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Vol 39  No 5
Nov. 2, 2006


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In Brief

Marine Institute launches ROV program

Memorial University’s Marine Institute launched a new Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) program Oct. 27, opening up new career opportunities for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians in the local and international ROV industry.

From deep exploration of the oceans to the installation, maintenance, and operation of sub sea systems for the offshore oil and gas industry, ROVs have become the standard means of extending our reach into the ocean depths where human intervention is too expensive or too dangerous for divers.

These underwater robots are flown by a pilot/technician onboard a ship controlling the function of the ROV with the aid of a video monitor that relays images from an underwater camera on the ROV.

“The demand for ROV operators is projected to grow by over 50 per cent in the next five years,” says MI’s executive director Glenn Blackwood. “The Marine Institute is launching this program at a time when there are urgent demands from local companies supplying ROV services in this region to have trained and competent ROV pilot/technicians for deepwater operations for the oil and gas industry.”

To develop students’ piloting skills, the Marine Institute has installed two ROV simulators at its Centre for Marine Simulation. The simulators have been made available through an agreement with GRI Simulations Inc, based in Mount Pearl, and the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Marine Institute will also use these simulators in industrial training courses for specific client needs and as part of its ongoing research and development activities in ocean technology.

Preserving intangible culture

Memorial’s Faculty of Arts and the province’s Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation, with support from The Rooms, are partnering in the development of a strategy to safeguard the province’s intangible cultural heritage, or ICH.

According to Dr. Jerry Pocius, professor of folklore, ICH involves the customs and stories relevant to a culture that make it distinct.

“As Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, it’s our distinct knowledge, skills, celebrations, foods and ways of working,” he said. “This is living knowledge that adapts and changes, but unlike buildings or monuments, once it’s lost it can’t be restored.”

Diverse cultural groups and communities will be consulted in the development of the strategy. This work builds on the Association of Heritage Industries’ Living Heritage Forum, held on Memorial’s St. John’s campus in June. Anita Best, a Memorial graduate with significant experience working in the province’s cultural communities, has been hired to lead the strategy development. She is working out of the Centre for Material Culture Studies in Queen’s College.

“Our province is really taking a lead in Canada in developing a strategy to preserve our intangible cultural heritage,” noted Jerry Dick, director of heritage for the provincial department.

Editor sought for journal

Newfoundland and Labrador Studies, the journal published at Memorial University, is searching for a new editor to replace Dr. James Hiller, who has indicated that he will step down on Sept. 1, 2007.

A bi-annual, interdisciplinary periodical devoted to publishing original essays in English or French, Newfoundland and Labrador Studies was founded in 1985 with a mission to investigate all aspects of the society and culture of this province, past and present. Since then, it has established itself as a significant scholarly journal willing to publish in all fields. Like other learned journals in Canada and the United States, it is now beginning to go digital. Most of its archived articles are available on the world-wide web, and these can be accessed at the journal’s home page nlstudies@mun.ca.

The search committee is now looking for interested parties who would be available before Sept. 1, 2007. Applications and nominations should be sent to Dr. Ronald Rompkey, chair, Editor Search Committee, Department of English, Memorial University.

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