Study of the ocean provides an opportunity to add an important dimension to the global perspective we hope all Fletcher students will achieve. Insofar as I know, maritime studies such as we pursue at Fletcher do not exist at any other institution. There are good programs to be found in oceanography and courses are available in various aspects of maritime and naval studies at many universities. But Fletcher, because of its interdisciplinary curriculum, is an ideal place to study the salt-water part of the planetary surface; to examine it in a comprehensive way as an important sphere of international affairs, as a place of concern for makers of policy and shapers of events.
At Fletcher history forms the intellectual core for a wider study of the ocean as source, avenue, and arena: a source of foodstuffs and energy, of recreation and cultural inspiration, an avenue for the flow of goods, people, and ideas, and an arena for struggle and warfare.
Maritime studies are relatively new at Fletcher. Due to the intrinsically interdisciplinary nature of the ocean as subject, a large number of courses offered at Fletcher are relevant to this study, and students may, with special permission, elect maritime studies as one of their fields of concentration, crafting their own programs to reflect specific regional or topical interests, e.g. Pacific Asia, environmental or security studies, business or law, etc., within a maritime context. MALD theses and doctoral dissertations can also have maritime themes. The one required course for such salt-water enthusiasts is DHP H202 Oceanic History, an introductory lecture course that is prerequisite to a second course, a seminar, DHP H203 Contemporary Issues in Oceanic Affairs. I teach both these courses every fall semester.