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Picture Perfect




Message from the Editor Moving beyond the normal and mediocre to the extraordinary is what the Marine Institute strives to accomplish. As the new editor of The Bridge, I am looking forward to exemplifying the Marine Institute’s (MI) world class expertise in the global oceans sector and showcasing its capabilities as North America’s most comprehensive institute dedicated to education, training, applied research and industrial support.

Message from the vice-president of Memorial University of Newfoundland (Marine Institute)

Since arriving at MI, I have been overwhelmed by the collective welcoming atmosphere of the staff, faculty and students.

Realizing our ‘ocean of opportunity’ is what the team at the Marine Institute (MI) sets out to achieve each day. Our success is due to the many team members and students at MI who take pride in the institute and its results-oriented culture. MI has seen significant growth over the past couple of years and is continuing down the path to success in many areas, including a significant increase in overall student enrolment and expanding and strengthening our degree and masters programs. Through collaborative efforts MI has accomplished much this year including: our Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) heading a research project designed to improve the safety of helicopter passengers travelling offshore; implementing a real-time data pilot project designed to meet aquaculture industry needs and sustain future development; establishment of a new cadet sponsorship program; and funding to support training in the nautical science and marine engineering programs through Canada Steamship Lines Inc. The work conducted at MI is done in conjunction with our industry and government partners, with whom we are pleased to work with to create innovative initiatives, projects and programs. The stories in this magazine highlight the many projects MI has undertaken to strengthen the oceans and marine industries and the people behind them. Here at MI, we value our relationships as our best assets. We put them to work to guarantee we accomplish our shared goals and build on them for our growth and future as a world oceans institute. Through our partnerships, we are doing our best to advance industries to make certain they remain sustainable and prosperous for generations to come. Now in our 21st year as part of Memorial University, we are continuing to work together to “lift the lid off big blue.” The ocean has played a major role in our success to date. Our future depends on our ability to understand and adapt to the challenging and changing ocean environment. Through our schools and specialized centres, we are collaborating with our industry partners and other researchers to develop new technologies and services for the oceans and marine industries in Newfoundland and Labrador.

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

Here at MI, those who take pride in the institute are referred to as a ‘team’ because we understand it is only through collaboration, communication and cooperation that we are able to raise the bar and achieve our full ocean of opportunity. MI is continuously expanding its horizons to discover innovations in research, training, knowledge and equipment. The institute is broadening its scope by increasing national and international student enrolment, degree and diploma programs and fostering its partnerships to adapt to evolving training needs. The winter 2013 edition illustrates MI’s innovative research projects, strong industry relations, cutting-edge programs and most importantly – the brilliance and success of our students, graduates and our team.

Naomi Osborne Editor

Student connection: picture perfect


Contents ARIES points to aquaculture’s future


Leading ladies


Changing perspective


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 Cover photo: ARIES, Farmer’s Head cage site in the Coast of Bays region. Courtesy of Tom McKeever, CASD.

Editor P.O. Box 4920 St. John’s, NL Canada Phone: 709 778 0677 Fax: 709 778 0672 Public.Relations@mi.mun.ca


Securing the future


Dive deeper


Student connection: picture perfect


Farewell Fisher


CBED hits the road


Program options expand


Learning the ropes


Oceans apart, brothers at heart


ARIES points to aquaculture’s future


MI in the news


Leading ladies


Changing perspective


MI conferences


Honouring a legacy


Ready, set...Firefit


Alumni spotlight



CSL offers new sponsorship program for MI cadets Students in the nautical science and marine engineering programs at the Marine Institute now have more opportunities thanks to a new cadet sponsorship program designed to foster education and training for ship’s officer positions in the Canadian marine transportation industry. The agreement is in partnership with Canada Steamship Lines Inc. (CSL) and also includes funding to support training in these two programs. “The new sponsorship program will strengthen MI’s previous agreement with CSL, which consisted mainly of cadet work term placements,” said Bernie Brockerville, senior placement officer, MI. “This program will not only add financial support to benefit the cadets, but will also allow them the opportunity to establish mentoring relationships during their work terms.” Under the CSL sponsorship program, students have the opportunity to enter after their first year of study. Once selected, first year cadets are provided a one-time $2,500 bursary and assigned a work term in the CSL fleet. Outstanding cadets identified by CSL complete their sea terms exclusively with CSL in addition to receiving a $5,000 sponsorship per full semester to cover the cost of courses, books, lodging and other expenses. Upon graduation and successful completion of Transport Canada certification, graduates will work as officers in the CSL fleet. This past academic year, four cadets were awarded bursaries and work term offers by CSL.


Darren Keeping is a third year nautical science student at MI and is one of the recipients of the CSL cadet sponsorship program. Keeping is currently in sea phase II of his program.

“Initially, I was surprised when I found out I was a recipient of this new program,” said Keeping. “Being 38 years old with family responsibilities, it is a relief not to have to worry about finding work when I graduate. In addition to the sponsorship support, I know that I am guaranteed two years of full-time work in the CSL fleet.” As part of the partnership, CSL is providing MI with $10,000 in funding for equipment or software to supplement classroom work in the nautical science and marine engineering programs. “We are grateful for this funding as it will allow MI to further meet CSL’s training needs in the nautical science and marine engineering programs,” explained Catherine Dutton, head, School of Maritime Studies, MI. “The Institute is known for producing top quality cadets and this will help to ensure we are able to continue to meet industry needs.” MI has been working in conjunction with CSL for over a decade. CSL has employed many MI graduates who have attained successful careers with the company. Given the history of success between CSL and MI, the employer has further committed to cadet sponsorship with this new program.

