Student Projects

Participation in marine science and technology projects gives students the opportunities they need to gain valuable academic and career expertise. Whether testing the quality of nearby waterbodies or helping to crew the South Street Seaport’s tall ship, the Pioneer, Harbor students engage in hands-on learning that couples critical thinking with the school’s mission and hones their on-water job skills. We caught up with a few seniors, who share with us their work on longterm research and construction projects.


Testing the Effect of the Composition of Concrete on the Biodiversity and Ecology of Benthic Organisms

Student: Samiyra Abdus-Samad ‘14
Mentor: Shimrit Perkol-Finkel, Ph.D.
Category: Marine Science
Project Description: While coastal zones occupy less than 15% of Earth’s land surface, they are inhabited by nearly two thirds of the human population, making coastal development and urbanized seascapes inevitable (Perkol-Finkel et al, 2011). This project will study the effects of customized concrete mixtures of CMI on the compositions of benthic organisms and their ability to provide ecosystem services. Four sampling units with different cement mixtures were attached to Pier 101 on Governors Island and sampled throughout the course of a year. Research findings were presented at the 2nd Annual Harbor School Science Symposium.


Rebuilding the Past: Students Create Replica New York Sloop, Circa 1870

Team Leaders: Cullen Palicka ‘14, Manolo Caba ’14, Ansuom Geraldino ’14, Reynaldo Medina ’14, Jeffrey Yu ’14, Malachi Harewood ’14, Gabriel Arajara ’14, Julia Cruet ’14, Elliott Patterson ’14, Gina Brown ’14
Advisor: Brendan Malone
Category: Marine Technology
Project Description: A dedicated crew of 64 students logged over 1,000 hours, working to complete a replica of the New York Sloop, circa 1870. Its shoal draft centerboard design was the working boat precursor to the famous sandbaggers, and was the national model for coastal work boats in the Atlantic region. During the mid-nineteenth century, the sloop was among the vessels that traveled the Hudson River. The Harbor School replica is expected launch its maiden voyage in June 2014. This project has been greatly aided by the addition of master boat builder, Kyle Rectenwald, an alumnus of the International Yacht Restoration School, and by a generous grant from the Collectors Foundation.