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Editing and Student Research

Rich was the founding editor of "Searchable Sea Literature," the editor of the series "Seafaring America," and is now regularly involved in other editing projects, which have almost always involved undergraduate and graduate students.


Searchable Sea Literature

Edited by Ned Schaumburg, Williams College-Mystic Seaport and Alison Maas, UC Davis, Searchable Sea Literature is a free online resource devoted to works by North American authors who write about the ocean. These works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and plays. The site includes peer-reviewed biographies of authors, links to their sea-focused writings, and a sampling of scholarship and other resources, as well as an introductory bibliography to the study of sea literature by Alison Maas. The site is hosted by Williams College-Mystic Seaport and has been edited and built by dozens of Williams-Mystic students since 2009. Rich was the managing editor until 2023.


Seafaring America

The University Press of New England/ForeEdge, now absorbed by Brandeis University Press and Chicago University Press, published from 2016-2018 a set of nonfiction books about America's relationship with the ocean, which included the following titles, each co-sponsored by the Williams College-Mystic Seaport program: 


Surviving the Essex: The Afterlife of America's Most Storied Shipwreck by David Dowling

The Sea is a Continual Miracle: Sea Poems and Other Writings by Walt Whitman, edited by Jeffrey Yang

In Pursuit of Giants: One Man's Global Search for the Last of the Great Fish by Matt Rigney

The Whale and His Captors, or The Whaleman's Adventuresby Henry T. Cheever, edited by Robert D. Madison

Twain at Sea: The Maritime Writings of Samuel Langhorne Clemens by Eric Roorda 

The Palatine Wreck: The Legend of the New England's Ghost Ship by Jill Farinelli


Audubon at Sea: The Trans-Atlantic Adventures of John James Audubon

Co-edited with Christoph Irmscher, foreword by Subhankar Banerjee (Chicago, 2022)

This is an illustrated scholarly anthology of Audubon's writings, paintings, and drawings of marine life and coastal trades in the mid-19th century, from the Florida Keys to Labrador and back and forth across the Atlantic. The anthology carefully examines Audubon's rare records of value to marine environmental history, maritime history, art history, and ecocriticism while placing this in context next to Audubon's role as a slaveholder and author of racist attitudes and observations. Rich also wrote an article for Hakai magazine, with the same title "Audubon at Sea." 


Student Research

Primarily with the programs of Williams College-Mystic Seaport, the Sea Education Association, and the Middlebury College California Climate and Coast Semester, dozens of students since 2010 have worked with Rich during the semester or during the summer on a range of ocean humanities projects, especially those above, as well as their own articles, some of which are listed below. 


*Mallory Hoffbeck, Middlebury Institute of International Studies, MS in Int'l Environmental Policy '23, "Sea Education Association: Studying Microplastics Aboard a Tall Ship," Ka Pili Kai: Hawai'i's Sea Grant Magazine 6, no. 1 (2023).


*Robin Potter, Middlebury College '25, "Josiah Shackford: The First Solo Transatlantic Sailor," Maine Boats, Homes, and Harbors (Summer 2023). 


*Kripa Bansal, Grinnell College '25, Mia Hines, Grinnell College '25, Carter Myers-Brown, Hamilton College '25, Finn Warner Middlebury College '25, Mallory Hoffbeck, Middlebury IEP MA '23, and Karan Kunwar Middlebury IEP MA '24, "Captain Joy's Last Voyage: What A Whaling Captain's Logbook Can Teach Us About Sperm Whales and Our Oceans,Earth Island Institute, Summer 2023. (cover story)


*Chloe Beittel, Duke '24, Isabel Stewart Gettysburg, '22, Ava De Leon U. Miami '24, writing "SEA and the History of Ocean Plastics Research," Sea History (Spring 2023), pp. 30-35.


*Claire Morgan, Smith '23, "Phyllis Wheatley," co-authored peer-reviewed biography for "Searchable Sea Literature"


*Marija Miklavčič, University of Rochester '22, "A Forgotten Whaling Wife: Eunice Lawrence of Falmouth, Massachusetts,"  Journal of Undergraduate Research, U. Rochester (2021), pp. 33-36; and "Dava Sobel," peer-reviewed biography in "Searchable Sea Literature"


*Mia Sigler, Mt. Holyoke College '20, "When We See Whales: Transcribing Captain Lawrence's Logbook," Sea History 169 (Winter 2019), pp. 24-28.


*Emma McCauley, SUNY Stony Brook '17, "Sailing the Sharkish Seas: The 19th-C Whaleman's Experience with the Most Feared of Ocean Predators," Sea History 164 (Autumn 2018), pp. 38-43.


*Rachel Earnhardt, Wesleyan '17, "Rachel Carson's Rising Seas," WrackLines (Fall/Winter 2016); and "Carl Safina" and "Elizabeth Kolbert," peer-reviewed biographies in "Searchable Sea Literature"


*Jane Jeong, Williams '17, "Jeffrey Yang," peer-reviewed biography for "Searchable Sea Literature" 


*Eleanore MacLean, Kenyon '15, "He Couldn't Have Done it Without Her—Exy Johnson's Seafaring Legacy" Sea History 152 (Fall 2015), pp. 16-20; and "Joseph Mitchell" and "Exy Johnson," peer-reviewed biography for "Searchable Sea Literature"  


*Alex McInturf, Williams '15, "Ishmael's Plankton Net: Teaching Science aboard the Historic Whaleship Charles W. Morgan," WrackLines (CT SeaGrant, Fall 2014). 


*Taylor Nutting, Williams '14, "'I'm de end! I'm de start!': Eugene O'Neill's Fireman Character in The Hairy Ape," Power Ships (Spring 2015).


*Leah Feldman, Colgate University '14, "Richard Dey," peer-reviewed biography for "Searchable Sea Literature" and

"Ocean Reveries," The Colgate Scene (Fall 2014).


*Svati Narula, Dartmouth '13, co-authored, "Who's Afraid of the Big, Bad Cormorant" WrackLines (CT Sea Grant, Fall/Winter 2012).


*Leila Crawford, Williams College '12, Katy Day, graduate student at the University of St. Andrews '12, and Stephanie Trott, Bryn Mawr '12, research on Virginia Woolf's novel The Voyage Out, which lead to a 2012 article in Sea History and a 2015 scholarly article in The Nautilus


*Gabrielle Joffe, Williams College '11, wrote and illustrated "Flying Fish" for Sea History (2010), and designed and launched the website "The Afterlife of Sir Patrick Spens."


*Megan Holmes, Williams College '11, "Searchable Sea Literature," research toward her senior thesis: "'A Self-forgetful, Perfectly Useless Concentration,' Elizabeth Bishop's Art of the Shore."