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Winter 2012



INTO THE DEEP MII tak M takes kes part iin n ocean exploration history

On the Prowl Introducing MI’s MV Atlanticat


CBED brings education home

Message from the vice-president of Memorial University of Newfoundland (Marine Institute) Over the past couple of years, Memorial University’s Marine Institute has seen immense growth. Growth in enrolment, programs, facilities and human resources. As the institute continues to evolve, one thing remains constant – the commitment of our students, staff, faculty, alumni, industry partners, government and stakeholders. MI’s growth and success is a direct result of your continued support. It is no secret the Marine Institute is at the centre of many projects designed to aid the oceans and marine industries. Our people are leading a number of initiatives that are making significant impacts in these sectors. Captured in the pages of this magazine are examples of these initiatives, programs, partnerships and achievements. The stories focus on what is possible, new, innovative, creative and inspiring. They highlight the people who are raising the profile of the institute across the globe, the programs that prepare our students for the global marketplace and the research that is solving challenges within industry and communities. For example, this past year, the institute opened its first regional fisheries and marine centre in Lewisporte, providing an opportunity for our students and clients in central Newfoundland and Labrador to participate in innovative training and applied research activities close to where they work and live. We are also working side-byside with one of the world’s foremost expects in underwater exploration, Dr. Robert Ballard. The Marine Institute’s effort in building and designing a new tug simulator will provide customized training, while our Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) is taking part in research designed to improve rescue and recovery in the offshore. Of course, we couldn’t do any of this important work without help from our industry and government partners. We are pleased to be associated with a group of innovative and dedicated partners who share our vision for the oceans and marine industries in our province. With their help, we are doing our best to advance these industries and ensure they remain sustainable and prosperous for generations to come. Our strength lies in our affinity with the oceans and marine sectors and it is this strength that will allow us to build upon our expertise and advance our reputation in oceans excellence.

Glenn Blackwood Vice-president (Marine Institute)

Change is scary but sometimes very necessary. It is necessary for growth, advancement, and for sustainability. It is that leap of faith into the unknown that has the potential to take you to heights you have never dreamed possible. That is how I see the Marine Institute, ready to take that leap and rise to every challenge it meets. And it has, with great success. Over the past couple of years the institute has opened new research centres, established a new marine base and introduced new programs. It has expanded its international outreach and brought training and education to the doorsteps of students across the province. This issue of The Bridge reflects how MI is accomplishing this with the help and support of our world class researchers, highly skilled staff and faculty, industry and government partners and our most valued ambassadors, our students. The articles throughout the magazine present an excellent cross-section of the amazing work being carried out on a daily basis at the institute. It features stories about our international work, the success of our master’s programs, the groundbreaking research in offshore rescue and the MI alumni who are making a mark for themselves in the oceans and marine sectors. These articles are designed to give you an indication of the many ways MI is leading the way in offshore rescue, ocean exploration, marine simulation and graduate programming and delivery. It is a fear of change that keeps us ordinary, keeps us doing all the same things everybody else is doing. As you read through these stories, you will see that the Marine Institute is anything but ordinary. It is an institute dedicated to bringing world class expertise and capability to the global oceans sector.

Stephanie Barrett Editor

On the Prowl


Contents 2

Out in the cold

Student Connection


CBED brings training home



On the prowl


Student connection


Celebrating my second home


Attracting world class clients

Into the Deep


Spanning the Distance


The Bridge is published by the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University. We welcome submissions, story ideas, photographs, letters and of course, your comments. Editor: Stephanie Barrett Graphic Design: Angie Bishop

Cover photo courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust/Institute for Exploration Editor P.O. Box 4920 St. John’s, NL Canada Phone: 709-778-0677 Fax: 709-778-0672 Public.Relations@mi.mun.ca


Into the deep


Mastering program delivery


Northern exposure


MI in the news


Innovation @ sea


Tug pulls CMS in new direction


Spanning the distance


Restructuring master’s program benefits students


Alumni spotlight

OUT IN THE COLD Michael Petten spent 100 minutes in the cold Atlantic waters on May 30, 2007, wearing only shorts and a T-shirt, after a fire aboard the Nautical Legacy forced everyone into the water. Using a buoy to keep him afloat and feeling very cold, at no point did he panic or lose consciousness. Michael survived to tell this story at a cold water immersion boot camp, hosted by Dr. Gordon Geisbrecht, a world expert on freezing to death and the science of cold water survival. Krista Parsons, instructor with MI’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC), attended the boot camp as part of the Canadian Safe Boating Council’s annual conference, held in Newfoundland this past September. “The workshop included both classroom and on the water activities,” said Parsons. “Topics included mechanism of heat loss, thermal protection realities, triage of the hypothermic victim, extraction techniques, re-warming, packaging for transport and the experience of cold water immersion.” A group of participants had the opportunity to experience hands-on the effects of cold water immersion response. “Dr. Geisbrecht had the volunteers enter the 10 degree Celsius waters of Conception Bay wearing ordinary clothes and a personal floatation device (PFD) for about 30 minutes,” added Parsons. “Even after 30 minutes of immersion, the individuals were in no way hypothermic.” Dr. Geisbrecht explains most participants may have died within a few minutes after cold water immersion if they were not wearing a PFD or lifejacket. Panicking or poor decision making are often the cause of death rather than hypothermia or drowning. He goes on to say the outcome is interesting because cold water immersion is still poorly understood by the public. A common belief is that immersion in very cold water, even with protective clothing, results in death from hypothermia in minutes. Few people understand that it takes more than thirty minutes for individuals who fall into icy water while wearing winter clothing to become clinically hypothermic. “Dr. Geisbrecht explained to great lengths that these incorrect assumptions have serious implications because believing that death from hypothermia is imminent can result in panic and poor decision making, making a bad situation worse, even fatal,” said Parsons. “One unfortunate outcome of this erroneous belief is the fatalistic attitude of many commercial fishermen that, even if a PFD is worn, they have no hope of survival if they accidently fall overboard in cold water.” “Meeting Dr. Geisbrecht and listening to him discuss cold water immersion was an excellent opportunity and truly fascinating,” added Parsons. “Workshops such as this are very necessary and the results will help save lives.”


