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RESOURCES Building Fundamentals

The Doctor is in

Message from the Editor Forward thinking, innovative ideas and outreach are the cornerstones of MI’s success. Message from the vice-president of Memorial University of Newfoundland (Marine Institute)

MI takes an entrepreneurial approach in all aspects of marine transportation, marine environment, fisheries, aquaculture, food technology and ocean technology. The spring 2013 edition provides a fresh perspective on MI’s true entrepreneurial spirit. It reflects the significance of building and nurturing relationships, not only for the success of the institute, but more importantly, for those involved.

Collaboration with industry, government, stakeholders, students, alumni, faculty and staff is necessary for the operation of the Marine Institute. Each partner has their own path and MI strives to be a part of the journey of success for each individual and company. The ocean industries are continuously growing and expanding with increased demand for expertise and training needs. MI invests in and values its industry connections to address the future needs identified by the global oceans sector. Year after year MI attracts the brightest and best minds into its programs. The excellence of our students is evidence of the institute’s expertise, leading edge technology and ability to provide quality instruction and knowledge which translates into the workforce.

The stories of collaborative applied research projects, harnessing of new technologies, engagement and outreach captured within these pages display MI’s diverse abilities. MI is continuously adapting to the changing learning environment of its students and industry clients. Welcoming new expertise will prove influential in the future success of MI students and future graduates in the ocean industries. Success lies in the ability to develop individual expertise without fear of accepting new challenges and views. I believe that being able to grow and adapt to the ever changing ocean and marine environments will secure MI’s future in ocean excellence.

This spring, MI is welcoming the addition of Dr. Robert Shea as our new associate vice-president (Academic and Student Affairs). He brings with him incredible expertise and experience in student affairs. His leadership in experiential learning, academic programming and student services will contribute to the overall future success of the institute. As MI continues its journey of development in the rapidly changing global oceans sector, the addition of new expertise and acceptance of fresh perspectives will allow us to strengthen our competitive edge on the local, national and international scale.

Glenn Blackwood Vice-president Memorial University of Newfoundland (Marine Institute)

Naomi Osborne Editor

The Doctor is in


Contents Building fundamentals


Refining resources


Crab pots: lost and found


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: Naomi Osborne Graphic Design: Angie Bishop

Editor P.O. Box 4920 St. John’s, NL Canada Phone: 709 778 0677 Fax: 709 778 0672


The Doctor is in


Mentoring and knowledge


Student connection: Building fundamentals


Refining resources


Simulation synergy


Northern and aboriginal ties


Crab pots: lost and found


World seafood congress


Into the depths


MI in the news


Physical to digital


Anchors away




Alumni spotlight


Sustaining our oceans



This spring, MI is extending a warm welcome to its new associate vice-president (Academic and Student Affairs), Dr. Robert Shea. Dr. Shea is widely known for his expertise and experience in post-secondary education, student affairs, experiential learning and academic programming. “MI’s ability to build academic and student success and its reputation as an entrepreneurial higher education institution is what intrigued me,” said Dr. Shea. “Everything the institute does is applied and its people work as a team to get out and do it. MI truly has the field of dreams concept of ‘build it and they will come’.” Dr. Shea’s leadership with higher education and community organizations is extensive. His current role as president of the International Association of Student Affairs and Services (IASAS) is no exception. IASAS is a not-for-profit, premier global organization of higher education educators and student services professionals. It represents 757 members from more than 52 countries around the world. Last summer, IASAS created a virtual team of 12 world experts from seven different countries and sent Dr. Shea, along with two others, to Haiti to work for seven days with a higher education institution. Their goal was to create a report focused on building post-secondary student success in Haiti. Working with the people of Haiti, the team learned the current practices first hand and focused on ways to refine their educators’ abilities to further support students. “My experience in Haiti was an absolutely brilliant opportunity and also personally transformational,” expressed Dr. Shea. “Moving forward, IASAS will be doing more projects in postconflict and post-disaster countries.” In the past few months, before taking on his new role at MI, Dr. Shea travelled with IASAS to build and nurture relations with a number of international associations to ensure the future success of IASAS and projects such as the HAITI initiative. The


ability to nurture international connections for MI will be a natural outcome of Dr. Shea’s work to date. Due to his work with organizations such as UNESCO, IASAS and initiatives such as the Haiti project, Dr. Shea is now able to bring an international perspective to his role at MI. While he is eager to join the team and learn about the facets of the institute he is especially interested in learning more about MI’s international development work. Dr. Shea isn’t coming to MI with a preconceived vision for the institute and admits he has a lot to learn. His plan for the first year is to listen and see how he can apply his skills in a way that best fits the organization. “I firmly believe MI is sitting on the cusp of a lot of wonderful things. I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t think I would be part of an organization that is forward thinking,” said Dr. Shea. “This position allows me to blend my experience in student services and faculty academics, which directly reflect my vision of how universities can support their students on campus and off.”

MI truly has the field of dreams concept of ‘build it and they will come’. Dr. Shea recently served as Memorial University’s acting deputy provost (students) and associate vice-president academic (undergraduate studies) as well as dean pro tempore to the Department of Student Affairs and Services. He has taught with Memorial’s Faculty of Education, specializing in the areas of post-secondary and adult education. Dr. Shea has also been involved in the supervision of numerous doctoral, master’s and undergraduate students in dissertation, thesis, internship and service learning placements. He is the founding editor of the Canadian Journal of Career Development, with more than 2,800 subscribers from around the world. His current research project is a five-year study of career integrated and work integrated learning in postsecondary organizations.


