Maritime studies are quintessentially international and intrinsically interdisciplinary. Oceans and waterways act as source, avenue, and arena. They constitute an important geopolitical sphere of international affairs, as a place of concern for makers of policy and shapers of events.
At Fletcher, maritime affairs allows students to explore the past, present, and future of oceans and waterways in the wider context of international trade, security, energy, and environmental issues.
Students may elect maritime studies as one of their Fields of Concentration, specializing to reflect specific regional or topical interests, e.g. Pacific Asia, geopolitics, environment and sustainability, security studies, business or law, etc., within a maritime context. MALD Capstones and doctoral dissertations can also have maritime themes. The required course for such salt-water enthusiasts is DHP D205 Global Maritime Affairs: International Trade, Security, Energy, and Environmental Issues at Sea.
Professor Rockford Weitz, current Director of Maritime Studies, with Professor Emeritus John Curtis Perry, founding Director of Maritime Studies
As Director of Fletcher's Maritime Studies Program, I help Fletcher students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends think about global maritime affairs. At Fletcher, we consider a wide range of issues including maritime strategy, BlueTech, sustainable fishing, offshore energy, piracy, and global trade flows. As an entrepreneur, angel investor, and start-up adviser, my background bridges business and academia.
In 2015, I led a maritime-focused excursion to Iceland’s Arctic Circle Assembly with nearly 30 Fletcher students and alumni to discuss the implications of an opening Arctic. We also continued a conversation with President Grimsson on how to deepen collaboration between Iceland and the Greater Boston academic community. Recently, I led a research trip to Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. We met with maritime leaders to deepen our understanding of new maritime technologies (BlueTech), maritime strategy, and new opportunities.
I encourage students who wish to be more deeply involved in maritime affairs to join the Neptunes, a Fletcher student group that engages on oceanic matters, including discussions, lectures, excursions, and international conferences.
Professor Rockford Weitz