Dr. Geisbrecht is a professor at the Faculty of Kinesiology at the University of Manitoba where he operates the Laboratory for Exercise and Environmental Medicine and he studies human responses to exercise and work in extreme environments. He has conducted hundreds of cold water immersion studies and has used himself as a test subject for his own research. He believes he has been hypothermic about 40 times during his research career. He has also been featured on the Discovery Channel and David Letterman, and hauled a sled on a solo expedition of Lake Winnipeg that covered 450 km in 26 days.

CBED Brings Education Home Marine Institute Offers Flexibility to Meet Training Needs MI’s new Community Based Education Delivery Unit (CBED) specializes in bringing training and education to rural centres throughout Newfoundland and Labrador and recently, communities in Nunavut. While the institute continues to offer traditional classroom training in communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador where the demand exists, MI is looking for new, creative ways to bring fishing master programs and short course training to fish harvesters. Craig Parsons, director of CBED, explains that responsiveness and flexibility are fundamental in the delivery of these programs as not all clients can come to the Marine Institute’s main campus. “Bringing training to our clients is very important,” said Parsons.“Some of them would like to train in their communities whether that’s in a boardroom or in a building in their town. Our clientele like this approach; it’s effective for them in a number of ways, including cost reduction.” As the demand for the Fishing Master IV program continues to grow, more innovative ways are being sought to deliver the program as effectively and efficiently as possible. One of these ways includes online delivery, whereby students can complete their training from the comfort of their own home.

MI, in partnership with the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board, successfully piloted the online delivery of the Fishing Master IV program last year. This online method reduces the cost of training as the harvester can complete four of the major components of the program from home. “For some fish harvesters, sitting in a classroom can be difficult logistically and financially,” added Parsons. “Traditionally, the harvester has to commit to a 12-week program in St. John’s or a program in his community. The time spent in a classroom and the rigidity of the schedule represents opportunity and personal costs to the participant.” While the program can be accessed online as of this fall, MI continues to offer the training at its main campus in St. John’s and through community based delivery where demand exists. The Marine Institute supports the training needs of the fishing industry with a variety of delivery methods and locations in Stephenville, Holyrood and Lewisporte from which to choose. Whether it is a three-day course in radio operations or a 12-week Fishing Master program, the Marine Institute will grow with the industry and offer training programs that best meet industry needs. The Marine Institute will always be bringing education home to the fishing industry. www.mi.mun.ca/cbed


MI introduces newest research vessel, the MV Atlanticat




MI’s capacity in applied research for the oceans and marine sectors has reached a new high. With an investment of $1.5 million from the provincial government and funding from Memorial University, MI has acquired state-of-the-art ocean mapping equipment and a new research vessel, the MV Atlanticat.

is threefold: an integrated training and research protocol whereby data is collected every minute the vessel is at sea; opportunities for at-sea training and experience for students; and applied and fundamental research in pursuit of better understanding of Newfoundland and Labrador’s vast ocean resources.

The MV Atlanticat, which is integrated with the Holyrood Marine Base within the new department of Marine Services, is a wave piercing catamaran with the latest in hull and superstructure design, propulsion, navigation and safety systems. It’s a multidisciplinary nearshore research/training vessel set up to do ocean mapping and fisheries research.

According to Rob Coombs, manager of MI’s department of Marine Services and the Holyrood Marine Base, the applied research conducted with the new equipment will be groundbreaking in Newfoundland and Labrador, providing MI’s industry partners in the fisheries, marine transportation and offshore oil and gas industries with valuable information that was not previously available.

Equipped with the latest in ocean mapping systems – multibeam sonar, four channel sub-bottom profiler and side scan sonar systems – MI’s vision for the MV Atlanticat

“We see the vessel as a multi-faceted tool for the benefit of the entire Marine Institute,” said Coombs. “In fact, we already have plans to work with the Centre for Fisheries

Ecosystems Research to conduct some fisheries research and with the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources on a crab pot detection project.”

the means to assess the size of fish stocks, determine pipeline routes for offshore oil production and identify safer routes for vessel traffic.

To date, most of the research work conducted by the MV Atlanticat has been with MI’s Centre for Applied Ocean Technology (CTec).

Gillespie goes on to say that the MV Atlanticat is another piece of the puzzle for important research and training voyages that could help MI achieve another long-standing goal.

“Our objective is to map the whole coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, which no one has ever done before,” said Randy Gillespie, director of CTec. “The fact that the MV Atlanticat will be used to collect data while at the same time train students makes it as unique as the Marine Institute.” In addition to the educational benefits this new equipment provides, there are significant benefits for MI’s industry partners as well. Clients will have

“Ocean mapping has been identified as a strategic focus for the Marine Institute,” said Gillespie. “We now have the capacity not only to achieve this goal but to have long term, positive effects on our students, partners and to the ocean technology sector in Newfoundland and Labrador and across the world. We want to lead the way in oceans industries and this is a major step in the right direction.”


