Saturday, January 26, 2013

Captain's Blog 1/26/13

Again today's Captain's Blog is written by Captain Brad Lima, Vice President of Academic Affairs, and a licensed Chief Engineer.

I am on the Kennedy for one leg of the trip. The time spent while onboard allows me the freedom to roam the ship from bridge to engine room to all the training spaces. While the upper class engineering cadets are conducting proficiency assessments in the machinery space, the upper class deck cadets are shooting stars attempting to get a good three star position fix.

A unique element of Mass Maritime sea term as compared to any other maritime academy sea term is that freshman cadets can opt to select their major right up through the end of the sea term. Every other maritime academy requires the cadet to select their major prior to having any underway time. The freshman training experience is common to all freshmen. Every 4/C cadet will participate in training and instruction pertaining to International Maritime Business (IMB), Marine Safety and Environmental Protection (MSEP), Emergency Management (EM), Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering.

Today I experienced classes taught to 4/C by IMBU, MSEP and EM professor. In the MSEP class entered into conversation on global environmental concerns. The cadets were lead in discussion by senior MSEP cadet officers. The items identified as global concerns included plastics in the ocean, global warming, deforestation, carbon foot print and ground water contamination. Soon the discussions lead to global population growth which required more power generation which would increase carbon emissions impacting global warming.

In the Emergency Management classroom discussion was based on a case study where 42 terrorists took 850 people hostage in Moscow in 2002. The terrorists wanted members of their group released from incarceration in exchange for the hostages. After two and half days of captivity and negotiation violence erupted resulting in 129 hostage fatalities while killing all the terrorists. Discussion occurred as to what options should have been considered during the two and half days that the hostages were being held.

In the IMB discussion the senior cadet officer told of his co-op experience at the Panama Canal and the importance of the Panama Canal to world trade. In another discussion, the focus was on how one should be preparing for their own financial planning once a graduate obtains employment.

I came away for today's classes with a sense that all majors are linked to each other as well as to the mission of the academy. The sense of pride that seniors took on conveying to the underclassmen what they have learned from their educational experience is a testament to the senior cadet instructors, faculty and staff that has had the positive impact on the cadet's learning experience. WELL DONE!

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