The cornerstones of CFER’s first years

This July will mark the Marine Institute’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) third anniversary. As MI’s newest centre in fisheries research, CFER is mentoring future generations and meeting the need for increased fisheries capacity in Newfoundland and Labrador. Over the span of three short years, the centre has become the largest university-based at-sea fisheries ecosystems research unit in Canada. CFER has grown and evolved into a comprehensive unit of research scientists, biologists, postdoctoral fellows, technicians, administrative personnel and graduate students. CFER focuses on conducting fisheries and marine ecosystems research. The team conducts at-sea research using the RV Celtic Explorer, a research vessel which CFER charters from the Irish Marine Institute. Building on the expertise of CFER’s director Dr. George Rose, the centre has significantly increased its intake of graduate students. With a team of five research scientists, who are all cross appointed to departments within Memorial University, the centre now mentors 15 graduate students. “CFER’s expansion has significantly impacted provincial capabilities in fisheries research. It has allowed us to conduct extensive research in the NL marine ecosystem and contribute to the knowledge base and stock assessments of cod, capelin, shrimp and crab,” said Dr. Rose. “Our students continue to conduct and publish first-rate research. This year alone CFER will graduate four PhD and four MSc students. Two of our MSc students will stay with us for PhD’s and our other graduate and post-doctoral fellows continue to show signs of maintaining our strong record of success and employment.” CFER’s growth has allowed for increased leadership and participation in projects with researchers at Memorial University and other universities in Canada as well as the Department

of Fisheries and Oceans, non-governmental organizations and industry. The centre’s ability to foster collaboration among scientists is part of what drew research scientist, Dr. Dominique Robert to CFER this past fall. Dr. Robert is originally from Lévis, Quebec, and joined CFER after working as a research fellow with the ArcticNet Network of Centres of Excellence of Canada. “I was eager to work at CFER for its dynamic research environment, team work and exciting research avenues,” explained Dr. Robert. “St. John’s is the best place in Canada to work as a fisheries scientist and I hope my research at CFER will contribute to insuring the sustainability of Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries by identifying the key mechanisms driving natural mortality.” CFER has established its own advisory committee consisting of representatives from the provincial and federal governments, Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesting sector, Memorial University’s Faculty of Science as well as other stakeholders in the fishing industry. Dr. Arthur May, president emeritus of Memorial University of Newfoundland, chairs the committee. “The Act which established Memorial University specifically directs the University to emphasize research in fisheries,” said Dr. May. “Fisheries research has always been an important activity across many components of the University, but this new focus will really put Memorial on the map, nationally and internationally.” This past December, CFER submitted proposals to government to procure funding after its initial five years of core funding expire in 2015. The centre is making every effort to secure its future through means of long term funding commitments so it can continue to build on its accomplishments and enhance fisheries research in the province.




This issue’s Student Connection features David Wise, a third year Ocean Mapping student at MI.


FUNDAMENTALS Alberta native and third year ocean mapping student David Wise got his first taste of life at sea far off the Flemish Cap. For five weeks last summer the seismic vessel, Geo Caribbean, owned by Fugro Ltd., was Wise’s waterborne home. With assistance from Marine Institute instructors, Wise and two of his classmates secured summer employment with Fugro GeoSurveys Ltd., a division of Fugro Ltd. Wise was placed on the first survey tour and his peers on the second. As the youngest member and only student onboard, Wise joined an international crew from eight countries. The ship’s crew was split into two sub-crews: the first being a maritime crew comprised of members from Canada, United States,


Norway and the Philippines and the second a seismic crew consisting of members from Russia, Britain, Germany, India and Canada. “I found it difficult to try and work my way in with the international crew because I was the newcomer on a team that’s been working together for years,” explained Wise. “They warmed up to me once I was able to show them I was patient and wasn’t going to finish their sentences and could laugh at their jokes.” Wise worked twelve hour shifts from 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. doing a variety of work such as navigation, observation, processing and working with the air gun mechanics.

“On my first day of processing, one Russian gentleman handed me a stack of paper about an inch thick on seismic theory and said ‘read’. When I got to the end he quizzed me on the material. I had a little panic attack because I didn’t know there was going to be a test,” recalled Wise. “Initially I was terrible at it, but every morning, when he’d meet me in the hall or the galley he’d ask me questions. The more I got right the more I was allowed to work with the equipment. It was a good way to learn and his premise was, until you know why it works we aren’t going to show you how it works.”

“There are ups and downs to every experience, but it’s the good things that really cement you.” The seismic survey Wise participated in was a seismic investigation conducted for Statoil over their Flemish Pass leases. To conduct the survey, the crew laid out several lines of sensitive receivers called “streamers”, which contain strings of hydrophones to record data. Seismic pulses are generated by the source array near the sea surface which penetrate the seafloor and continue down into the earth’s crust. The longer the lines are for the recording equipment, the deeper the reflection and recording time.

After five weeks offshore, Wise went to work in Fugro GeoSurveys’ offices in St. John’s where he did a combination of warehouse work and data processing. Taking apart, cleaning, greasing, re-assembling and testing the equipment with the assistance of more experienced surveyors allowed Wise the chance to gain more knowledge on the maintenance and mechanics of the technology that he used while at sea. “We were very pleased to have students from the School of Ocean Technology work with Fugro GeoSurveys during the summer of 2012,” said Ewan Cumming, manager, Geoscience and Marine Survey, Fugro GeoSurveys. “Their educational background was well suited to the range of tasks they completed, offshore and onshore, and it was a very positive experience for all concerned. Fugro looks forward to continuing our relationship with the school over the coming years.” Going into his final year and work term this summer, Wise is chasing down a couple of prospects from St. John’s to Singapore and everywhere in between. Last summer’s experience has helped him gain perspective on the industry. “There are ups and downs to every experience, but it’s the good things that really cement you,” said Wise. “Working in the field has allowed me to cultivate my knowledge because as much as we are learning at MI, real world theory is always different. It’s important to have a good balance,” said Wise.



