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REF NO.: 186

SUBJECT: Canadian university reaching into New England with research, opportunities for American students
DATE: March 13, 2004

University building a bridge on historical foundations between regions

St. John's, NL - Memorial University of Newfoundland is closer to New England than many people realize. Though there is some 1,000 miles of harsh north Atlantic ocean between the two places, they are in some ways closer than New England is to Ohio.

Canada's extreme east coast and the New England region both have long-standing, significant and intertwined fishing industries based on cod. In addition, many New England families in places like Boston can trace their roots to Newfoundland and Labrador. Now, Memorial University, the only university in Canada's easternmost province, is setting its sights on attracting American students from the region while it continues its considerable research and industrial connections with the New England fishing sector.

The upcoming Boston Seafood show will be well attended by representatives of the Canadian province's fisheries-related organizations and companies. The university will be capitalizing on this opportunity. Glenn Blackwood, director of the Centre for Sustainable Aquatic Resources, at the Marine Institute at Memorial, will be giving a public presentation on the fisheries connections between Newfoundland and the greater New England area during the time of the show.

The president of Memorial will also be traveling to Boston and will be carrying an important message for prospective students. "We now have a series of new scholarships in place which are aimed at assisting students from the United States who wish to study at Memorial," said Dr. Axel Meisen. "Given the cultural and historical connections to Newfoundland, we are inviting students who are looking for a first-rate education in a truly unique environment but with strong ties to their home, to take a look at Memorial."

Both Mr. Blackwood and Dr. Meisen will be speaking at a special event being held at the Boston Sheraton on Monday, March 15.

Mr. Blackwood's presentation will examine the challenges facing the New England fishing industry today and discuss how the university's research and development capability is benefiting partners in the region. Specifically, he will talk about how his centre is assisting the New England fishery sector with by-catch issues, research on standardization of trawls, and with the minimization of seabed impacts.

"In many ways the New England area is facing the same problems and challenges that we have faced here in Newfoundland," he said. "A significant amount of the research carried on at Memorial - in areas like seabed impact, trawl design, by-catch issues and coastal sustainability - are all applicable to the New England context. We have been partnering with a number of companies and organizations in the area. We know we can help."

The university centre that Mr. Blackwood directs has many connections in the New England area, including those with Fishery Products International, University of New Hampshire, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Northeastern Consortium, Reidars Manufacturing, among others. The centre has been featured in The National Fisherman and in The New York Times. Mr. Blackwood has been actively involved in the fishery for more than 20 years in the areas of fisheries research and development and has international experience in resource management.

Memorial University of Newfoundland

With more than 17,000 students, Memorial University is the largest university in Atlantic Canada. It provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all academic disciplines, operating at five sites including Harlow, England, and on the French Island of Saint-Pierre. Students experience a wide variety of learning environments studying in such diverse programs as marine biology, cold ocean studies, native and northern education, community medicine, oil and gas studies, folklore, genetics and music.

The Marine Institute, a school within Memorial University, is Canada's largest and most comprehensive marine education facility. It offers bachelors and master's degrees, one-year advanced diplomas, two-year and three-year diplomas, certificates and vocational programs. The institute has a number of centres and units, including the Centre for Aquaculture and Seafood Development, the Centre for Sustainable and Aquatic Resources, the Centre for Marine Simulation, and the Offshore Safety and Survival Centre. These areas lead the institute's activities in applied research and technology transfer, and provide training and support to the marine and offshore industries.

Memorial University's maritime context continues to be an impetus for exploration and discovery. Researchers at Memorial are internationally recognized in marine and fisheries related fields including aquaculture, ocean engineering, seabed tectonics, offshore petroleum exploration, fishing technologies, offshore safety and survival, iceberg and sea ice research, and naval architecture.

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