This past summer I had the opportunity to be a part of two amazing experiences, Students on Ice expedition and the IMPACT! Youth sustainability conference. I was able to further my knowledge in the fields of Arctic resources and development, political issues surrounding the environment, and worldwide social, economic, and resource sustainability. The Arctic expedition was a 17-day journey unlike anything I have ever experienced before. There were high school students from 14 different countries, experts specializing in topics ranging from permafrost to botany, and chaperones who were interested in the topics and values of the expeditions. The expedition included flying to Iceland, taking a vessel to southern parts of Greenland, and finally heading to northern parts of Labrador. I participated in the expedition as a chaperone. This issue’s Student Connection features Jonathan Chatman, a third-year marine environmental student at MI. In this article he recounts two extraordinary experiences that have since helped to shape his views of the marine environmental sector and what he can do to help affect change in his own backyard.

Upon landing in Iceland, we went to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal outdoor hot spring, and toured a Viking museum. We hiked volcanoes and were introduced to the President of Iceland. He gave us a presentation on his views of environmental issues facing Iceland and the rest of the world. We then headed north to catch our vessel, the Clipper Adventurer, to take us to southern parts of Greenland. Heading west towards Greenland, we ventured on the same path the Vikings had taken to North America. As we traveled we saw several marine mammals including blue whales, a rare occurrence, and several other cephalopods. We finally made it to Greenland after being shut out by ice flows. We stopped in a small community where we hiked to find Viking ruins and were able to stand on glaciers that will soon be nonexistent. A sobering realization.




On the last leg of the journey, we sailed for Labrador and to Torngat Mountain National Park. Here we met with a tribe of Inuit at their base camp and were able to share cultural views and hike the park with them. We saw the wildlife of the park including polar bears or Nanuk (polar bear in Inuktitut). This opportunity left me star struck and craving more, it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I was lucky to experience. The second opportunity afforded to me was to attend the IMPACT! Youth sustainability conference, held at the University of Guelph Sept.15-18, 2011. The conference focused on issues surrounding sustainability and youth’s involvement in the upcoming push for a sustainable future. The keynote speaker was Dr. David Suzuki who taught us how we can get involved to shape our own futures and how sustainability is playing a large role in business and development. Prior to the event we had twenty hours of online activities to prepare us for the topics discussed. It was a great way to network and discuss hard hitting sustainability questions with like-minded individuals. Real progress was made as we each had to make a goal for ourselves to complete before the end of 2011. Even now, these goals are coming together as new programs are being prepared by the alumni for awareness for the rest of the population. I have also taken it upon myself to create more awareness for sustainability in the rural areas of Newfoundland and Labrador by presenting my experiences to schools in these districts. These experiences have truly shaped the way I view myself and have altered the path I hope to take in the future. www.studentsonice.com www.impactyouthsustainability.ca



My second home By: Dr. Laura C. Halfyard, School of Fisheries

The Marine Institute has had a long-standing relationship with Tra Vinh University (TVU) in southern Vietnam. In September 2001, the institute, as part of a consortium of four Canadian colleges, was awarded a five-year, $4.7 million project to plan and help establish Tra Vinh Community College (TVCC) in Mekong Delta. On June 19, 2011 Tra Vinh University (TVU) celebrated its 10th anniversary as a college and its fifth as a university. I was honoured and humbled to be invited to attend these celebrations on behalf of the Marine Institute. It was wonderful to return and see the changes and growth since I first crossed the river to the new college in a small dugout canoe in March 2002. The rector, Dr. Pham Tiet Khanh, indicated that they have grown from about 750 students at TVCC to now over 23,000 in the seven centres of TVU, reflecting remarkable development and achievement. It was also extremely rewarding to be part of a group of nine individuals who received a special award in recognition of their contributions to the development of TVCC and TVU. It was a privilege to be honoured with a plaque, gold pin and speech that highlighted the importance of the Marine Institute and Canada’s contributions to its foundation and development. I also had the pleasure of presenting a gift, along with Ms. Deborah Chatsis, ambassador for Canada to Vietnam, to Dr. Khanh. The Newfoundland pewter artwork by Cox of a whale’s tail captures MI’s ties to the ocean, and depicts the past and future growth of TVU and what it can achieve. The Marine Institute’s presence in Vietnam actually goes back 18 years where it successfully completed 16 projects throughout the country. Over 50 Vietnamese partner representatives have visited the institute and more than 30 Marine Institute and Memorial University personnel have worked in Vietnam. I was lucky enough to be one them. Over the years Vietnam has become my second home, as the values of family, friendship, community, and the ties to the waters in and around it remind me of Newfoundland and Labrador. My program development activities linked aquaculture, agriculture and food technology program components, but others were involved with mechanical, electrical,


administration and other local training needs. Various members of the Marine Institute community were also involved, including Ray Hayter, John Connors, Kevin Clarke, Maria Murray, Nina Goudie and Mike Fowler. The TVCC instructors we worked with were young, fresh and energetic, had just graduated from university, had family ties in the region and were like sponges, eager to absorb new information, ideas and methods. They became my daughters and sons and at last count I now have about a dozen grandchildren, since these young teachers are now starting their own families. Most of these teachers have since completed master’s programs, while others are pursuing PhD studies. It has been phenomenal to watch the rate of development of infrastructures, programs, and staff and faculty. I truly admire the work ethic of these people but, at the same time, they also know how to enjoy themselves. I’ve had the pleasure (and pain) of many staff parties, weddings and official events. I’m often thankful that as a woman I can limit the Chuc suc khoe toasts (means good luck/good health). MI continues to collaborate with TVU through training support, exchange programs, scholarships at MI and through the placement of MI graduates on six-month work placements. MI International placed another three interns at TVU in October 2011. MI also completed another major Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) Bilateral project with the Tra Vinh Community in collaboration with the Saskatchewan Institute of Applied Science and Technology (SIAST) and Agriteam. The $2.4 million Tra Vinh Improved Livelihoods Project involved initiatives to enhance a variety of small and medium business sectors through improving processes, capacity, facilities and access to credit for people in Tra Vinh province. In my early days at TVCC, etched into one garden lawn was a quote by Ho Chi Minh, the founding president of Vietnam. Its essence is: it takes 10 years to grow a tree, but 100 to grow a person. TVU has made huge strides during its first decade and we are sure that they can accomplish much more in the next few. The Marine Institute and Memorial University hope to be part of their international collaboration partnerships.