MI researchers strive to understand influence of dive masks in helicopter underwater escape

DIVE DEEPER The Marine Institute’s Offshore Safety and Survival Centre (OSSC) is in the middle of an 18 month project designed to determine how a dive mask influences a user’s performance during helicopter underwater escape. “It has been suggested that in the event a helicopter must make an emergency landing in the water, a dive mask may provide protection from the environment and increase the user’s chance of survival,” said Kerri-Ann Evely, marine safety researcher, OSSC. This applied research project is funded by Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador (PRNL) and endorsed by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) through its Atlantic Canada Safety Committee. OSSC began the project on December 1, 2011 and is set for completion on May 31, 2013. The first phase of testing was presented at the International Association for Safety & Survival Training conference held in St. John’s, October 2012. This project was devised to address the knowledge gap that exists surrounding the use of dive masks on offshore helicopters. While it is not required by legislation, the helicopter service provider in Newfoundland supplies dive masks to all persons onboard. As a result, the OSSC incorporated the use of dive masks into Helicopter Underwater Escape Trainer (HUET) and Helicopter Underwater Emergency Breathing Apparatus (HUEBA) training.

The main objectives of this project are to determine if use of a mask: • has an effect on breath hold time when immersed in cold or warm water; • reduces the cold shock response of the user; • has an effect on the user’s stress levels during HUET/ HUEBA training; • is improved when training has been provided; • has an effect on the user’s egress time during HUET training; and • interferes with the user’s actions during ditching and egress; i.e., does the user hold onto the mask, etc. The project is expected to provide the industry and training institutions with a better understanding of the impact dive mask use during HUET exercises, thereby facilitating improvements to the training locally and worldwide through OSSC’s involvement with the International Association for Safety and Survival Training (IASST). “We anticipate the results of this research project will allow our research team to infer impact of the dive mask on real-world use during flights offshore,” explained Evely. “Ultimately, it will improve the safety of passengers travelling offshore by helicopter.” Testing is being conducted within the controlled laboratory environment of OSSC’s survival training tank and in the OSSC research lab at MI’s Foxtrap campus. Upon completion of the project, a list of recommendations for the use of dive masks during HUET training and helicopter flights will be compiled based on the findings. A paper will also be submitted to a relevant journal for publication, along with a technical report which will be submitted to Petroleum Research Newfoundland and Labrador (PRNL) and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) Industry Safety Committee.




This issue’s Student Connection features Stephen Sheppard, a third year Marine Environmental student at MI. Sheppard recounts his journey to the Arctic, not only through his lens, but through the resiliency of the Inuit people living in the Canadian and Greenland Arctic.

PICTURE PERFECT Sublime, is how Stephen Sheppard and fellow Students on Ice team members described their recent expedition to the eastern Canadian Arctic and western Greenland. As a father of two and a Marine Environment Technology student at the Marine Institute, Stephen Sheppard was sponsored by MI to participate in the Students on Ice: Arctic Youth Expedition 2012 as a leader and chaperone. As an accomplished photographer, Sheppard took full advantage of the expedition by spending time on the ship deck taking pictures of “anything spectacular”, as he describes it. Polar bears, bowhead whales, seals and icebergs were among a few of the remarkable sightings during this fourteen day trip from Iqaluit to Baffin Island and Greenland. Hailing from eight countries around the world the Students on Ice group of 75 high school students and team of 45 world-class scientists, historians, artists, explorers, educators, leaders, innovators and polar experts participated in an Arctic swim club above the Arctic Circle and saw the fastest moving glaciers and fastest producing fjords on their mission. The expedition began in Iqaluit when the team was stranded for an extra two days due to an unusual amount of ice in Frobisher Bay which blocked the path to their expedition vessel the Akademic Ioffe, anchored offshore. “The Canadian Coast Guard was sitting in the bay waiting to help take us to the expedition vessel,” said Sheppard. “When


the Coast Guard was finally able to transport us on barges to their icebreaker the Des Groseilliers, the crew was extremely excited and treated us like royalty. I think it was as much fun for them as it was for us.” The expedition began in Sunshine Fjord, where the team crossed the Arctic Circle, conducted water sampling and did some beachcombing and hiking. “When we woke the next morning, we had breakfast beside a glacier in Coronation Fjord,” said Sheppard. The highlight of the trip for Sheppard was a visit to Qikiqtarjuaq, a small and remote Inuit hamlet, with a population of roughly 500 people, along Baffin Island’s rocky eastern coast.

The experience Sheppard gained on this expedition has not only changed his perspective on life, it has also opened his eyes to the impacts of climate change in the north. “The entire community was waiting to greet us on the dock. They held a celebration for us which included traditional throat singing, dancing and a large feast which included frozen char, clams and Multaq (narwhal),” explained Sheppard. “Meeting the children in this community was the best part. They remembered all of our names and wanted hugs when we left.”

“When we woke the next morning, we had breakfast beside a glacier in Coronation Fjord” Their journey continued across the Davis Straight towards IIulissat (‘the icebergs’), Greenland, known for its cold seas typically crowded with icebergs and ice floes. Their last morning was spent sailing to Sisimuit, Greenland where they had their last shore excursion, spent time reflecting on the trip, and took their team photo.

“Life in the Canadian and Greenland Arctic is changing and people living in these regions have been forced to adapt and become resilient to the changes each year. People have moved from small hunting villages into more centralized locations for convenience and their major challenges are receiving quality education and medical services,” explained Sheppard. While he may have begun this expedition as an ambassador for Students on Ice and MI, he is now also an ambassador for the North. Sheppard plans to continue making a difference as a Students on Ice alumni for a long time to come. “The Arctic is warming fast, and as a Students on Ice ambassador I hope that by reducing my carbon footprint and producing fewer emissions I can encourage others to do the same.” Read Sheppard’s blog, follow their journey, see pictures/videos and learn more about the expedition and Students on Ice online: www.studentsonice.com



hits the road As the famous Newfoundland song says, “Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton’s Harbour … all around the Circle”, the Community Based Education Delivery Unit (CBED) is travelling the province meeting with stakeholders to understand emerging training needs in the aquaculture, seafood processing and fish harvesting sectors.



