As a compliment to our design practice, we also teach courses at the Rhode Island School of Design in the Industrial Design department. In the fall of 2012 we taught a 3-credit studio class on ergonomics. We looked to the commercial fishing industry as a case study and brought our students on working boats to capture valuable insights. When it comes to research, there are few substitutes for first-hand observations. A classroom discussion could never capture the rolling seas or the distinctive smell of diesel exhaust and rotting bait, not to mention the fatigue and stress of the job. Students gained empathy for the extreme conditions on the boats and were able to prototype ideas with a clear intention.