We applied for the Educational Days on UGA’s R/V Savannah and was awarded 2-day ship time in 2020. During the Spring 2020 semester, a team of 11 students was divided into five groups, each of which received over two months of training on one of the following research topics: analysis of heavy metals in seawater using ICP-MS; analysis of pesticides in seawater using HPLC; microplastic analysis in marine organisms and sediments using microscopy; total water-soluble organic carbon and total nitrogen in marine aerosols; nutrients in seawater (nitrate and phosphate), salinity, pH and dissolved oxygen measurements. The original planned date was March 28–29, 2020, when we would all pack and board UGA's R/V Savannah for a 2-day cruise. We would sail along the coast of Georgia before heading further out to collect samples to understand the differences between coastal and open ocean environments, which are often good indicators of industrial pollution. Students would learn to collect air and seawater samples from CTDs and other devices, and take nutrient (nitrate and phosphate), salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen measurements on board. For the other four projects, collected samples would be brought back to the GGC Chemistry laboratory for analysis. In this course, students would have the opportunity to choose their own research topic, plan a cruise, gain first-hand experience working in the field, learn to work in teams and deal with real-time problems. Unfortunately, USG went into full quarantine in mid-March of 2020 due to COVID-19, so the voyage did not take place as scheduled. This poster only presents the general design of this course and the laboratory training that participants received. Now that the pandemic is over, we hope to resume sailing as soon as possible and complete the field work in the near future.

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