Attracting World Class Clients Holyrood Marine Base a focal point for research and education activities When the Marine Institute opened its new Holyrood Marine Base in August 2010, it represented another step forward for the Newfoundland and Labrador ocean technology sector. A year later, it is providing access to the training, knowledge and research necessary to develop the ocean technology and marine sectors in Newfoundland and Labrador. So who is benefiting from the new world class facilities? Robert Coombs, manager of the Holyrood Marine Base, has been kept very busy hosting students, researchers, and MI’s industry clients. “Although the Marine Institute is the driving force behind this initiative, the marine base is serving as a research and training base for the entire university,” said Coombs.”As an example, the CREAIT Network of Memorial University is currently involved in an interdisciplinary Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) based research program that requires a sheltered launch and recovery site. This site will be an ideal location for the team as they work to develop AUV technology.” Coombs goes on to say that Dr. Ralf Bachmayer, an associate professor in ocean technology at Memorial University, has used the base on several occasions for his AUV research. “Dr. Bachmayer has a proposal to conduct a multi-year study and is looking at making Holyrood his home base,” added Coombs. “Ron Lewis with the CREAIT Network is also looking to do the same.” The Marine base is also attracting industrial clients. Marport, a world leader in the design and development of Software Defined Sonar® has been the using the base since mid-April of this year, and is still at the base conducting trials.

on the base itself and what we could do to improve upon the level of service we are currently offering,” said Coombs. “This is an important exercise as it’s one of our goals to be flexible and responsive to the needs of our industry clients and the work they do.” The town of Holyrood has also been utilizing the facilities as they regularly hold town meetings at the base. “It’s very important to stay connected to the town and help aid in regional and rural development by providing direct and indirect economic spin-offs to the surrounding communities,” said Coombs. “We have a piece of infrastructure that is an extraordinary facility for the public and for industry. We have to look at it not only from what it can contribute from a commercial point of view, but as a public interpretation facility that looks at our maritime heritage and the industries of today and the future, such as oil and gas.” With plans for additional storage, a breakwater, ROV field, and the construction of an additional building, the Holyrood Marine Base is still growing with a view to be a gathering place that fosters collaboration among local, national and international researchers, scientists, instructors and students in the oceans industries “If you like what you see now, come back in five years,” said Coombs. “There’s a multi-purpose facility there now and that’s just the first phase of the development. It’s a beautiful building in an amazing location and the whole concept of developing a world class oceans centre is perfect for that area. It’s the right time and the right place and I’m looking forward to contributing and seeing the final product realized.”

“As our first commercial client, we took the opportunity to use them as our guinea pigs and provide us with feedback

Photo courtesy of Peter King, MERLIN Lab, Memorial University




MI faculty and students take part in ocean exploration history This past summer, Wes Smith and Scott Follett from the Marine Institute’s School of Ocean Technology (SOT) took part in ocean exploration history on board the Institute for Exploration’s (IFE) vessel, the EV Nautilus. The Institute for Exploration is dedicated to research in the aquatic sciences, especially pertaining to human and natural history in the oceans. Under the direction of Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic, IFE develops advanced deep-sea vehicle systems to conduct this research, as well as educate students and the general public. This year’s expedition began in the Black Sea in July and continued to the Aegean, Mediterranean, and Atlantic and finished in November off the coast of Israel. During the trip, Nautilus expedition scientists mapped the sea floor, studied underwater volcanoes, investigated unusual life forms, and explored shipwrecks. Smith and Follett were invited to join the vessel in August during the Helenic Arc phase. Smith, an instructor with the School of Ocean Technology (SOT), boarded the vessel in Bodrum, Turkey and was given the job of Argus pilot. Argus is a tow sled vehicle, which supports the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Hercules’ mission. It is equipped with high definition cameras and large lights to illuminate the area, which allow the scientists to gain a better sense of the surrounding environment and view Hercules working. “Initially I thought I was going to be a navigator,” said Smith. “Argus pilot is a much more interesting job as it involves feeding pertinent information to the Hercules pilot such as vehicle orientation, tether management, vehicle instrument data, etc. I also had to monitor all of the auxiliary video camera views and inform the Hercules pilot of what was happening.”