Associate VP, Academic and Student Affairs, retires after 42 years Hailing from Southeast England, UK, Dr. Peter Fisher took a leap of faith when he gave up a tenured position at Memorial as a chemistry professor 24 years ago to join the Marine Institute (MI) as a faculty member responsible for curriculum development. Dr. Fisher retired in August, almost 42 years to the day since he began as a professor at MUN through a commonwealth teacher exchange program. “I look back through all my memories of MI and I have no idea where the time went,” said Dr. Fisher. “I always loved my job; I never woke up in the morning not wanting to go to work.” While looking forward to his retirement, Dr. Fisher is very grateful for his experience at MI which provided him with many opportunities. Of all the accomplishments Dr. Fisher has been a part of throughout his years at MI, he is extremely proud of the most recent. “MI’s new offering of online master’s programs and the fact that MI is always embracing technologies shows that we are only continuing to grow.” Dr. Fisher is looking forward to spending time with his family, including two grandchildren, gardening, travelling, reviving his photography hobby and delving into his passion for genealogy.


For example, CBED is working closely with the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) and government agencies to deliver a Technical Certificate in Aquaculture (Salmonid or Mussel), which is designed to enhance the skills of the existing workforce and train new aquaculture workers. A similar technical certificate program is also being considered for the seafood processing sector. “The industry is undergoing major changes at present but we are able to assist processers with courses such as Quality Management, British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Thermal Processing,” explained Parsons. This summer, MI employees visited processing facilities in eastern and central Newfoundland to discuss further training courses. “While talks at all the facilities were positive, we did discuss challenges facing the industry,” said Parsons. “CBED’s objective is to stay well connected with the industry and the quality control managers at each facility to ensure we are ready to deliver courses.” CBED is also updating its courses to keep up with changing regulations for the fish harvesting sector and partnering with the province’s Professional Fish Harvester Certification Board to identify training and new delivery methods. CBED is using online delivery to allow local and national clients to take a training course from their home or workplace. Courses are presenting offered in the Fishing Master, harvesting, aquaculture and quality management training programs.




This Fall, graduate students had more options to choose from in post-graduate certificate programs offered at the Marine Institute (MI). MI’s School of Fisheries launched its second of three new post-graduate certificate programs: postgraduate certificate in food safety. “With the success of the first post-graduate certificate in quality management we have introduced a new post-graduate certificate in food safety as an example of MI’s commitment to provide a greater range of technical professional development and continuing education choices for our students,” said Carey Bonnell, head of MI’s School of Fisheries. This new theory-based program has been developed for complete online delivery. The program consists of four courses, including one required course and three electives chosen from an approved list. “This program is readily accessible to individuals working in various industries who may wish to expand on their knowledge in the areas of food safety from the convenience of their home or office,” explained Craig Parsons, director, Community Based Education Delivery (CBED), MI. The program’s objective is to help students develop skills in applying factors affecting food safety and food safety systems essential for the production and distribution of safe food intended for human consumption. Through this program students will develop an understanding of how food safety principles can be applied to their particular area of industry.

“Food safety issues are growing in importance, particularity as it relates to global food security and our graduates will be well positioned to excel in this environment,” said Bonnell. The program is designed for professionals already working in the food sector or mid-career professionals considering entering the food sector for the first time. It has been created to allow registered students who work full-time to complete the program in one academic year. Oyedele Ajagbe, who works for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency as a multi-commodity inspector in Edmonton, Alberta, is the first student to enter the program. “I enroled in this program to gain fundamental knowledge in food safety principles and to advance my career with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency,” said Ajagbe. All post-graduate certificate programs at MI consist of a number of required and elective course offerings. Five courses were made available via the web in September and five more courses have been made available for the winter. Students with a bachelor degree, diploma of technology or a combination of work experience and formal education can apply for admission to the program. Visit www.mi.mun.ca/pgcfoodsafety for a list of courses and more information on the new post-graduate certificate in food safety.




MI cadets gain worldly experience onboard tall ship The Russian Sail Training Ship (STS) Mir, is well known as a waterborne school for hundreds of merchant cadets. This past summer, for the first time, four nautical science students from the Marine Institute sailed on board the STS Mir as the first Canadians to ever do so. Operated by the Admiral Makarov State Maritime Academy in St. Petersburg, Russia, this three-master sailing vessel accepts trainees from various countries and maritime academies each year. The training vessel provides its multinational cadet crew the opportunity to gain new skills and participate in events symbolizing international friendship and cooperation. MI cadets Jennifer Fleming, Andy Crawley, Dave Farrall and Nicole Costain sailed to ports in Kiel, Germany; Wilhelmshaven, Germany; Saint Malo, France; Lisbon, Portugal; Cadiz, Spain; Ilhavo, Portugal; A Coruna, Spain; and Hamburg, Germany as part of their two-month work term voyage on board the STS Mir. As the fastest tall ship existing in the world and winner of five Tall Ships Races since 1996, the STS Mir participated in the 2012 Tall Ships Races from Saint Malo, France to A Coruna, Spain before discontinuing the races to reach its last port in Hamburg, Germany. ‘TV-Novosti’, a European news station on the RT TV Network, was onboard to film the ship’s course in the races from Lisbon, Portugal to Cadiz, Spain. In addition to the races, the cadets also participated in social events such as Kiel Week in Germany, which is the largest gathering of tall ships in the world; a Sea Festival in Ilhavo, Portugal; and a Maritime Festival in Hamburg, Germany. Time on board the STS Mir was spent learning how to operate a ship under sail, participating in bridge watches, safety training, ship’s work and speaking Russian. “Learning to communicate with people who do not understand English is invaluable. By learning some Russian and teaching some English, we were all able to meet on a middle ground,” said Fleming. As a way of educating one another about their different national backgrounds, cadets participated in a seminar on multicultural awareness and gave informal presentations on various topics such as culture, history, tradition, religion, family values, food, music and sports. “This experience was very different as I was able to learn about new cultures,” said Crawley. “At one point in the voyage I was lucky enough to have four cabin mates of different nationalities.” Farrall, who before enrolling in the Nautical Science program at MI two years ago, was on a circumnavigation of the world. He explained how this journey has brought him closer to his ultimate goal. “My training on tall ships began in the Great Lakes and since then I have been determined to make a career out of it,” expressed Farrall. “Being able to receive my practical sea phase on board the STS Mir has motivated me to continue working towards a tall ships sailing career.”


