Challenging traditions in maritime education by flu11339


									Challenging traditions in maritime education
By irvin varkonyi |
Marketing Manager, Adjunct Professor, Transportation and Logistics,
American Military University/American Public University
Chair, NDTA Professional Development Subcommittee                                                        symptom of an industry wide personnel
                                                                                                         shortage of qualified mariners to pilot
                                                      Security ACT (MTSA), www.homeport.                 boats. “Right now there is a lack of expe-
  learning obJeCtives                        efforts which are intended to             rience out there,” said L.J. Falgout, vice
  •	 Gain	understanding	of	the	changing	              mitigate threats to the international mari-        president of United Tugs, a large towing
     maritime industry to which maritime              time trade; and the shortage of mariners.          company in Belle Chasse, LA. The watery
     academies are reacting                                                                              world of tug operators has been trans-
  •	 Understand	impact	of	increased	regu-             stCW                                               formed by new demand for river haulers
     lations set by the Federal Government            The International Maritime Organization            and stricter rules for vessel operators.
     and International Maritime Organiza-             (IMO) held a convention to improve the
     tion on education and training                   worldwide standards for safety and train-          maritime institutions
  •	 Learn	of	the	shortage	of	maritime	
                                                      ing of professional mariners in 1978.              The Maritime Industry’s training and edu-
  •	 View	new	simulation	capabilities	to	
                                                      The Standards of Training, Certification           cational institutions are close-knit, friendly
     teach mariners                                   & Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW)                competitors. These include degree granting
  •	 Learn	of	multiple	online	and	blended	            Convention established a code adopted by           four-year institutions such as SUNY Mari-
     learning systems which expand mari-              many nations in 1978 and was named the             time at Ft. Schulyer, NY, Maine Maritime
     time institutions capabilities to train          Seafarers Training, Certification, & Watch-        in Castine, ME, US Merchant Marine
     mariners                                         keeping (STCW) Code. Subsequent con-               Academy in King Point, NY and others in
                                                      ventions were held in 1991, 1994, 1995 &           California, Texas and Michigan. There are
                                                      1997 to update & revise the code. (Cour-           non-degree professional institutions focused

      he NDTA Annual Forum in Nash-                   tesy Maritime Professional Training)               on preparing mariners for maritime licenses
      ville will see a large gathering of trans-         The Code was established to set certain         including Meba Calhoon, Maritime Insti-
      portation and logistics professionals.          minimum international training standards           tute of Technology and Graduate Studies
True to its mission to provide education,             for professional mariners. The level of certifi-   (MITAGS) and the Paul Hall Center for
the annual NDTA Forum will offer oppor-               cation and training required to have is based      Maritime Training and Education, all of
tunities to learn the latest in all transport         on the capacity to be served by the mariner        whom are located in Maryland. And there
modes, intermodalism and information                  and the type of vessel they will work on.          are private institutions such as Maritime
exchange. The nation’s security relies not                                                               Professional Training in Ft. Lauderdale.
only on the expertise and courage of our              imo/mtsa                                              Maritime training is of course long es-
warfighters but on the ability of our mer-            The International Port Security Program            tablished in the nation, with a great tradi-
chant mariners to support our warfighters             (ISPS) has been implemented by the                 tion incorporating training from the US
and maintain the strength of our global               IMO and reinforced by the MTSA, under              Navy and US Coast Guard. The demands
supply chain. At the core of the merchant             the supervision of the Maritime Adminis-           on mariners from the 1990’s through to-
mariners are the young men and women                  tration. ISPS is a reaction to the events of       day have changed. Training and educating
who are coming into the industry.                     9/11 and the realization of the risks of the       mariners has changed accordingly based
   This past summer saw the inaugu-                   maritime trade to travelers and the global         on the pressure of costs, technology and
ral conference of maritime stakeholders               supply chain. Passed in 2002, it set an            the source of today’s mariners.
challenging the traditions of maritime                implementation schedule which emphasis
education. “The International Maritime                the creation of security officers and train-       simulation
E-learning” conference hosted by the                  ing of ship crews, port workers and other          Simulation has advanced rapidly. Major
Calhoon MEBA Engineering School on                    stakeholders in the maritime trade.                players include Transys, and Integrated Ma-
the idyllic shores of Maryland’s Eastern                                                                 rine Simulator. The bridge of a ship is re-
Shore, brought maritime educators, regu-              shortage of maritime Workers                       created with panoramas up to 360 degrees.
lators and vendors multiple and occasion-             The unnamed person towing the massive              It is a video system similar to IMAX allow-
al contrasting perspectives on preparing              fuel barge on the Mississippi River that           ing a complete view in front, on the sides
the mariners of today and tomorrow.                   collided with a 600-foot tanker July 23,           and in back of the ship’s bridge. Controls are
   The training of mariners has become                2008, resulting in the spill of 400,000 gal-       life-like. Different conditions in different
critical for three major reasons: the Stan-           lons of fuel oil, did not have the proper li-      ports are created by the touch of a button
dards of Training Certification and Watch-            cense to operate a tugboat. Their training         or a finger on the screen. This saves tremen-
keeping (STCW), intended                 may have also been inadequate.                     dously on the cost of training and reduction
to improve the quality of seamen; Inter-                As the oil settled into the muck of the          of accidents when training on real vessels.
national Maritime Organization, www.                  Mississippi River, some in the maritime and Maritime Transportation                   industry wondered if the accident is a                                        continued on page 64

