SEA Spring Lecture May 18, 2014

Sea Education Association’s spring lecture series concludes on May 18 with Captain Elliot Rappaport’s talk, “Leadership Training in the Marine Environment,” to be held at 1 PM in the James L. Madden Center lecture hall. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Captain Rappaport will describe the changes in a ship’s leadership system, which has changed from a “Captain Ahab” type to the “bridge team,” a system where crew members work together to sort tasks and maintain a shared image of the big picture. The captain is still in charge, but everyone has a clear view of the plan, and the means to share what they know. Aboard sail training vessels, students take on a progressive load of responsibility in a place of real consequences. And while the sailing ship is a specialized environment, the skills of leadership and teamwork that are developed aboard can have broad applications. Captain Rappaport will discuss the development of modern leadership systems, and explain why going to sea is what every student needs, even if they never sail again.

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Captain Elliot Rappaport has been a ship master at SEA since 2002, a position he describes as the most rewarding in a 16-year career as captain of sail training vessels. Previous appointments include 10 years as master of Maine Maritime Academy’s training schooner Bowdoin on voyages to Greenland and the Canadian Maritimes.

A lifelong resident of coastal New England, his interest in boats jelled into a career after sailing as a student with SEA class W-79. He is a 1986 graduate of Oberlin College, and holds a master’s degree from the University of Maine.

Captain Rappaport is licensed by the US Coast Guard to serve as Master of Auxiliary Sailing Vessels of up to 500 gross tons on all oceans, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

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