For Fleming, Crawley, Farrall and Costain sailing with the STS Mir was an adventure of a lifetime and an experience which will enable them to build towards their knowledge, education and careers.


Brothers at

The Earle brothers may be oceans apart at times, but no matter what they are always there for each other. Growing up in Shearstown, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), the Earle brothers always had an interest in science, chemistry and physics. As graduates of the Marine Institute (MI), Brandon 25, Mitchell 23 and Nicolas 20, all have careers in the ocean industry. The eldest, Brandon, was inspired by his love of the water and interest in ships. He chose the nautical science program at MI because he knew a career in this field would allow him the opportunity to live in NL, while travelling. Upon graduating from MI in 2009, he began his career in the industry with Atlantic Towing Limited (ATL), an offshore supply company, where he works today. As Third Mate on board the Atlantic Kingfisher, Brandon is currently completing his Chief Mate unlimited certificate. Through ATL he travels doing various jobs such as anchor operations for drill rigs, rig tows, ROV operations and cargo operations. “The one thing I love about working in the offshore industry is that you never know what you could be doing next. I’ve worked in Trinidad doing deep sea anchors for a drill rig and I’ve also been a part of a rig tow from the Grand Banks to the Gulf of Mexico,” explained Brandon. The younger sons are stationed in Halifax as members of the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and went through MI’s Marine Engineering Technician Training Plan (METTP) program. This past fall, Mitchell returned from a deployment on board the HMCS Charlottetown to the Mediterranean on Operation Metric and the Arabian Gulf on Operation Artemis.


While it may have been his older brother Brandon’s career that peaked his interest in the industry, it was his cousin’s career as a marine engineer in the RCN that truly influenced his future. After hearing of the benefits of MI’s METTP program from his cousin, Mitchell was convinced that applying for the METTP program with the RCN was the best choice for him. “My job is excellent; I work with my hands, get dirty and am constantly learning. There’s nothing like the satisfaction of completing a job, with one of your best friends, minutes before you sail, and knowing that you were a part of determining whether or not the crew goes to sea that day,” stated Mitchell. Also a member of the RCN, Nicolas, the youngest of the three brothers, graduated from MI’s METTP program in August 2012. “My brother Mitchell influenced me to join the navy. I always worked on bikes and stuff growing up so marine engineering seemed like it would be a good fit,” expressed Nicholas. Nicolas is posted to the HMCS St. John’s where he is keen to learn new things and travel around the world. “As I’ve been told, training and learning never stops for my career, so I can’t wait to get out and obtain the appropriate training and experience to progress in my field,” said Nicolas. Their parents, Paula and Stan Earle, are enormously proud of their sons and raised them to know they never had any expectations except to find something they loved and do it. While Brandon lives close by in Brigus, all three travel the world. As parents, Paula and Stan simply “go with the punches,” as Stan puts it.



AQUACULTURE’S FUTURE A modern approach to a modern industry – is what’s being said of the Marine Institute and the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association’s (NAIA) new Aquaculture Real-time Integrated Environmental System (ARIES). NAIA is working in partnership with MI’s Centre for Applied Ocean Technology (CTec) and Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD) on a pilot project, in conjunction with three aquaculture companies, created to demonstrate the potential of real-time environmental and oceanographic data to the aquaculture industry. “Our aquaculture companies are quite active in seeking new technologies that can help them become more efficient and remain competitive. Taking on this pilot project as a joint venture with MI will help us meet industry needs and sustain a positive environment for aquaculture development,” said Darrell Green, Research and Development Coordinator, NAIA.

The ARIES system, now fully operational, provides near real-time, 24/7 access to dynamic physical condition data collected at individual cage sites in the Coast of Bays region. “This system provides operators a better understanding of the biophysical conditions influencing farm sites,” said Bill Carter, assistant director, CTec. “It will aid in the areas of site management of daily operations, new site investigations and will ultimately improve operational efficiency and production.” ARIES demonstrates to operators the potential to remotely access real-time environmental data such as water temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity and meteorological information at individual cage sites from the perspectives of operational efficiency, sustainability, safety and security from anywhere in the world. Three aquaculture operators – Cold Ocean Salmon (Cooke Aquaculture), Northern Harvest Sea Farms and Nova Fish Farms - have provided access to one operational cage site each, as well as labour and infrastructure. Each operator is providing feedback on the effectiveness of the system and sharing their experiences with other operators in the region. This past summer, Memorial University president Dr. Gary Kachanoski and vice-president Glenn Blackwood visited the Coast of Bays region to meet with the people leading the industry, including many Memorial and MI alumni.


