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Young Professionals at PIANC USA Annual Meeting

Jessica McIntyre, Moffatt & Nichol
Young Professionals attending the PIANC USA Annual meeting met for a quick coffee & introduction before the meeting was underway. Seven Young Professionals attended the meeting with five presenting.

Kyle McKay (USACE ERDC & member of InCom WG128) presented the findings of EnviCom Working Group Report 107: Sustainable Waterways within the Context of Navigation and Flood Management. Inland waterways (rivers) have both ecological and social significance. Inland waterway transport (IWT) is recognized as an environmentally-friendly system, but regulation of the inland waterways to accommodate the barge traffic can impact the reaction the rivers and associated floodplains have to flood events. Development of sustainable waterways requires an integrated approach that strives to avoid negative impacts on the river system, ecology, and society. For IWT systems, sustainability considers ecological preservation, system impacts, economical sustainability, reversibility of measures and effects, and resilence of the river system. Through application of these criteria and involvement of stakeholders in the process, a more sustainable IWT system can be achieved and maintained.

Educating the Next Generation of Navigation Professionals Panelists
Educating the Next Generation of Navigation Professionals Panelists
(L to R): Tal Meir, Tanaira Cullens, Tom Wakeman, Joe Zelasney, Beth Austin Defares, and Rob Hampson

Four Young Professionals educated attendees of the PIANC USA Annual Meeting held in Boston, MA on September 22, 2010. Each addressed the questions posed by the panel moderator as varied as their educational backgrounds and point in their careers. The goal of the session was to open communication among current students, recent graduates, academic faculty, and seasoned professionals in the field of maritime transport and navigation

Tom Wakeman, Deputy Director of the Center for Maritime Systems and the DHS Center of Excellence for Port Security and Research Professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Ocean Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, moderated the session and Beth Austin Defares, Director of Education for the Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce at Stevens Institute of Technology opened the panel discussions.

Tanaira Cullens, a third year student at Morgan State University majoring in biology, highlighted her experience at the Stevens Institute CSR Summer Research Institute where she learned how her educational interests, biology and oceanography, fit into the maritime navigation system. Tal Meir, a PhD student at Stevens Institute of Technology studying Ocean Engineering, discussed the desire of students to make a tangible connection between theory and practice incorporating the technology literally available at their fingertips. Joe Zelasney, a NOAA Sea Grant Knauss Marine Policy Fellow with the Executive Secretariat of the Committee on the Marine Transportation System, emphasized the complexity of navigation policy and how integration of disciplines can lead to effective decision making. Rob Hampson, a coastal engineer with Moffatt & Nichol in New York, compared the triumphs and pitfalls of his educational training to practical application in the workforce.

While the traditional coursework is still essential to the educational process, implementing a more sustainable (to use a current catch phrase in PIANC) educational program requires students, educators, and professionals to think and work differently. In summary, Educating the Next Generation of Navigation Professionals requires education that addresses a broader audience, looks at the global and practical picture, and integrates rapidly available and changing information and technology.


revised 29 October 2010