The following is the text of a news release from Maine Maritime Academy:
(CASTINE, Maine) — Maine Maritime Academy has been awarded $450,000 by the U. S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate for the development and delivery of maritime ice navigation and first responder courses to complement the U.S. Coast Guard’s Arctic Strategy.
Maine Maritime will be a partner institution to a new Center of Excellence (COE) in Maritime Research at the University of Alaska at Anchorage (UAA). Selected UAA research involving disaster response modeling, navigation sensors and satellite technologies will be incorporated into the Maine-developed courses.
The $450,000 grant, secured by Maine Maritime Academy’s Department of Continuing Education, will be used over a two-year period to support the creation of an ice navigation course designed to meet 2016 ice navigation training requirements of the IMO Polar Code. Maine Maritime faculty member Capt. Ralph Pundt will author the course for U.S. Coast Guard approval.
The grant also supports the conversion of selected Maine Maritime DHS/FEMA-approved Maritime First Responder courses for application in the Arctic domain. First responder training partner organizations include International Maritime Security Network, Tri-State Maritime Safety Association, Ocean Rescue Systems, World Safe International, IMQ Quebec and McMillan Offshore. A key partner throughout the grant period, the North American Marine Environmental Protection Association (NAMEPA) will assist Maine Maritime with environmental oversight.
“This is an exciting project for Maine Maritime which will benefit from many of our strengths: faculty expertise, industry networks, use of leading navigation technology and maritime innovation,” said Vice President for Academic Affairs and USCG Reserve Captain Dr. David Gardner. “It’s an ideal match.”
The grant will support the addition of Transas ice navigation software, including customized simulation modeling of key U.S. Arctic ports and waterways, to Maine Maritime Academy’s navigation simulators, as well as training for instructors. Maine Maritime will be the first ice navigation simulation training suite at a public college in the U.S. The technology will complement MMA’s existing Transas electronic chart display information system (ECDIS) training suite, a Transas liquid gas simulator training room, and the Overseas Shipholding Group (OSG)-sponsored student-built floating liquid cargo simulator, all located on the Maine Maritime campus.
Maine Maritime Academy is a co-educational, public college on the coast of Maine offering 18 degree programs in engineering, management, science, and transportation. The college serves approximately 950 undergraduate and graduate students in career-oriented programs of study. Maine Maritime Academy was ranked the No. 1 Best Public College on Money magazine’s Best Colleges list released in August 2014. The college’s persistence, retention and graduation rates are well above national averages, and the job placement rate is in excess of 90 percent within 90 days of graduation. For more information, visit mainemaritime.edu.