“During my first visit to the region I was impressed with the development of the industry, the people involved and the incredible geography of the Coast of Bays,” said Dr. Kachanoski. “We look forward to partnering with everyone involved in this innovative initiative to further expand the industry through training, education and technology projects like ARIES.” Blackwood highlighted the for important Photos Mr. courtesy of Ocean Exploration Trust/Institute Exploration

role this pilot project can play in the development of Newfoundland and Labrador’s aquaculture industry. “We look forward to working with the industry partners to provide real-time data that can be used to make their decisions on a daily basis. Understanding the oceanographic and environmental conditions in the region is critical to the industry’s ongoing and future development, and is key to cage site management and future site selection,” said Mr. Blackwood.

“Understanding the oceanographic and environmental conditions in the region is critical to the industry’s ongoing and future development and is key to cage site management and future site selection.”

The Coast of Bays region offers an excellent environment for the development of aquaculture; however the future development of the industry depends on a better understanding of the oceanographic conditions though out the vast and varied bays in the region. The aquaculture industry in the province is enjoying a period of tremendous growth, increasing in value from $33.5 million in 2005 to approximately $120 million in 2011 with plans for continued growth. Tom McKeever, instructor/researcher, CASD explained, “The Coast of Bays region is recognized as one of the best salmon farming locations in the world. Nature has provided the raw material and the challenge is to refine and nurture that material to ensure maximum economic benefit at minimum cost and risk to other users of those waters and surrounding environment.” Ultimately, this pilot project is expected to assist an industry which is dynamic and innovative in terms of its adaption and adoption of emerging technologies. The ARIES system was fully implemented in late September 2012 and is scheduled to run for a 12-month period. The results of the year long experiment will be used to determine the option for expanding the system to other sites within the Coast of Bays region.


MI in the

NEWS MI participates in Memorial’s havin’ a time: Reunion 2012 MI and Memorial researchers explored the state of ocean resources as part of the Changing Tides: Past, Present and Future of our Ocean Resources event held in MI’s Hampton Hall on August 10. This event was held as part of the larger reunion which took place this summer, across all campuses, from August 8 - 12. Prominent speakers Dr. George Rose, director, Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER), MI; Randy Gillespie, director, Centre for Applied Ocean Technology (CTec); and Dr. Bill Montevecchi, university research professor, Psychology spoke about birds, fish stocks and seabed mapping providing clues to the state of our ocean resources. The event gathered alumni, staff and members of the community.


Third annual Holyrood open house a success The 3rd annual open house at MI’s Holyrood Marine Base was enjoyed by community members, and tourists in August. The open house provided visitors with an opportunity to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of the base’s education and industrial support capabilities. Guests were able to pilot a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), visit the touch tank as well as view how MI maps the ocean floor, perform fisheries science and provide real-time weather and oceans conditions for Holyrood and Placentia Bay. CFER adds expertise and undertakes new research project MI’s Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER) recently welcomed two new research scientists to the team. Dr. Marie Clément was appointed an Aquatic Ecologist to work at Memorial’s Labrador Institute where she is working with stakeholders to generate scientific knowledge for sustainable management of the fisheries. Dr. Dominique Robert was appointed this fall as a research scientist. CFER also undertook a research project this past May, which made them the first to satellite tag Atlantic cod in an attempt to gain a better understanding of their movement patterns and stock structures.

DND Graduation

Fall scholarships awarded

Fifty-two new Naval Combat Systems Technicians were welcomed into the ranks of the Royal Canadian Navy on January 12, as the Marine Institute held a graduation ceremony for the Naval Combat Systems Technician Training Plan (NCSTTP) program. The ceremony was hosted at the Drill Hall in Pleasantville. Commander Lawrence Trim, commanding officer, Canadian Forces Station St. John’s was the reviewing officer at the graduation ceremony. Memorial’s vice-president Glenn Blackwood brought greetings on behalf of the institute and presided over the ceremony. The province continued its strong representation in the Navy with sixteen Newfoundlanders and Labradorians among those added to the fleet.

MI held its annual Autumn Presentation of Scholarships and Awards ceremony on November 21 which awarded eightysix scholarships to seventy-nine students and two awards. The scholarships and awards are provided by an assortment of organizations, companies, individuals and MI industry partners. The funding helps MI reward hard working students and plays a role in MI’s ability to attract new students from across Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada.

Fifteenth anniversary of unveiling of Merchant Navy Memorial MI joined Merchant Navy Veterans, Veterans Affairs Canada, Mayor O’Keefe, Memorial president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Kachanoski, members of the Crow’s Nest, relatives, staff and members of the public in commemorating the fifteenth anniversary of the unveiling of the Merchant Navy Memorial on August 29. The event was held at the Merchant Navy Memorial outside MI on the Ridge Road campus and consisted of a civil and religious ceremony. The service was held in dedication of the memorial and Merchant Navy Veterans Day (September 3).

Additionally, three graduate students at MI were awarded Research & Development Corporation (RDC) Ocean Industries Student Research Awards during a separate ceremony on Memorial’s main campus on November 21. Recipients Andrew Murphy, M.Sc. Biology, and Truong Nguyen, PhD Environmental Science, are both conducting their research with MI’s Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources (CSAR). Daria Gallardi, M.Sc. Aquaculture, is completing her research with MI’s Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD). The reception was presided over by Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial University; Honourable Keith Hutchings, minister responsible for RDC; and Glenn James, chief executive officer, RDC.