60 |   Defense Transportation Journal     |   OCTOBER 2009
                                                                                                                 continued from page 60

                                                                                    dr. kent n. gourdin          e-learning
                                                                                                                 There are multiple models used as the
Humanitarian Logistics                                                                                           academies and other maritime institutions
                                                                                                                 seek to better prepare mariners with greater
Humanitarian Logistics, by Rolando Tomas-                         imagine planning the same event but not        quality of preparation and at lower costs.
ini and Luk van Wassenhove, ISBN-10                               knowing when or where it will take place,      Dan Noonan, Arclight Technologies and
0230205755, Published by Palgrade Mac-                            or how many will attend. This is what          a retired 20 year merchant marine captain
millan, March 2009, $45.00, hardcover,                            humanitarian logisticians are up against.      notes the advantages of virtual learning
256pp.                                                            Oversights result in serious consequences      systems. These involved the application
                                                                  for the victims of disasters, so planners      of technical standards, privacy of learning,

           hile the benefits of viewing the                       have to get it right, fast. Despite this ur-   uniform quality of training and sustain-
           firm’s logistics activities as a                       gency of need, implementing these prin-        ability of training into the future. Noonan
           system that must be managed                            ciples in practice is incredibly difficult,    also points to the qualification and training
as a whole are well known, applying those                         especially in remote parts of the world        of instructors as a key to insuring quality of
principles to multiple organizations such                         as evidenced by recent natural disasters       training. E-learning models include:
that each integrates their logistics system                       in China and southern Asia. However,
into a cohesive supply chain is extremely                         one only needs to recall the suffering in      •	 Web-based systems – Self-contained
challenging. For those able to do it, sup-                        New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina               modules available on a host site, gen-
ply chain management practices offers                             to appreciate that these challenges exist         erally without instructors or follow up
significant benefits in the form of bet-                          in the United States as well. This book        •	 Distance learning, video based sys-
ter customer service and lower logistics                          comprehensively covers the problems of            tems – Offered in real time, with a lec-
costs. Indeed, these same principles are                          humanitarian logistics and raises some            ture and interactivity with students.
now being applied to the non-profit sec-                          interesting issues regarding the impor-        •	 Asynchronous web based systems
tor as well. For example, imagine plan-                           tance of, and difficulties associated with,       – Course content available at host in-
ning an event like the Olympics. Now                              planning for the unthinkable. DTJ                 stitution’s website, with non-real time
                                                                                                                    interaction between instructor and
                                                                                                                    among students. Systems are enhanced
continued from page 5                                             in RFID, which should provide the basis           with video and internet links.
                                                                  for much discussion both within these          •	 Blended systems – Combining tra-
year that I have now been retired longer                          meetings and informally among attendees.          ditional in class learning with one or
than I served on active duty, so being kept                          Finally, while the “business” portion of       more online models, allowing self
abreast of the latest developments overseas                       the Forum is so valuable, so is the social        learning where appropriate and group
has become increasingly important to me                           side. Greeting old friends (many of whom          exchange where beneficial.
as a way of keeping current and connected                         I only see at the Forum), making new
to my roots as it were.                                           ones, and generally spending almost a          summary
   In addition, learning about the latest                         week with folks who “talk” defense trans-      The changing conditions for maritime se-
technological advances is always an impor-                        portation and logistics is a heck of a lot     curity and safety are emphasizing formal
tant take-away from the Forum. This year,                         of fun. Factor in the golf tournament, the     training to a greater degree than in past
sessions on Web2.0 and Security Best Prac-                        vender exhibits and the facility tours, and    decades. The impact of technology has
tices, and Technology for Global Transpor-                        you have a gathering that is both person-      been significant during the past decade
tation and Logistics will provide attendees                       ally and professionally rewarding. I guess     and will continue to be so when train-
with the latest developments in logistics                         that’s why so many of us come back year        ing mariners. As the maritime industry
technology. Similarly, this issue of the DTJ                      after year! I hope you all enjoy your time     competes with other industries for young
contains a special article on developments                        in Nashville; I know I will! DTJ               men and women, education and training
                                                                                                                 will need to address how best these stu-
                                                                                                                 dents learn. Mariners’ conditions are dif-
                                              DTJ index of advertisers                                           ficult at sea but their importance in sup-
 Company name .............................. pg. ##
                                                                                                                 porting our warfighters and our nation is
                                                                                                                 critical, thus the imperative to sell young
                                                                                                                 people on a maritime career. Student ex-
                                                                                                                 pectations for training utilize technology
                                                                                                                 such as simulations and e-learning. The
                                                                                                                 unique requirements of the industry fa-
                                                                                                                 vors blended learning with hands on ex-
                                                                                                                 perience at the maritime institutions and
                                                                                                                 online learning. DTJ

64 |      Defense Transportation Journal              |   OCTOBER 2009

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