A research team at MI’s Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development is implementing a biorefinery strategy to create quality products from NL’s seafood and aquaculture industry waste streams Doing more with less is the motto at the Marine Institute’s Mount Scio Marine Bioprocessing Facility. Originating from the pioneering efforts of the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development’s (CASD) former director, the late Nigel Allen, the facility was established in 2006 as the Atlantic Canadian Fishery By-products Research Facility. Now, under CASD director Heather Manuel, the facility has expanded to procure international expertise in marine biotechnology. With pilot-scale capabilities in biodiesel, CASD’s facility is the only one of its kind in Atlantic Canada. CASD has established a research team to conduct a two year applied research project aimed at helping the province’s seafood and aquaculture industries to create value out of processing waste. Funding for the project is through the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation and the National Research Council. Marine biotechnologist Julia Pohling and environmental engineer/research scientist Dr. Deepika Dave are international experts working on the project alongside CASD facility supervisor, Wade Murphy.

Using salmon and cod liver oils, the team has successfully produced high-grade biodiesel oils on a pilot scale. Working with Cooke Aquaculture, CASD has set up a diesel generator on a remote aquaculture site. Monitoring equipment will be installed to test performance and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which will allow for evaluation of fuel consumption costs and benefits from using biodiesel. “One of the biggest challenges we face is to always have the same quality of oil, and that’s only possible when we have the same quality of waste,” explained Pohling. “We have to look at the whole picture and the different extraction methods to produce our desired oil quality.” Aside from biodiesel, the team is also working on the development of an environmentally friendly extraction method for valuable shellfish waste components, primarily from shrimp and crab. The main component for this research is chitin, a component found in shrimp and crab shells that once extracted can be converted into chitosan. Chitosan has a wide range of quality grades that determine which market it fits into. Biomedical chitosan applications are the highest grade and in the coming years there will be an international demand for 118,000 metric tons.

The team is conducting marine bioprocessing research to develop pilot scale methods to extract biodiesel from marine oils and chitin from shellfish. Each method will use waste materials generated from the aquaculture and processing sectors while adhering to environmental regulations. “We are looking at creating value out of oil that has traditionally been used as a waste stream,” said Murphy. “Our ultimate goal is to be able to generate additional revenue back to the seafood sector from the use of unutilized raw materials.” Oils extracted from raw materials vary in quality. The most common type is low grade oil that can be used in some industrial applications. The team’s goal is to produce biodiesel, and neutraceuticals (high grade oils) due to demand and market value. “Producing higher grades of oil depends on a number of factors. The different fatty acids have an impact because each fish has a unique liver content,” said Dr. Dave. “On the lab scale it’s not rocket science, but on pilot scale it’s more complicated.”

Working with a local seafood processor and biomedical company in Quebec, the team has developed a lab scale extraction process which produces high grade medical chitosan, but will need to conduct further tests before attempting pilot scale. Moving forwards, CASD is looking to further expand its facility research capability with the addition of a lab and marine biotechnology graduate student research program.



SIMULATION Training course opens new simulation capabilities for CMS

Fostering strong partnerships and producing innovative technology is not only the mandate of the whole Marine Institute, it’s the driving force behind the work at the Centre for Marine Simulation (CMS).

CMS and Wrightway delivered four of these training programs in the first quarter of 2013 with a commitment to implement more training programs throughout the year. The centre also plans to co-develop a Canadian version of this program in conjunction with WrightWay sometime in the future.

Through its partnership with WrightWay, a marine consultancy company based in the United Kingdom, CMS was chosen to provide facilities and simulation expertise for the delivery of the Human Element, Leadership and Management (HELM) training course to Ship’s Officers and shore managers from Canada Steamship Lines (CSL) and V Ships. CSL is an international shipping company operating the largest fleet of self-unloading vessels in the world. Their main office is based in Montreal, Canada where they manage their Canadian flag fleet that operates in the Great Lakes. “This unique training program requires us to integrate our full-mission bridge simulator with our engine room simulator, allowing for combined simulation scenarios in which the bridge and engine room can be operated simultaneously in the same exercise,” explained Captain Chris Hearn, director, CMS. “We aim to continue our partnership with WrightWay to bring this new training program to local companies in the offshore and to other companies across Canada.” Developed by WrightWay, through the requirements of STCW 2010, the training program focuses on leadership and management, risk management, communication, management systems, human factors and team skills, all of which are augmented by the use of CMS’s world-class simulators. Since there is no supporting regulation for this training program currently in Canada, successful personnel receiving the training will receive United Kingdom and Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) certification upon completion.


CMS has also secured a contract with CSL to develop a new simulated ship model for use on the centre’s full-mission bridge simulator. The ship model will represent CSL’s new Trillium class vessel, the Baie St-Paul. Trillium class vessels will be the most advanced ships operating on the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River. Designed to green ship standards, they are equipped with a propulsion and thruster arrangement not found on any other lake vessel. “CSL was very pleased with the expertise we have here to develop a hydrodynamic model of their new ship,” said Captain Hearn. “This model will allow new captains and officers the ability to familiarize themselves with the manoeuvering characteristics of the vessel in various situations.”