Over the past four years, Samantha Strowbridge has referred to her fellow classmates as the “future captains of the world”. It wasn’t until graduation day, looking out at her peers, that she realized the truth to her words. Having grown up in Grand Bank, NL, a community where working with boats was a way of life, she dreamed of a marine career from a young age. “The majority of my family work on some kind of boat, mostly fishing,” explained Strowbridge. “When I was young I would go on little boat rides with my dad and all my family. I’ve always been comfortable on and around boats, so I knew it was what I wanted to do when I got older.” After completing high school, Strowbridge chose to study at the Marine Institute in the Nautical Science program. This past Spring, Atlantic Towing Limited (ATL), an offshore supply company with which MI has a long standing relationship, surprised Strowbridge and fellow classmate Jessica Butler by offering them full time positions after graduation. In total, ATL offered positions to six MI students; of which Strowbridge and Butler were the only two females.

“There is really no way to describe the feeling you get when one of your dreams comes true,” Strowbridge exclaimed. “At first I was so excited I was speechless and for several weeks after the job offer it was all I thought and talked about.” She went on to describe how she knew after completing her sea phase onboard the Atlantic Kingfisher with ATL that she wanted to work for the company. Butler had a similar reaction, “I was extremely happy and also surprised because it was the last thing either of us expected. I had an exam the next morning so I was completely focused on that.”

Leading Female graduates navigate new The two first met while on work terms with ATL, which they describe as great learning experiences. Strowbridge was on her second work term and Butler was on her first, both were placed on the same vessel and the two have been friends since. Butler’s start in January 2009 in the four year Marine Engineering program did not hinder her from working hard to finish by the end of Summer 2012. While Strowbridge began working with ATL shortly after graduation, Butler began working this past Fall after finishing the program and obtaining her Fourth Class Engineer (Motor) Certificate from Transport Canada. Since high school, Butler knew she wanted a future in ocean engineering however, it wasn’t until she joined the Naval Reserve in 2008 that she switched her focus from ocean naval engineering to her true passion – marine engineering.


“There is really no way to describe the feeling you get when one of your dreams comes true” “After I joined the Naval Reserve I realized I’d rather learn about internal combustion engines than sit down and calculate forces,” said Butler. “The thing I love about this field is that there are endless learning opportunities and each day is different.”

Ladies path at Atlantic Towing MI’s relationship with ATL provides students with work terms in the company fleet where they have the opportunity to prove themselves as potential employees. Each year ATL supports cadets by selecting those who have excelled during the work terms to work full time after graduation. Strowbridge and Butler are examples of how women can be successful in marine careers. “I would tell women who wish to join the marine industry to go for it. It is a great industry to be in and like many other industries it is changing,” said Strowbridge. “I would definitely encourage young women who have any interest in this industry to keep working towards it.” Tina Clarke, offshore crewing coordinator for ATL, says the company chose Strowbridge and Butler specifically for their fleet because they saw, fairly early on, their true potential as top quality cadets.

“Who we hire is critical to the success of our operations,” explained Clarke. “This year, these two young women stood out amongst their peers and made our decision very easy. We are pleased to have them on our growing team of professionals.” Moving forwards, Butler is looking to gain more experience, learn new things and take on new challenges. “I’m finally starting a career after four years of school. It’s a big change to go from being a student to being the marine engineer and taking on all this responsibility.” While Strowbridge is aiming to move up the ranks in ATL by continuing to complete certificates to further her Transport Canada certification, she also plans to take online courses at MI with the goal of obtaining a degree in maritime studies.




Student gains global experience through MI International internship program

Oliver Dumville is a fervent supporter of the idea that “small change makes a big impact”. This is the underlying reason the 23 year old went to Tanzania on a Students for Development (SFD) four month work placement. As an Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management (ICOM) student Dumville was able to do the internship through MI International. His placement spanned from June to October 2012 and was a product of MI International’s collaboration with the Tanzania Coastal Management Partnership (TCMP), an established non-governmental organization that promotes the development of small-scale milkfish farming activities in numerous Tanzanian coastal villages. Dumville is the first of four students to complete an internship through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) funded Students for Development program in Tanzania. His internship was recognized as his work term placement for the completion of his ICOM program. “This internship has greatly benefited my personal growth,” said Dumville. “I enjoy being inserted into a situation where I can expect the unexpected and I generally take comfort in change.” Marlene Power, the MI International project manager on the SFD Project recognizes the value of such programs for MI students. “Projects and initiatives like SFD help to globalize programs at MI. Tanzania’s heightened focus on managing its coastal environment fits very well with the ICOM program,” explained Power. “Oliver and other MI students will have excellent hands-on opportunities to work in their area of study.”


While in Tanzania, Dumville’s position was Spatial Planning and Mariculture Zoning Assistant. He was responsible for assisting with the management and sustainable development of the environment, identifying and mapping coastal community spatial needs, assisting coastal districts in identifying and mapping suitable areas for mariculture (cultivation of marine plants and animals in their natural environment) activities and working with district technical teams to produce spatial and mariculture zoning plans for selected communities. “We conducted educational consultations in an informal setting and increased accessibility to available resources by garnering government support,” explained Dumville. “Ultimately, this initiative aims to work with remote communities to help improve their livelihoods, focusing specifically on women and persons living with HIV/AIDS.” Through this placement Dumville acquired a greater understanding of global economics, political issues and the realities faced in other parts of the world. One valuable lesson Dumville has been able to take from this experience stemmed from an International Conference on World Fisheries he attended at the beginning of his work placement. The conference gathered scholars and researchers from abroad to discuss the unsuitability of today’s fisheries, with a focus on those in developing countries and a common theme of the abundance of illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) catch in small-scale fisheries.

