Education and Civil Society
(Debby Edwardson/Arctic Sounder, 11 November 2010) -- In preparation for employment as marine mammal observers, seven North Slope students met at Deadhorse last summer for a specialized training opportunity. Students from Kaktovik, Nuiqsut and Barrow studied marine mammal ecology, acoustics, behavior and identification and were given an overview of the many industrial activities proposed offshore in the Arctic from seismic work, drilling and barging, to shipping and pipelines. They also learned the intricacies of data collection, the use of safety equipment and the basics of aerial surveying. And, most importantly, they were guided to recognize the role traditional Inupiaq marine knowledge plays in furthering scientific knowledge and safeguarding the North Slope's marine resources. Following the Deadhorse training, the group traveled to Barrow for industrial safety training including NSTC, taught by Ilisagvik College instructor Charlie Kanayurak and emergency procedures and onboard drills taught by Kanayurak and AMSEA instructor Mike Morris. The 2010 course was part of Ilisagvik College's marine observer stewardship training program, now approaching its fifth year of operation. It's a program that's been driven by industry demand, with training sessions custom-built to meet specific employment needs. Last summer's training was sponsored by Exxon/Jago. Programs in previous years have been sponsored by Shell/AES and Marsh Creek/Kuukpik. In recognition of its efforts in the field, the Alaska Federation of Natives, in October 2009, named Ilisagvik, "the recognized training center for Alaska Natives as marine mammal observers."
Posted 22 November 2010; 8:03:24 PM. Permalink