Northern Aboriginal AND


Aboriginal and northern engagement is a priority of the Marine Institute. This is why for the past 20 years MI has been working to strengthen these ties. Working closely with its counterparts, MI extends outreach and training throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Nunavik, Northwest Territories and Greenland. Gerald Anderson is MI’s manager of Development and Engagement, and works as the institute’s liaison with aboriginal groups and clients in Canada’s north. Anderson’s background makes him ideal in handling MI’s engagement activities with various groups. Not only is he a beneficiary of Nunatsiavut, his family has roots in Makkovik, the small Inuit community on Labrador’s north coast.

MI also works in collaboration with staff at its satellite office in Iqaluit, Nunavut to coordinate logistics and deliver training. This year alone over 200 Nunavut beneficiaries will have completed training with MI. Aboriginal groups have been very receptive to the training MI has to offer. In conjunction with the Nunatsiavut government in Labrador, MI has delivered a number of training programs including fisheries, marine transportation and specialized training for positions at the Voisey’s Bay mine site. MI has also worked with the Miawpukek First Nation in Conne River to develop and deliver a long term fisheries training program, as well as delivered various training courses for the Innu Nation, Nunatukavut and the Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation.

“Being able to see youth gain employment in the fisheries sector and marine transport industry because of our training is what I find most rewarding,” said Anderson. “At MI we go to the client. We go into Nunavut, northern Labrador, Nunavik and other regions to deliver what training we can so that people don’t have to come to us. If we didn’t do this most people wouldn’t have the opportunity to obtain the necessary training required to pursue their career of choice.”

“The Marine Institute is the leader in Canada in offering fisheries and marine education and training for aboriginal clients in the north,” said Glenn Blackwood, vicepresident, Memorial University (Marine Institute). “We are very proud of our long established partnership with the aboriginal community.”

Anderson establishes connections with aboriginal groups throughout Canada. While he is usually the initial contact, he also collaborates with personnel in MI’s schools and centres to plan and deliver projects which meet fisheries and training needs in various regions.

Memorial University and its Marine Institute are continuously increasing their presence in the north and strengthening their partnerships with aboriginal groups. Memorial’s investment in its Labrador Institute, based in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, continues to demonstrate the university’s success and commitment in working with aboriginal groups.

MI and its Safety and Emergency Response Training Centre deliver training for all three aboriginal groups in Labrador. This collaboration has led to various training such as the successful delivery of a firefighting program in the community of Sheshatshiu.

“There is a lot of opportunity for the Marine Institute and all of Memorial University to engage with aboriginal and other groups across Canada,” said Anderson. “Memorial has a lot to offer and the sky is the limit in terms of what we could provide by building more strategic partnerships with aboriginal communities.”


CRAB POTS Lost and Found

Ghostfishing by lost crab pots (traps) has been recognized as a problem in the snow crab industry and now the Marine Institute is helping to minimize its effect by locating lost pots through the use of side-scan sonar. Each year, it’s estimated that eight per cent of commercial snow crab pots in this province are lost to bad weather, heavy ice conditions, cutting of ropes or snagging on the seabed. While the economic impact of lost snow crab pots to the Newfoundland and Labrador fishery is difficult to determine, the phenomenon of ghostfishing is well documented. Ghostfishing occurs when pots have been lost at sea and continue to attract, trap and kill crab. Lost crab pots are known to ghostfish for many years before finally deteriorating. In partnership with the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Fish, Food and Allied Workers Union and professional fish harvesters, the Marine Institute is leading an applied research project using remote sensing acoustic sonars, a technology adopted by the oil and gas industry, to detect lost snow crab pots and enable safe and targeted retrievals. The project uses the resources of the institute’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR), Centre for Applied Ocean technology (CTec), School of Ocean Technology programs and MI Marine Services.


Findings from the study were submitted to industry partners in January. Feedback from the professional fish harvesters suggested the technology could be adequately deployed from commercial fishing vessels in future trials.

““Uniting new ideas, new technology and a multidisciplinary team breeds innovative approaches to problem solving.” “Collaboration within this project is tremendous and presents the perfect approach to this industrial issue,” said Rennie Sullivan, project leader, CSAR. “Uniting new ideas, new technology and a multidisciplinary team breeds innovative approaches to problem solving.” A multidisciplinary team of professional fish harvesters, fisheries technologists, ocean mapping specialists, a side-scan sonar specialist and ocean mapping students conducted a two day at-sea study in Conception Bay, NL on board MI’s research vessel, the Anne Pierce.

Finley Beaton, CTec’s side-scan sonar specialist, was eager to take an innovative approach to the use of the technology. “This project was a new experience for everyone involved. At CTec we use side-scan sonar technology to detect larger objects such as pipeline and shipwrecks. Being able to incorporate this into the fish harvesting sector is very rewarding,” said Beaton. The use of side-scan sonar in the search and detection of lost snow crab pots is a highly innovative approach that is new for both the province and Atlantic Canada. The results of this study and further research could lead to the training of fish harvesters to use the technology on board their vessels. The research ultimately aims to support the creation of an industry led annual detection and retrieval program which would significantly decrease the economic loss of crab due to ghostfishing.

The team deployed snow crab pots spaced 35 metres apart, at depths of 200-220 metres. Once in position, the pots were surveyed with the sonar equipment. The study demonstrated the success of side-scan sonar in detecting snow crab pots at depths up to 215 metres with a cross track range up to 130 metres when the tow fish (scan device) was 40 metres from the seafloor.