“At the lunch break I overheard two intellectuals talk about the lack of responsibility and ecological knowledge of Tanzanians in their fishing. They spoke about the ‘uneducated’ practices of coastal dwellers and their lack of ‘proper knowledge’, which made me question if I was helping or simply forcing my Western values on the people of Tanzania. It wasn’t until I witnessed the IUU fishing first hand a few weeks later, and the wives and children waiting impatiently on the sand that I realized my privileged views saw the fish stocks as something to preserve rather than as a resource used to sustain a fisherman’s own family.” He went on to say that, “Many of us condemn those who fish irresponsibly in developing countries without giving thought to how their traditions feed entire villages. Thus I learned that our own Western values do not automatically translate to other cultures.” Dumville went on to explain that we, as Westerners need to share our science and knowledge to help maintain traditional life by offering practical change management plans.

“Ultimately, this initiative aims to work with remote communities to help improve their livelihoods, focusing specifically on women and persons living with HIV/AIDS.” As for his own work in Tanzania, Dumville is hopeful that his project has afforded a long term impact and enabled Tanzanians to make the best decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. Following his invaluable experience in Tanzania Dumville hopes to participate in a six month placement in the Philippines through MI International’s Global Graduate Placement Program. This program is designed to provide Canadian post-secondary graduates with global work experience while assisting them in the transition from school to work. MI International works in conjunction with overseas host organizations every year to make this program possible.



 The Marine Institute hosted two of the most prestigious marine conferences this October, setting the stage for international delegates to experience the province’s extensive capabilities in the ocean industries.

More than 200 representatives from government, industry, academe and regulatory bodies united at the 10th annual Ocean Innovation Conference and Exhibition 2012 (OI-12) to discuss survival in an ocean environment.

Forty-five maritime universities around the world came to St. John’s for the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) Annual General Assembly 13. As the sole Canadian member of the IAMU, MI was the first university to host the assembly on Canadian soil.

This year’s event was held jointly with the International Association for Safety and Survival Training (IASST) to explore innovations in survival training, knowledge and equipment.

Delegates discussed the challenges and opportunities in maritime education and training including situational awareness; recruitment and retention of seafarers; distance education and technology; participation of women in the marine industry; the new STCW standards; and human factors in training. “This conference gave the Marine Institute an opportunity to raise its profile within the international community in terms of maritime education and training,” said Catherine Dutton, conference organizer and head of School of Maritime Studies, Marine Institute. “There are changes taking place in the international scene for certification of seafarers and through this conference we have learned how to meet the new requirements being set in the international field.” The conference was enhanced by a visit of the Russian tall ship, the Kruzenshtern. With a compliment of 109 cadets, the crew welcomed university presidents for a tour and to witness Memorial University’s Dr. Gary Kachanoski and Glenn Blackwood exchange flags with the captain. A president’s forum was also held which focused on the new Standards for Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW). MI also hosted 17 student delegates who took part in simulation exercises, technical presentations and a cultural tour of the city.


“This conference provided an excellent networking opportunity and forum to exchange knowledge and experience with safety and survival experts from five continents as far away as Australia, Japan and Namibia,” said Robert Rutherford, OI-12 conference chair. “We shared and discussed the latest innovations in the training, knowledge and equipment that have been developed and continue to be developed in our offshore safety and survival community.” Highlights of the conference including keynote speakers Rear Admiral David Gardam, Command Maritime Atlantic, who provided delegates with insightful stories about the challenges of search and rescue in the North Atlantic followed by the Hon. Robert Wells QC, commissioner of the Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry, who shared his thoughts on safety in the offshore industry in Newfoundland and other jurisdictions. The climax was a discussion forum on the personal experiences of four individuals who endured survival at sea and the lessons that were learned. The Marine Institute now moves to planning upcoming international conferences including the World Seafood Congress in Sept. 2013, Oceans 14 in Sept. 2014 and the MATE ROV International Competition in 2015.

Honouring a Legacy MI recognizes 25th anniversary of marine safety scholarship

Adam Kirby-Sheppard grew up with the legacy of his father. He was only a toddler when his late father, Keith Kirby, a Bridge Officer onboard the supply vessel Seaforth Atlantic, perished during a rescue mission about five miles off the coast of St. John’s. In 1987, when Adam was six years old, his mother Bonnie established the Keith R. Kirby Scholarship in memory of her late husband and for the past twentyfive years Adam has presented the scholarship at the Marine Institute’s annual Autumn Presentation of Scholarships and Awards, despite moving to Halifax in 1989. “I was only 24 years old when my husband passed away, and Adam was only two and a half at the time, so I wanted to be able to pass on something to him that represented his father,” said Bonnie. “I don’t know what made me so mature at such a young age, but because of this Adam has grown up with the scholarship as a memory of his father and he has embraced it and made it his own.” This year marks the 25th anniversary of the scholarship which annually recognizes a deserving Intermediate student in Nautical Science of high academic achievement and who has a commitment to improving safety in the marine environment. Now at age 31, Adam is the project manager and estimator for the Mechanical Division of Guildford’s Insulation Contractors, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. While he lives in Halifax, he also has an office in Mount Pearl which allows him to visit his home province frequently. “I consider myself lucky to be a part of something so significant and I am grateful to my mother for starting this for me while I was at such a young

age,” said Adam. “When I was younger I didn’t quite appreciate the importance of this, but as I got older I started to understand more and appreciate the fantastic ceremonies put on by MI and now I am so proud to be able to give back to students in this way.” This year, in recognition of the anniversary, Adam’s uncle, who was also his late father’s best friend, matched the amount of the scholarship which was a pleasant surprise for recipient Ian Scanlan, second year Nautical Science student from St. John’s. “I want this scholarship to represent my thanks and appreciation to my family and MI, for allowing me to be able to do this. While this is just one of many scholarships at the Institute which helps students continue their education, I think it is important for all recipients to learn the different stories behind each scholarship,” expressed Adam. “The story behind my scholarship reflects the importance of safety in the workforce and I am hopeful that recipients will continue to take this message with them.” Every year Adam looks forward to returning to MI for the scholarship presentation, which is partly due to one man, Gary Green, now retired guidance/ student affairs officer at MI. Adam expressed, “While everyone at MI has always made me feel appreciated and welcomed me with open arms, Gary has been the glue to all of this for me. The man has a way with words and quite a personality about him. He’s someone I’ve always looked forward to seeing again and shaking hands with.” To further honour the memory of his father and this significant milestone, Adam and his mother have organized their first annual dart tournament in an effort to bring together family and friends.


