The primary purpose of the scientific research is to teach oceanography and oceanographic sampling techniques to college undergraduate students. Each student must design a research project ashore and carry out that research project during the cruise. In addition, some data is collected for long-term research projects carried out by staff scientists at the Sea Education Association. These projects include studies of the abundance and distribution of plankton, floating tar and plastic, the biology of thermal fronts, the geology of carbonate banks and islands and the comparative ecology of shallow productive banks.
C249 was a passage from Woods Hole to Bequia, ending in St Croix, US VI. Aspects of the western North Atlantic as recorded on C249 include currents, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll. During the six week voyage we collected samples or data at 47 discrete oceanographic stations and 47 surface stations.