WORLD SE A FO OD CONGRESS This coming fall will mark a milestone for the Marine Institute as it hosts the 2013 World Seafood Congress (WSC). The institute’s Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD) is organizing the 9th annual Seafood Congress which will take place at the Delta, St. John’s from September 28 - October 3. Creative Solutions for Global Challenges is the theme of the event which will be portrayed through expert panels, special interest meetings, workshops and formal presentations. The Seafood Congress builds on existing and new partnerships between the International Association of Fish Inspectors (IAFI), an organization serving the world fish inspection community, members and all seafood professionals and specialists to benefit global seafood trade. “I am honoured to be involved in organizing such a high profile event. The international networks that we have developed as a result of hosting this event are invaluable to MI and to our seafood and aquaculture industries. This is the first time the Seafood Congress has been held in Newfoundland, and only the third time it’s been held in Canada”, said Heather Manuel, director, CASD and program chair, WSC. The event aims to profile innovation in seafood and provide opportunities for maximum participation by all economies involved in seafood trade, including developed and developing economies. In past years, this international event has been held in the United States, Australia, Morocco and Ireland. Key note speakers for the congress include Galen Weston, executive chairman, Loblaw Companies Limited; Cameron Prince, vice-president, Inspection Modernization, Canadian Food Inspection Agency; Melanie Siggs, special advisor to


HRH The Prince of Wales’ International Sustainability Unit and The Sustainable Fisheries Partnership; Ray Hilborn, professor, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington; and Peter Hajipieris, chief technical sustainability & external affairs officer, Iglo Foods Group. The event will include presentations, discussions, workshops and technical tours in the areas of food safety and inspection modernization, seafood sustainability, seafood innovation, profitable seafood markets, and export and trade. ”IAFI is extremely delighted to be working with the Marine Institute in St John’s, NL for the 2013 World Seafood Congress. Canada was one of the founder members of IAFI and it is wholly appropriate that the Congress is taking place in a country which has always been at the forefront of seafood inspection,” said Chris Leftwich, president, IAFI and conference chair, WSC. “The program for this year’s conference is coming together really well. We will be able to offer an exciting array of presentations by experts in their field that should be of great interest to anyone involved in all different aspects of the seafood industry. As conference chair I am really looking forward to renewing old friendships with all my IAFI colleagues and welcoming new delegates who might be attending the World Seafood Congress for the first time.” A student poster board competition will also be held as part of the Congress. The World Seafood Congress 2013 is supported through funding from the Provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Loblaw Companies Ltd, Seafish Industry Authority, Ocean Choice International, Eimskip, World Wildlife Fund, Clearwater, Sobeys and Cooke Aquaculture. For more details on the event visit:

CFER prepares for third research mission on board RV Celtic Exp Explorer



Memorial University biology student, Brynn Devine (PhD), hD), is one of over half a dozen graduate students who joined ned MI’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) team this spring as the centre embarked on its third RV Celtic Explorer mission.

Working alongside Dr. Jonathan Fisher, CFER research scientist and graduate student supervisor, Devine is conducting her PhD project on the impact of changing ocean conditions, caused by regional and global climate change, on the biogeography, dynamics and behaviour of deep-sea continental slope fishes. “The opportunity to be in the field and see the fish I’ve been reading about up close and observe how they are reacting to warmer temperatures was exciting,” said Devine. MI has chartered the RV Celtic Explorer from the Irish Marine Institute in Galway, Ireland since 2011 to enable CFER led research missions. “CFER provides graduate students at sea research opportunities where they can contribute to the design of the research mission’s goals and actively help meet those goals during the surveys of Newfoundland and Labrador waters,” said Dr. Fisher. “Our Celtic Explorer missions teach students at sea biological and oceanographic sampling, fisheries acoustics data collection, scientific communication and related skills in a team environment.”

During the CFER mission, Devine focused her efforts on species inhabiting Newfoundland and Labrador waters. She used trawl, oceanographic and hydroacoustic echosounder data to observe the depth distributions and thermal habitats of continental slope fishes, focusing on commercial species such as Greenland halibut and redfish. By correlating the information collected on the mission with trawl data from previous decades, Devine explored potential distribution changes of slope species in response to changing ocean conditions. The results could provide insight into new areas these species may occupy should temperatures continue to rise. It could also potentially aid future management strategies by including climatic influences on local fish populations and ecosystems. “Many deep-sea fishes display like history traits which make them highly susceptible to overfishing and changing ocean conditions could impact the resilience of many species,”explained Devine. “With fisheries expanding to deeper fishing grounds and the gradual warming of North Atlantic waters, it is important to explore how these changes might impact deep-sea continental slope fishes in the Newfoundland and Labrador region.” Working with CFER’s research team, Devine hopes to learn a great deal about ecosystems in the North Atlantic, new research techniques and gain a better understanding of the relationship between fisheries research and management. Once Devine completes her PhD, she plans on furthering her research on deep-sea fishes through a post-doctoral position. “I want to continue being an active researcher, either through a university or government institution.”

The data collected at sea feeds directly into student research about the functioning of Newfoundland and Labrador fisheries ecosystems. The answers from students and research scientists are used to inform fisheries managers and fishing industry members. Before the CFER mission began on April 27, Devine participated in the trans-Atlantic crossing from Galway, Ireland to St. John’s. The voyage acoustically surveyed the water column and measured marine life over some of the deepest areas of the Atlantic. “Devine’s prior research on the effects of changing ocean conditions on warm water systems has been successful. Given her background and keen interests in developing expertise in cold-ocean and deep-sea fish biology, she brings a global perspective to our research team,” said Dr. Fisher.


Centre for Marine Simulation partners with Rutter

MI Career Fair

Naval Combat Systems Technicians graduation

Centre for Marine Simulation partners with Rutter

MI in the


Students and industry clients at CMS have access to a state-ofthe-art sigma S6 Ice Navigator thanks to Rutter Inc. The system is integrated into CMS’s full-mission ship’s bridge simulator to enhance the centre’s Fundamentals of Ice Navigation training program, a course which is delivered to industry to introduce concepts and practices to safely transit or operate in areas of ice. This technology offers great benefit to students and industry clients as it demonstrates technical leadership in bridge crew training and provides trainees with a unique, hands-on experience they can apply to practical offshore work.