Acting as Argus pilot, Smith had the opportunity to explore volcanoes in the Aegean Sea, more specifically Kolombo and Santorini. “One of my most memorable moments onboard was when we were exploring the Santorini caldera in search of hydrothermal activity,” said Smith. “When we came up over the side of the dome of the crater and into the ambient light, what we saw was truly mind-blowing. We turned off the big lights on Argus since the ambient light allowed us to see so much more than you normally would and the visual perspective was astounding.” Follett, who graduated from the remotely operated vehicle program at the Marine Institute, also joined the vessel in August. Before heading to the expedition, he was tasked with designing a mount to house a rock hammer tool for the arm of Hercules. The hammer would then be used to chip rock samples and bring them to the surface for analysis. While onboard the vessel, Scott also acted as Argus pilot. Follett was one of four MI students involved in IFE expeditions over the last year. Last summer, Christina Fennelly, Kim Hann and Mark Dalley were all invited to take part in EV Nautilus’ expedition to the Black Sea where they searched for shipwrecks and ancient artifacts. This is not the first time MI has collaborated on ocean science and research. In January 2006, the Marine Institute signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography to formalize the working relationship between the two academic institutions and identify areas where individuals within each organization could collaborate to develop and implement academic, research and development programs. One of the most tangible outcomes of the thriving partnership with URI is the Immersion Presents Theatre, which was officially opened by Dr. Ballard in June 2008.

Photos courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust/Institute for Exploration

“This is a great opportunity for Marine Institute students and faculty to work alongside some of the foremost underwater explorers of our time,” said Dwight Howse, head of MI’s School of Ocean Technology. “The relationships that we have developed with the folks at the University of Rhode Island’s Inner Space Center, Immersion Learning, and the Institute for Exploration now enable us to participate in new discoveries that are taking place in the oceans around the world.” Howse goes on to say that Paul Brett, instructor with SOT, also joined the expedition in late October where he acted as navigator. The navigator plays a crucial role in knowing and predicting at any time the ROV’s positions relative to the ship and relative to the site being explored, in order to ensure the safe and efficient progress of any exploration program. “I received a very positive email from Brennan Philips, operations manager for IFE onboard the Nautilus, stating they were very impressed with both Follett and Smith and the contributions they were making to the expedition and they were looking forward to welcoming Brett later in the fall. This is a real testament to how our local expertise is contributing to the world oceans industries and how together we are building on our respective capabilities and furthering our opportunities.” Viewers can follow the MI and IFE teams as they explore the Mediterranean Sea at the Nautilus Live website at www.Nautiluslive.org


MASTERING P R O G R A M D E L I V E RY MI’s new master’s programs gaining momentum The Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland took another step forward in continuing education over the past two years with the launch of two new master’s programs and an aquaculture option in the master of technology. The master of maritime management (MMM) and master of technology management (MTM), engineering and applied science technology option, were established in the fall of 2010, providing those in the marine and technology sectors with professional development opportunities. This fall, the aquaculture option was introduced to the master of technology management program adding focus to aquaculture technology and management skills for that growing industry. According to Angie Clarke, enrolment management co-ordinator with MI, these programs are meeting the needs of individuals employed in the marine, technology and aquaculture sectors and the fall enrolment numbers are a key indicator of their success. “To say the programs are doing well is an understatement,” said Clarke. “Essentially, what we are doing is providing a new educational ladder for individuals in these sectors, allowing them to become more effective leaders in their respective industries.” In order to cater to the needs of this unique professional population, all courses within the programs are offered through online education, allowing employees to continue working while completing their programs but is also serving to attract students from all over the world. “Graduate students from across the globe are enrolling because the programs are both accessible and relevant,” added Clarke. “The varying backgrounds and career experiences of the enroled students, greatly contribute to the overall learning environment, as it adds a real richness to the online classroom.” These new programs build upon the success of MI’s master of maritime studies (MMS) and undergraduate degree programs. Currently, MI offers two undergraduate degrees, the bachelor of technology (B.Tech.) and the bachelor of maritime studies (BMS). Both programs have enjoyed success since they were implemented with the B.Tech. celebrating its 1000th graduate this past spring. The head of Academic and Student Affairs, Dr. Peter Fisher, takes great pride in the development of these new programs. He attributes much of the program success to the program development practices at the Marine Institute. “The coordinated efforts of our instructional designers, content experts, administrative support staff and academic directors have started the programs with a solid foundation.” www.whereyouwanttobe.ca


Nort hernexposure

The Marine Institute, iin n partnersh partnership hip w with ith the Nunavut Research Institute, hosted the ninth annual Ocean Innovation Conference and Exhibition in Iqaluit, Nunavut from Oct. 1821, 2011. With a theme of sustainability in the North, the conference was a success boasting over 100 attendees and 15 exhibitors, one-third of which came to Iqaluit from other parts of Canada, and the rest of the world.

The conference, chaired by the well-respected Peter Kilabuk of Pangnirtung, opened with a Youth Conference at Iqaluit’s Inuksuk High School, facilitated by MI Ocean Net’s Justin Dearing. The day began with presentations from Arctic advocates such as Nobel Peace Prize nominee and advocate on Arctic Climate Change, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, Udloriak Hanson with Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Trevor Taylor, OceansNorth Canada and the PEW Foundation and representatives from the Students on Ice program. The presentations engaged students and teachers with informative discussions on how youth can take the lead in addressing issues on marine sustainability and ocean conservation. Inuksuk High School now has a committee dedicated to improving activities and information as it relates to marine sustainability and ocean conservation among the student body.

The highlight of the conference was keynote speaker, Sheila Watt-Cloutier, who shared her expertise and insight with delegates in a passionate and thought-provoking address on the environment, economy, foreign policy, health, human rights and leadership, how these issues are interconnected, and what it means for the future of our planet.

