MATE – the Marine Advanced Technology Education Center – is headquartered at Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, California. With the mission of increasing the size of the country’s marine technical workforce, MATE sponsors the annual ROV competition, which brings together students from around the country in a competition to construct remotely operated vehicles – underwater robots – an event that helps participants hone their technical skills and introduces them to the field of marine technology, as we learned in this week’s Episode.
In this week’s Episode, MATE Coordinator Jill Zande told ATETV, “The skills that students learn [as part of the ROV competition] can be applied in many different fields. They can become ROV engineers and pilots or they can choose to use their engineering and their technical skills to support other underwater technology platforms.”
Monterey Peninsula College is an obvious choice for an education in marine technology – students at the Northern California seaside campus can take a variety of classes – everything from Environmental Regulations to Research Diving and Safety – in their pursuit of either an A.S. degree or Certificate Program study in Marine Science and Technology.
But MATE’S Marine Science programs aren’t confined to California; colleges throughout the U.S. – North, South, East and West – provide a wide variety of aquatic programs for ocean-minded students. For example:
In the Northeast, Southern Maine Community College offers students an A.S. degree in Applied Marine Biology & Oceanography. Skills that can be learned through the curriculum – which emphasizes hands-on laboratory and field procedures – can be applied to careers in aquatic research and ecosystem management, with special attention given to collecting and identifying a diversity of marine organisms, conducting oceanographic sampling procedures aboard the school’s own research vessel, and microbiology and chemistry laboratory techniques.
Heading further down the East Coast, New York’s Kingsborough Community College is located on a 72-acre waterfront campus in Brooklyn, and offers a two year Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) degree in Marine Technology with a focus on vessel operations. Sample courses include Vessel Technology I and II, in which students are introduced to seamanship theory and the fundamentals of vessel handling through extensive on-board training, including piloting, operating rigging and deck machinery, as well as classes in Marine Electronics and Navigation. Students who have completed this program work in positions such as chief mate, captain, small engine mechanic, assistant manager of a marina, tug crew and mate on a private yacht.
Continuing the voyage south, the Marine Technology curriculum at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina provides students with extensive shipboard experience and a hands-on approach to skills training from its location on the banks of the Cape Fear River. The curriculum prepares students to use and maintain electronic navigation devices, physical and chemical measuring instruments and sampling devices and Cape Fear graduates have gone on to positions in the U.S. Navy, the National Marine Fisheries Service and Lucent Technologies, among others.
Not surprisingly, a number of marine technology programs are based at Florida schools, including Florida Keys Community College where A.S. degrees are offered in Diving, Marine Environmental Technology and Marine Engineering. Located in Key West, FKCC’s program in Diving Business and Technology is especially popular, providing the education and diving core requirements needed for a career as a SCUBA instructor, a dive boat captain, a commercial diver, police diver or scientific research diver, as well as careers in dive medicine.
But, you don’t have to be on one of the coasts to take advantage of marine studies — there are numerous technical programs available in the center of the country for students who are interested in working in and around recreational boats. For example, at Tennessee’s Chattanooga State Technical Community College, a program in Motorcycle and Marine Service Technology provides students with academics in diagnostics and troubleshooting and maintenance of internal combustion engines and the other electrical and mechanical components necessary to the marine services industry. Similarly, at Iowa Lakes Community College, a curriculum in Marine Service Technology prepares students for careers at marinas, national marine corporations, marine manufacturers and personal watercraft dealerships.
Back on the West Coast, Northern Oregon’s Clatsop Community College maintains an active rapport with the U.S. Coast Guard and offers classes in its Maritime Science Department that include Marine Safety, Marine Licensing Programs, Navigation, Charts, Tides and Currents and Boat Handling as well as Marine Licensing Programs and Marine Electronics.
And finally, Saddleback College, located in Southern California’s Orange County offers students a certificate program in Aquarium and Aquaculture Science. Courses focus on the science of rearing and caring for marine and freshwater animals and the chemical, physical and biological environment of the aquarium ecosystems, and at the college’s 4,500-square-foot aquarium facility, students care for species such as corals, jellyfish, urchins, stars, perch and even sharks.
For more examples of Marine programs at colleges around the country, as well as career options available in the Marine industry, click here or check out BoatUS magazine’s comprehensive career guide, “2010-2011 Boat Lovers’ Guide to Marine Trade Schools.”