Student success celebrated at Spring Scholarship presentation Naval Combat Systems Technicians graduate from MI MI honoured 32 students from an array of programs during its annual Spring Presentation of Scholarships and Awards. The ceremony took place in Hampton Hall at MI’s Ridge Road campus. Scholarship recipients consisted of students from Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, California and India. The CARIS scholarship was presented for the first time to second year ocean mapping student, Nicholas Ridgley from Conception Bay South, NL. CARIS Geospatial Software Solutions is a company which develops, sells and supports geospatial software solutions for marine, hydrographic and land applications. CARIS software is used in MI’s ocean mapping program. CARIS created the scholarship to further foster relations with MI.


Fifty-two new electro-mechanical engineers and electronics engineers graduated from the Naval Combat Systems Technician Training Plan (NCSTTP) earlier this year. The graduation was held at the Canadian Forces Station St. John’s Drill Hall in Pleasantville. The ceremony was presided over by Commander Lawrence Trim, commanding officer, Canadian Forces Station St. John’s; Commander Alan Brown, CFNES Detachment; and Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). The province was well represented with 16 cadets from Newfoundland and Labrador entering into the fleet. Graduates have been posted to either Halifax or Esquimalt for further naval training.

Nicholas Ridgely, CARIS scholarship

2nd Annual Nautical Skills Competition

Spring Scholarship Presentation

Oil and Gas Week

CFER funding

Career Fair highlights opportunities

MI supports Oil & Gas Week 2013

Students showcased themselves to national and international employers during the 11th annual MI Career Fair. The twoday event kicked off with company and alumni presentations, which gave employers the chance to network with potential employees and discuss opportunities within their businesses. The Career Fair Exhibition was held on the second day in MI’s gymnasium. Showcasing 34 employers, the exhibition attracted close to 400 students and alumni.

Explore the Opportunities was the theme for Oil & Gas Week 2013. An official launch for the event was held at the Marine Institute. The event saw junior high students from 11schools in the province present projects on careers in the oil and gas industry as part of an authentic learning program. Four postsecondary students from Memorial University, MI and the College of the North Atlantic were awarded Oil & Gas Week Scholarships during the launch. Other events included a Food Drive Fundraiser, Energy Day and Energy Day Plus, and a NOIA Outstanding Contribution Award Luncheon. The weeklong celebration raises the profile of the oil & gas industry in the province.

MI hosts 2nd annual Nautical Skills competition Team Knotty Buoys were the champions of the 2013 Nautical Skills competition. Hosted by the Company of Master Mariners of Canada (CMMC) (NL Division) and MI, forty-five students from MI’s nautical science program entered the competition. Members of the winning team include nautical science students Nathan Finlay, Tyler Coady, Owen Morris, Wayne Sampson, Joachim Fagan and Tyler Lockyer. Each student received $1,000 and had their names engraved on the Captain Jim Thorpe plaque. The competition involved a series of exercises in dynamic positioning, seamanship, cargo work, ship handling and navigation. Facilitated by volunteers from CMMC NL, the competition is designed to test the knowledge and ability of future deck officers and captains. It is the only known competition of its kind in North America.

CFER receives $2 million for fisheries science andresearch initiatives MI’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) received over $2 million in funding from the provincial government in Budget 2013. The financial commitment supports the ongoing work of Dr. George Rose, director, CFER and the research team. CFER plays a significant role in better understanding the changing ocean environment and the effects climate change will have on fish stocks. The provincial government’s continued support for the advancement of MI in the global oceans sector has been essential in enabling CFER to become the largest university based at-sea fisheries ecosystems research unit in Canada.


In January the library’s head of public services, Catherine Lawton, launched an embedded library role in Memorial University’s Desire2Learn program for some of MI’s online distance learning courses. MI is the first Memorial campus to implement this new pilot project. The project allows Lawton and her staff at the library to provide services to students during the course. “Students used to sit together in the library and now that’s not always the case. So in this online component we are trying to replicate the same access students have to staff in the physical library,” said Lawton. “I’m an active participant in the class. I visualize myself as sitting in the back of the virtual classroom and I’m there if anyone needs me.” This support role aids faculty members with instructing the course as well as the students participating in the course by providing access to learning resources and technical support. Dr. Jim Parsons is an instructor in MI’s School of Maritime Studies and is involved in the pilot project through his online distance courses in the Master of Maritime Management program and the Bachelor of Maritime Studies program. “This project is another smart application of technology by the faculty and staff at the Marine Institute that continues to shape the future of online learning. My students really appreciate the direct one-on-one service provided by our superb library staff,” said Dr. Parsons. MI’s library also provides e-books and e-journals and is present on social media. In addition to the pilot project, the library is part of a cooperative chat reference in conjunction with Memorial’s Grenfell campus, Health Sciences Library and the QEII Library.


MI library opens new channels The library is keeping current with trending technologies and a generation of highly connected digital natives in an online world. In recent years the Dr. C.R. Barrett Library has adapted to the online learning environment for MI’s master’s, undergraduate and diploma programs. This change in the physical to digital world has required library staff to adapt and increase their operations.


“These new services have changed our practice. We are incorporating these elements to move into the online world because that’s where the majority of our students are doing their learning. They have created an online community for themselves,” explained Lawton. Chat reference is a tool students are able to access during regular library hours for various services such as questions on citation and accessing journal articles. This new component has increased communication and created a new partnership between MI’s Library and Memorial’s Distance Education, Learning and Teaching Support. While the library continues to adapt to the changes of the digital world, they remain true to the physical as well. “We have all the demographics now. We have both the digital natives and the non-digital natives,” said Lawton. “We have to make it all available and be here to take questions and offer the assistance students need. Regardless of whether they want to walk through the door, pick up the phone, email us, or chat with us online, we will always be there.”

