with that, by interacting with people face-to-face all the time,” Dr. Young said. “Because all these students have grown up with the internet and phones and devices, I don’t think they have ever experienced what it’s like to live in a small community that is a little disconnected and how great that can be.”
It’s disconnecting from the outside world and sharing those mutual experiences in-country that makes the bond between voyagers so strong. Interestingly enough, part of Dr. Young’s original shipboard community will be joining her on the Fall 2018 Voyage.
“Something that was very unexpected and that I am looking forward to is that another Fall ‘99 alum, Russell Jackson, who was actually across the hall from me on my voyage, is going to be teaching on the [Fall 2018] voyage as well,” Dr. Young said. “So we’ll have two Fall ‘99 alumni!”
Looking ahead to the Fall, Dr. Young offered one final piece of advice for incoming voyagers ready to embark.
“Embrace it! It’s going to be new for everybody, So don’t be afraid. Everyone is literally in the same boat!”