Cathy Towtongie, with Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. also spoke about integrating science and Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or Inuit traditional knowledge, and how it can benefit all players from both the North and South. The conference also brought together representatives from Northern communities, policy makers, scientists and business people, speaking about challenges and opportunities pertaining to the development of ocean resources, sovereignty, climate change and maritime infrastructure. These areas of discussion were of great importance to those residing in the North and for those wishing to collaborate with the North on scientific and business development areas. This year’s conference was successful in enhancing the Marine Institute’s profile both in the North and worldwide with media coverage spanning the globe from Iqaluit to Ottawa to Spain. Planning is currently underway for the Ocean Innovation 2012 Conference and Exhibition to be held at the Delta Hotel and Conference Centre Oct.20-24, 2012. Next year’s conference will explore Extreme Survival: Innovations in Training, Knowledge and Equipment. For details and to register, visit www.oceaninnovation.ca


MI in the

New scholarships and training at MI

NEWS MI MUNDAYS a success The Marine Institute celebrated its first IMI MUNdays festivities in October. The week-long event included an assortment of activities geared towards students, faculty and staff and were designed to help embrace the creativity, diversity and leadership that make the Marine Institute a unique and special part of Memorial University. The first event of the week-long celebrations, the breakfast bazaar, saw faculty, students and staff, clad in their favourite pj’s, enjoy a home cooked breakfast with all the fixings. Followed by a successful round of Minute to Win it, the celebrations got off to a great start as Dwight Howse, head of MI’s School of Ocean Technology, tried his hand at balloon juggling. One of the highlights of the week was Kindness Friday, an event where students, faculty, and staff demonstrated their kindness, by participating in the Sink our Boat food drive. The food collected helped fill an MI lifeboat and was part of a University-wide initiative to Fill-the-Square at Paton College. For more information and www.mi.mun.ca/MIMUNDAYS






Three new entrance scholarships were announced for students enroled in the diploma of technology in marine engineering technology programs at the Marine Institute, Holland College or the Nova Scotia Community College-Nautical Institute. These scholarships are renewable up to a maximum of three years and provide each student $3,000 per academic year. The scholarships are part of a memorandum of understanding (MOU), signed by the Marine Institute, Nova Scotia Community College-Nautical Institute and Holland College Marine Training Centre funded by the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP). MI highlights career opportunities at Aquaculture Conference Carey Bonnell, head of MI’s School of Fisheries, was invited to give a presentation at the fourth bi-annual Aquaculture Showcase event, co-organized by the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) and the Coast of Bays Corporation (CoBC). He highlighted MI’s aquaculture programs and how the institute works with industry to design courses that suit the specific needs of the sector. Also attending from MI was vice-president, Glenn Blackwood. Cyr Couturier and Jason Nichols from MI’s School of Fisheries also attended, taking students from the institute’s advanced diploma in sustainable aquaculture (ADSA) to the event where they participated in the week’s activities and visited some aquaculture sites and met potential future employers. An open house also took place in Hermitage where MI representatives met with youth from several high schools to promote careers in the aquaculture sector.

CFER welcomes new research scientists

MMSB Names Friends of Beaches Waste Reduction Hero

MI’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) welcomed two new research scientists to the team this past fall. Dr. Sherrylynn Rowe, a St. John’s native, joined CFER in September where she will be studying aspects of population dynamics and conservation biology of marine fish populations. Dr. Rowe completed her B.Sc.(Hons.) and M.Sc. in biology from Memorial University. She then went on to receive her PhD from Dalhousie University in 2004. Dr. Jonathan A.D. Fisher was also recently appointed as a research scientist with CFER as its ecosystem and food web specialist. Dr. Fisher, originally from Milton, Ont., was most recently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Biology at Queen’s University and the Ocean Sciences Division at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography. He received a B.Sc.(Hons.) in biology from Queen’s University in 2000 before going on to pursue his M.Sc. in biology from Dalhousie University in 2003. Dr. Fisher received his PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007.

The province’s Multi Materials Stewardship Board (MMSB) named MI Ocean Net’s Friends of Beaches Network as its September Waste Reduction Hero. Across the province, groups of individuals are seeing a need and taking action to clean up sensitive coastal areas in their own communities. The Friends of Beaches Network, led by Justin Dearing of MI Ocean Net, is making this possible. Made up of a province-wide network of youth and community members, Friends of Beaches works to clean up indiscriminate dumping, marine debris, and litter on beaches and shorelines in communities throughout the province.

DND Graduation Twenty-two Naval Combat Systems Technicians were welcomed into the ranks of the Canadian Navy on Sept. 16, as the Marine Institute held graduation ceremonies for the Marine Engineering Technician Training Plan (METTP). The ceremony was hosted at the Drill Hall in Pleasantville. Captain (N) Joel Parent, director of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy (NSPS) was the reviewing officer at the graduation ceremony and MI’s vice-president, Glenn Blackwood brought greetings on behalf of the institute and presided over the ceremony.

Fall scholarships awarded Eighty-six Marine Institute students received over $95,000 in scholarships at an evening celebration on Nov. 16, 2011. The annual Fall Scholarship and Awards Presentation celebrates student academic excellence and leadership skills and is made possible through the generosity of local and national businesses, organizations and individuals. This year, two new scholarships were introduced, the Canadian Association of Prawn Producers and the Roy Russell Memorial Bursary. Mr. Kent Decker, vicepresident, administration and finance, Memorial University of Newfoundland was on hand to address the award-winning students. Also addressing the students were Memorial’s vicepresident (Marine Institute) Mr. Glenn Blackwood, and Mr. Allistair O’Rielly, deputy minister, Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. In total, 97 scholarships were awarded.