ANCHORS AWAY MI repairs and re-launches mini sailboats grounded on NL’s southeast coast Five mini-boats, launched last spring off the coast of the Bahamas, are finding oceanography friends all across the Atlantic Ocean, including some in Newfoundland. The boats are an initiative of Educational Passages, a USbased multidisciplinary program that provides students with learning experiences in geography, chart reading, oceanography, boat building and international relations. The 56” GPS enabled sailboats were constructed by students at the Mid-Coastal School of Technology and were then customized by schools in Maine, Connecticut and Florida. The schools each added a time capsule, meant to carry messages and trinkets from those who recover the boats during their race across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe. Richard Baldwin, Educational Passages project manager, began the program in 2008 after discovering he could transform his own sailing adventures into a hands-on learning tool for students. The program is now run in partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) agency, which conducts the GPS monitoring of the vessels and aids in launching the mini boats off their research vessel. After last year’s launch, the mini-boats ran into tropical storms Alberto and Beryl off the Carolinas and were blown across the Gulf Stream. That could have been the end of their voyage but the mini boats survived and two sailed toward Newfoundland where they made landfall on the province’s southeast shore three months later. The first boat, Charger, from John Winthrop Middle School, Connecticut, was discovered on the remote island of Oderin and recovered by Alphonsus Murphy of Baine Harbour. The second boat, Sea Tiger, owned by Smith Middle School, Connecticut, was battered when it was found near Cape Saint Mary’s by Clarence Careen of Point Lance.

With the help of the GPS tracking devices onboard, James Manning, NOAA oceanographer, knew where the boats were located and contacted MI’s School of Ocean Technology (SOT) head, Dwight Howse to help with their rescue and recovery. With assistance from local residents, SOT successfully retrieved both vessels and made them seaworthy. In September, Howse collaborated with Husky Energy Inc., one of Canada’s largest integrated energy companies, to relaunch the boats near the Grand Banks giving the vessels the best chance of remaining at sea and continuing their race. With the help of Husky’s Marine and Logistics Department, the mini-boats were transported onboard the Atlantic Osprey, an anchor handling tug supply vessel operated by Atlantic Towing Ltd., to the White Rose Field. From there the two mini-boats were successfully launched back into the ocean just west of the Grand Banks in October. Baldwin is not surprised to find such helpful friends around the globe.“This program has marvelous potential and is fun and exciting for students, teachers and parents,” said Baldwin. “Everyone is eager to become involved and the finders have been particularly helpful in fixing the boats and sending them out to sea again.” And what happened to the mini-boats? While the Sea Tiger is still making its way across the Atlantic Ocean, the Charger won the race to Europe in January when it made landfall in the United Kingdom. After being re-fitted with a new GPS and transponder, the Charger was re-launched from U.S container vessel Philadelphia Express southeast of the Azores in March. The Charger is well on its way to being the first mini boat to complete the Atlantic Circle. To track the journeys of the mini-boats and for more information on the program visit Educational Passages website:


For marine biologists Jens and Stephanie Currie the chance to observe crocodiles and swim with sharks in South Africa was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It was an opportunity offered through their internship with MI International. Their road to Africa started three years ago. Stephanie had applied to the MI International Internship program, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), but the timing wasn’t right. “I had heard brief stories about the program and thought it was a cool opportunity, but going alone to a third world country that you’ve never been to before is a big scary thing,” said Stephanie. Shortly after she met her future husband, Jens, and introduced him to the program, they decided to embark on their adventure together. After finishing their master’s degrees from Memorial, Stephanie in environmental science and Jens in marine biology, they applied for the internship program. In September 2011, the Curries set out to Grahamstown, South Africa on a six month work placement. During their internship they split their time between two projects.

Wan The first was a Sea Pledge, a Sustainable Seas Trust (SST) initiative aimed at garnering community involvement in founding sustainable futures and conserving marine environments. As part of the SST initiative, the Curries spent three months travelling to 23 of South Africa’s coastal communities. Using two hybrid vehicles, donated by Honda, they travelled with two other MI International interns and their supervisor Dr. Tony Ribbink to give presentations and meet with townspeople, government officials, local mayors, local business owners and schools. “We shared different projects with each community such as beach cleanups, recycling programs and educated the public on purchasing and eating only sustainably caught seafood as certified by WWF-South Africa’s SASSI program (Canadian equivalent is the Marine Stewardship Council) explained Jens. The second project was conducted in the small community of Hamburg, South Africa where SST based their initial venture.


derlust While in Hamburg, they conducted research on the community’s dependence of ecosystem goods and services and the potential implications of future climate change. Stephanie focused on coastal habitats while Jens’ primary focus was on estuaries (inlets of the sea at the lower end of a river). As part of the project, both wrote separate chapters based on their research for a book which will be published by SST later this year. “When our contract ended in February 2012, we stayed and travelled for an extra month. Overall the whole seven months was a fabulous experience. We still love talking about it and can’t talk enough about it really,” said Stephanie. Not only was the experience beneficial for their careers, it also provided perspective. “In South Africa you can see the big divide between the wealthy and the poor so when we came back we rethought our possessions. What we really need and what we could give to other people,” said Jens. Their experience in South Africa certainly gave the Curries the travel bug. Since returning home last year, the couple has been searching for new work opportunities outside of Canada. In January, their efforts paid off when they accepted permanent jobs with the Pacific Whale Foundation in Maui, Hawaii.

