Thursday, January 17, 2013

FTV 1/17/2013 The MSEP Classroom

Today was my first day of classes with the Marine Safety and Environmental Protection program. The trainers introduced themselves:

Dr. Jaroslow is one of the MSEP professors that teaches at MMA. Some of the classes he teaches at the Academy include Earth Science, Geology, Oceanography, Environmental Monitoring, and Coastal Zone Management. Dr. J is the Sea Term instructor for the MSEP department this year. He is in charge of all the MSEP training rates as well as the curriculum the freshmen will be learning.

Rich Lutter is the MSEP Operations Officer, or Regimental Rate. He is the "head" MSEP Rate. Rich has had the opportunity to participate in the Shang Hi exchange program that MMA has with the Maritime Academy in China. He spent an entire spring semester in China with a small group of other cadets. One of those Cadets is also an MSEP Rate: Nick Lemoine; both Nick and Rich also spent a winter semester in Panama for their internship. There, they were able to work with cadets from the Academy in Panama on the Panama Canal.

The third MSEP Rate is Meg Thibeault; Meg has achieved high scores in academics, as well as outstanding athletics in Softball for the MMA Buccaneers. She is the Training and Retention Officer of her company, and she spent her internship with MAERSK (a shipping company).

The training rates discussed the overview of the major; like what classes we take, what their internships were, and what the major has to offer in the long run. They mentioned how the class sizes are smaller than the license majors, and how that gives us the capability to speak more easily with our professors.

One major point that they made is how anything that you learn in an MSEP class can be applied anywhere at any job. Rich talked about local and global environmental issues such as climate change, species extinction, and the result of port activities (ships moving in and out, recreation, etc.) Meg discussed the topic of Oil Spills, their effect on the environment, the best ways to clean them up, and the best ways to prevent them. Nick was in charge of teaching the freshmen about PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). He explained how to don the safety gear and what was necessary to wear for different situations.

Even I got the chance to introduce myself! I explained my job on the ship (FTV!) and spoke a little bit about my internship with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. One of the major points I was able to add is how our major does not only pertain to the marine environment; every day with DCR I was out in the woods. Whether I was marking trees for boundaries, maintaining campgrounds with a wood chipper, or working with the park rangers for Canine Search and Rescue Training. As I mentioned; MSEP skills can be used  everywhere.

When people say "oil spill," it sounds simple: someone spilled some oil. What happens when they spill oil where you can't clean it up easily? The most difficult place to clean up an oil spill is on the ocean, but not all oil spills happen at sea; some happen on land. Both kinds can kill animals and poison water, and clean-up is expensive. Technology offers some means of controlling spills after they happen, but oil spills cause environmental damage before they are contained.
Photo: Kim Hubbard/Audubon Magazine

Click here to read more about oil spills 
How oil spills effect people
How Oil Affects Birds and Other Wildlife
Oil and Food Webs Don’t Mix

Here are some activities you can do to learn more about the effects of oil spills on our environment.

How Big is an Oil Tanker?
Learn the words of an environmental scientist.
Investigate some pollution solutions

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