INNOVATION The Marine Institute’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) has put considerable research effort into improving its emergency evacuation, survival and rescue for maritime and offshore environments. Working in partnership with Memorial University’s School of Human Kinetics and Recreation and major offshore companies, researchers at the OSSC are currently examining different ways to utilize the Dacon Scoop, a standard piece of rescue equipment found on offshore service and supply vessels currently servicing the Terra Nova and White Rose oilfields. Rob Brown, research lead at the OSSC, explains that the Dacon Scoop is a manoeuverable rescue net which is operated by a standard deck crane. The net is suspended from the ship’s side and it provides an effective recovery system with a rescue reach of 3 - 6 metres depending on dimensions and crane reach. “It is intended for recovery of evacuees directly from the water in rough sea conditions but may also have other applications,” said Brown. “The purpose of this project is to determine if it is feasible and safe to do so.” The project has involved full scale sea trials conducted from two different supply/support vessels. Data has been collected on recovery of a standard 25 person life raft outfitted with mannequins to accurately


represent the location and weight of occupants in a range of sea and wind conditions. Bob Rutherford, director of the OSSC, noted that the project came about as a result of observations by instructor Graham Small, while conducting rescue drills for Suncor and Husky Energy. “During the drills, it was noted that the Dacon Scoop may have a possible application for recovering a loaded life raft,” said Rutherford. “With funding support through Petroleum Research Atlantic Canada (PRAC) and the support of both Suncor and Husky Energy a research project was initiated.” Depending on the research outcomes, a set of procedures for optimal safety in a real rescue operation will be developed. An analysis of the feasibility of conducting drills using the Dacon Scoop to recover loaded life rafts as part of the annual standby vessel performance verification trials will also be conducted. “Data analysis is now in progress with a technical report to be prepared by the end of the year,” added Rutherford. “A technical paper will be prepared and presented at the Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering (OMAE) Conference 2012 and again at the International Association for Safety and Survival Training (IASST) Conference to be held at MI next October.”



Before a tugboat pilot escorts a tanker into Placentia Bay in the future, chances are that pilot will have had an opportunity to practice before going out on the water. With an investment of $247,000 from the provincial government, the Marine Institute’s Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS) and its team of experts are working to develop a new tug simulator to add to its already impressive suite of simulation services. Jim Evely, who has been with CMS for 10 years, is one of these experts and explains that this new simulator is different than any other at CMS. “A tug has a unique system which allows the vessel to manoeuvre quickly and change direction virtually instantaneously,” said Evely. “Because this is such a distinctive system, we need to develop specialized controls to simulate its movement.” Evely goes on to say that a number of companies are now utilizing the Voith Schneider Propulsion (VPS) system, and as a result, the demand for training on this system has increased. Captain Chris Hearn, director of CMS, adds that CMS will be one of the first in North America to have access to simulated Voith Schneider propulsion capability and as a result will be able to deliver customized training courses for clients using the VPS system.

“CMS will be able to meet current needs for tug training in Newfoundland and Labrador’s marine transportation and oil and gas industries, as well as capitalize on opportunities in the rest of Canada and the United States,” said Hearn. How will CMS deliver this customized training? “The new tug simulator will be integrated with our full mission bridge simulator,” said Evely. “As a result a number of enhancements are needed including visuals, manoeuvring systems, charting and radar plotting.” The finished product will be well worth the effort as teams on both the bridge and tug simulators can interact with each other, communicate via radio, and even see each other’s vessels during the simulated exercise. “It will be very realistic complete with groundshaking special effects,” added Evely. What is even more impressive about the simulator is that Evely and the rest of the CMS team are designing and fabricating some of the hardware components of the project themselves. “It’s one of the many factors that sets CMS apart, our internal technical design ability,” said Hearn. “This makes us unique and cost effective in that we can design and build much of our own technology to meet clients specifications thus improving their buy in and use.”


For the past 16 years, MI International has been active in Tanzania, fostering a number of on-going developments, many of which are funded in part by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The most current projects involve the Education for Employment Program (EFE). The EFE program is designed to establish sustainable partnerships that contribute to the improvement and implementation of national policies in technical and vocational education reform in Tanzania. MI International is currently involved in a long-term consultancy supporting the EFE program, with MI’s Nigel Allen serving as senior technical advisor for the Tanzanian Government’s Ministry of Education and Vocational Training.

SPAN the

MI International facilitates projects all over the world and has developed a global reputation for its expertise.


Presently, MI International is engaged in three, two-year EFE projects. The first is with MATI Mlingano, a technical institute specializing in agriculture and agro-mechanization and the second in Mikumi, focusing on the tourism sector and technical institutional development. A third project, concentrating on food production and nutrition, is also taking place in IIonga. In addition to this, MI International was contracted in 2010 to deliver Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) Technical Assistance to Government of Tanzania representatives. Bill Chislett, director with MI International, says there is a natural fit between MI’s expertise and experience and Tanzania’s new national development priorities, which include an enhanced technical vocational education and training (TVET) system.

NING distance

“TVET institution development is one of MI’s strengths,” said Chislett. “Furthermore, Tanzania places priority on sustainable coastal management, the offshore oil and gas industry, coastal tourism and coastal livelihoods including fisheries and marine resource management. It all ties in very closely with the primary areas of focus of the Marine Institute which are fisheries, maritime studies and ocean technology.”