Jens now works as a research analyst studying the ecology of humpback whales and their migration habits. He analyzes historical data to better understand why whales come and go frequently from the island. Stephanie works as a naturalist where she helps with visual surveys and cataloging of photos to identify Humpback whales by the unique patterns on their tails. Photos are taken of the flukes (tail fins) as the whales dive and are then compared against photographs of previous sightings to identify specific whales. The couple attributes their wanderlust to work abroad solely to the MI International internship program. “The experience we gained through the program has made us braver and once we went to South Africa we wanted to stay forever,” said Stephanie. “Our approach to opportunities is that you don’t regret the things you do, you regret the things you don’t do.”


alumni S P O T L I G H T

MI naval alumni seize opportunities within the Royal Canadian Navy Master Seaman (MS) Joanne Welsh and Leading Seaman (LS) Michael Strickland are two of many MI alumni who are responsible for maintaining the state-of-the-art marine engineering and combat systems aboard Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) ST. JOHN’S. MS Welsh graduated from MI’s Marine Engineering Technician Training Plan (METTP) program in 2009. LS Michael Strickland completed MI’s Naval Combat Systems Technician Training Plan (NCSTTP) program in 2008. Hailing from Niagara Falls, Ontario where her father worked for Algoma Central Marine on lake boats, MS Welsh was backpacking through Europe when she decided on a career in the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN). Seeing ships in port during her travels made her realize the benefit of having a career which provides training and the opportunity to see the world. Welsh had been in the navy for five years when she graduated from MI, including two and a half years at sea and a six month NATO deployment. “Once I finished my program I walked back onto the ship with a lot more knowledge and understanding of the systems than when I had left,” said MS Welsh. “Since then my career has grown immensely. Now, I’m a qualified Machinery Control Console Operator and am able to write my Third Class Marine Engineers ticket with some added courses offered through MI.” MS Welch also took additional training to conduct advanced work on gas turbines and become a Control Systems Technician. She has a direct role in training new technicians to use their knowledge onboard ship. “I enjoy the troubleshooting aspect of my job. Some days it’s as simple as a loose wire, other times it requires a full rebuild of an engine. My training allows me to play a vital role in repairs and leading a team,” said MS Welsh.


Fellow shipmate, LS Strickland didn’t have to think twice when naval recruiters came to his high school in Birchy Cove, NL for MI’s NCSTTP program. It wasn’t until after completing his training at MI that LS Strickland obtained his first taste of hands-on work with the same equipment he would find on a ship. “The transition from the classroom to the ship was very smooth. With the academic knowledge I gained from the instructors at MI and the controlled environment overseen by experienced technicians, I was definitely prepared when I first stepped foot on a ship,” explained LS Strickland. Now a fully trained Leading Seaman Weapons Engineering Communications Technician, LS Strickland has travelled to Rochester, NY to obtain qualifications on new equipment. He’s also completed French language training to help expand possibilities for future posting locations and travelled across Canada and abroad to learn about new equipment directly from companies. “Within the Royal Canadian Navy you hear people say that you’re never done training, and it’s absolutely true. There are always courses and training available to advance you within your trade,” said LS Strickland.

Sustaining our Oceans MOU between MI and WWF provides a framework for the advancement of fisheries and oceans Atlantic Canadian students in ocean conservation will benefit from a new partnership between the Marine Institute and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) which aims to support and create unique opportunities in fisheries and oceans education, training, research and development. The three-year agreement will utilize student research and professional expertise to drive collaboration and creative solutions for environmental issues facing our oceans and the livelihoods dependent on them. “MI’s partnership with WWF will add great value to students and the future of sustainable ocean uses in Atlantic Canada, specifically Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Glenn Blackwood, vice-president, Memorial University (Marine Institute). “Channeling the passion and enthusiasm of today’s young thinkers towards the future of our ocean resources and their value to communities will help build a legacy for oceans conservation.” Through combined expertise, MI and WWF will foster closer relationships with local industries related to fisheries and oceans sustainability, and enhance outreach to address critical marine conservation issues. “WWF’s collaboration with the Marine Institute, with its world class reputation in applied marine research and education, will further our shared goals in marine conservation and sustainable resource use,” said Robert Rangeley, vice-president, conservation, WWF.

Save the Date World Oceans Day Marine Institute, Ridge Road Campus June 8, 2013

World Seafood Congress Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre Sept. 28-Oct. 3, 2013

Ocean Innovation Conference 2013 Rimouski, Quebec October 2013

International Maritime Lecturers Association Marine Institute, Ridge Road Campus October 9-12, 2013 MI and WWF are working together to explore opportunities for expanding collaborative arrangements within the province, the Arctic, Canada and internationally. Other partnership opportunities will also look at advancing sustainable ocean use and marine conservation objectives. “Our efforts will be focused on current and emerging ocean issues while also meeting student expectations that their academic work will make a difference to long-term sustainable ocean use,” said Carey Bonnell, head, MI’s School of Fisheries. “Increased opportunities for research related to sustainable ocean uses will also be identified by MI and other university programs.” WWF is an environmental organization working to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF has nine offices in Canada including St. John’s, Halifax and Iqaluit.

International Research Ship Operators (IRSO) Conference October 29-November 1, 2013

Oceans 2014 MTS/IEEE St. John’s Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre and Mile One Centre Sept. 14-19, 2014


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. 0372 709 778 0372 709 778 0672 Facebook: Marine Institute Twitter: @marineinstitute

The Bridge - Spring 2013  

The Bridge is the official magazine of the Marine Institute. The Bridge features the success of our students, alumni, faculty, staff, and in...

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