Ready, set...


Having competed in over 70 FireFit races, from St. John’s to Dubai over the past 11 years, it’s fair to say that firefighting is Craig Harnum’s ‘thing’. As manager of the Marine Institute’s Safety and Emergency Response Training (SERT) Centre in Stephenville, NL, Harnum participates in these regional, national and international competitions as a representative of MI. Harnum’s most recent competition was the Canadian National Scott FireFit Championships in Baie Comeau, Quebec in August, where he placed third in the Chief division and came in fifth in the over 45 (years old) division with a time of 1:46. The national competitions are broadcasted on TSN and set the pace for entry-level requirements for firefighters throughout Canada. It provides competitors with knowledge of the expectations they will be required to meet in order to be hired by towns and cities throughout Canada. “My participation in these events allows the Centre a chance to stay current with firefighting hiring requirements so we are able to ensure we provide students quality training,” expressed Harnum. Each year the SERT Centre hosts an Atlantic regional FireFit event. This year the competition was held in July where Harnum won first place in the over 45 (age) category. Training for these competitions takes a great deal of focus and dedication. Harnum follows a strict training regime in preparation for every event. Harnum explained, “In order to compete I have to train ten months of the year, so I will begin again in October. The main focus of FireFit preparation is legs and lungs, which means cardio and strength training.” During FireFit races all competitors are required to wear complete protective equipment, as they would at the scene of a fire, along with a high pressure breathing apparatus. The competitions are extremely demanding and are based on firefighting tasks commonly performed in emergency situations. The race itself is quick but challenging and is based around six tasks which include: carrying a 42-lb pack up six flights of stairs, hauling a 45-lb donut roll of hose up to the top of a tower, moving a beam with a hammer, running around fire hydrants for 140-ft, using a fully charged 75-ft hose to hit a target with a stream of water and dragging a 165-lb mannequin backwards for 100-ft then carrying it to the finish line. Going into his 19th year with MI, Harnum has been with the SERT Centre since day one. His wife Sandee, also works at the centre and has been a firefighter for 10 years. He describes her as the “main driving force” behind his training.” “I always say, it’s the toughest two minutes in sports,” expressed Harnum of the competitions. “Each time I do a competition I say it’s going to be my last.”


alumni S P O T L I G H T

ROV Alumnus travels the world At age 20, Daniel Chidley ventured to Angola, West Africa to undertake his first Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) work experience with employer Subsea 7, a seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services contractor to the worldwide offshore energy industry. “I was fortunate to start my career at the beginning of a very large Subsea 7 construction project,” said Chidley. “I gained some valuable experience and an extended trip with a very experienced crew gave me a head start.”

Save the Date

Since graduating in 2010 from the Marine Institute’s ROV Technician Diploma program, Chidley has been working for Subsea 7 as a pilot technician; a career opportunity that may not have been as straight forward if it weren’t for timing, as Chidley was one of the first students to take advantage of MI’s new two year ROV program which allowed students to enter directly from high school.

Marine Institute Career Fair 2013 Marine Institute Feb. 5-6, 2013 www.mi.mun.ca/careerfair

Initially, it was his involvement in a Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) competition while in high school that sparked Chidley’s interest in ROVs. It wasn’t until one of his teachers told him about a new format of the ROV course being offered at MI, that he decided to apply.

Ocean Innovation Conference 2013 Rimouski, Quebec October 2013 www.oceaninnovation.ca

“Originally I was interested in a technical marine career and was accepted for the Marine Engineering program at MI, but once I heard about the ROV program I knew I couldn’t pass it up,” explained Chidley. Although he may only have two years under his belt Chidley has already worked in Gabon, Congo, Angola, the UK, Norway, Holland, Canada and Brazil. He is passionate about his work and merely sees the opportunity to travel to places like Rio de Janeiro and Amsterdam as perks of the job. “Working with Subsea 7 is always interesting and it can be very fast paced at times. A company of this size allows you to get great exposure to many different areas of the offshore construction industry,” said Chidley. Chidley plans to remain with Subsea 7 and move his way up within the company. He went on to explain that his passion for this type of career is grounded in the knowledge that there is always something new to learn and a fresh challenge around every corner. “Nearly every day is different. Some days I can be inspecting pipeline and other days I might be helping to land huge structures on the seabed. It is always changing,” remarked Chidley.

World Seafood Congress Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2013 www.wsc2013.com

Oceans 2014 MTS/IEEE St. John’s Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre and Mile One Centre Sept. 14-19, 2014 www.oceans14mtsieeestjohns.org

SCOUT (junior high) MATE Competition Marine Institute May 2-3, 2013 www.marinetech.org

RANGER (high school) MATE Competition Marine Institute May 3-4, 2013 www.marinetech.org


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The Bridge Winter 2013  

The Bridge Magazine

The Bridge Winter 2013  

The Bridge Magazine