Tanzania is also seeking MI’s expertise in areas such as human resource development and management; student affairs and services; financial resource management; strategic planning; marketing and public relations; project management and planning; and quality management systems. In 2010, groups from two of the current EFE projects in Tanzania visited MI as part of a mission to further enhance their partnerships in Atlantic Canada and to seek advice on how to better develop industry-responsive programming. A third group took part in training sessions during a similar trip to MI in September 2011. “The groups were from separate projects and schools but their interests were very similar because they are all involved in TVET development,” added Chislett. “The generic aspects of their interests lie in strategic development, information/ communication technologies for management, as well as ensuring that programs match the labour market. MI is an excellent model of how programs can respond to industry need.” Chislett goes on to say this is just the tip of the iceberg as MI has identified a number of opportunities in Tanzania that align with the institute’s strategic priorities such as offshore oil and gas and port development projects. “The work that we do internationally continues to prove that educational institutions and other organizations worldwide often deal with the same issues and concerns that we tackle here at MI,” said Chislett. “Being able to find solutions to common problems, to learn from each other’s experiences and to work together on mutually beneficial opportunities are what our international partnerships, including those in Tanzania, are all about.” www.mi.mun.ca/mi_international




benefits students

MI is restructuring its master of marine studies (fisheries resource management), MMS(FRM) program to better cater to a unique and evolving student population. Key among the changes to the program is the introduction of a course based option, beginning in January 2012. Previously, the program required the completion of eight mandatory courses plus a major report. The new model provides two options: students may either complete the paper or an additional two courses. Students enroled in the program before January 2012 will now have the opportunity to move to the course based option if they so choose. Carey Bonnell, head of MI’s School of Fisheries, explains that after 14 years it was felt that the program was in need of restructuring. “The nature of the fishery has changed significantly since the program was initially developed in the mid-1990s,” said Bonnell. “A modernizing of the program and course content will enable us to focus on the increasingly global nature of the industry.” The program will also now be available online, increasing accessibility and enabling the Institute to attract graduate students from other regions of the province, Canada and around the world. “Continuing education has long been a priority of the Marine Institute,” added Bonnell. “It is important that we continue to offer flexible, accessible and innovative learning experiences to meet the needs of our students. With this new online delivery, students can now continue to work while completing the program.” The restructuring will also see the addition of new courses related to specific aspects of fisheries resource management including sustainable fisheries, fisheries technology, legal aspects of fisheries resource management and social and philosophical issues of fisheries management. “Many graduates of this program have gone on to become leaders in industry, government and academia,” said Bonnell. “It is very important that we continue to stay relevant in our program delivery and collaborate with industry and government to build upon the capacity that already exists here in the province and ensure that the fishing industry remains a key pillar of sustainable economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador.” Since inception in 1997, the program has had 66 registrants and 40 graduates to date. The multidisciplinary program provides an understanding of relevant concepts in biology, economics and business as well as fisheries policy and planning. While focused primarily on the North Atlantic, the program also deals with major world’s fisheries as well as fisheries resource assessment methods. www.mi.mun.ca/mms

alumni S P O T L I G H T

For Janice Duggan, the ocean is essential. Yet the marine environment is deteriorating fast and we need to find better ways of managing it. That belief drove Duggan to complete the Marine Institute’s marine environmental technology program. Now, three years later, she is set to make her mark in this growing sector as compliance manager with Gray Aqua Group in Conne River, the Newfoundland and Labrador subsidiary of Gray Aquaculture Limited, a family-owned company based in Northampton, New Brunswick. As compliance manager, Duggan oversees environmental certification, environmental monitoring, new site applications, renewals and permits, leases and license maintenance, and is the company contact for government relations.

Save the Date Marine Institute Career Fair 2012 Marine Institute

She explains that the marine environmental program thoroughly prepared her for this role.

Feb.8-9, 2012

“I loved completing the program,” she said. “I did both a four week and an eight week work term with Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Habitat Management Division, as a student habitat monitoring technician and it really provided me with the hands-on knowledge and skills I needed to prepare me for the real-world situations I face every day. It’s this kind of hands-on training that sets MI graduates apart.”


She adds the program, because it covers such a broad spectrum of the marine environmental sector, offers graduates endless opportunities.

Ocean Innovation/IAAST Conference 2012

“If I was to give any advice to someone trying to decide on a career path in the marine environmental sector it would be to look at all the different opportunities this sector presents,” added Duggan. ”The name definitely doesn’t say it all! I have friends who graduated from the program working with government agencies like Environment Canada and Department of Fisheries and Oceans, oil companies, aquaculture companies, and environmental groups.” While Duggan admits the work can be challenging, she says she loves it and cannot picture herself doing anything else. “Anyone can have a desk job, but the variety that this job affords me is what makes it so interesting. Every day is different and I really enjoy that aspect.” Duggan goes on to say she is amazed by how many MI graduates work in the Coast of Bays region. “I am taken back by the number of Marine Institute graduates who work in this area. From nautical science, food technology, marine environmental, marine engineering, and several other programs offered by the institute, there are so many trained people working here,” she said. “I don’t think that there is a day that goes by that Marine Institute doesn’t come up at least once!”

IAMU AGA 13 Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre Oct.15-17, 2012 www.iamu2012.com

Sheraton Hotel Oct.20-24, 2012 www.oceaninnovation.ca www.iasst.com

World Seafood Congress Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre Sept.28-Oct. 4, 2013

Oceans 2014 MTS/IEEE St. John’s Sept.14-19, 2014 www.oceans14mtsieeestjohns.org


Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland P.O. Box 4920 St. John’s, NL, Canada A1C 5R3 Toll Free: Tel: Fax: Email:

1 800 563 5799 (in North America) ext. 0543 709 778 0543 709 778 0385 recruitment@mi.mun.ca

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The Bridge - Winter 2012  

The Bridge features the success of our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and industry partners and highlights how the Marine Institute is co...

The Bridge - Winter 2012  

The Bridge features the success of our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and industry partners and highlights how the Marine Institute is co...