Marine Institute bursary students inspire bright future for marine sector
Marine Institute Bursary students seized the opportunity to showcase their talent and skills highlighting their experiences during their eight-week work placements with the Marine Institute at the annual Bursar Seminar day at the Institute recently (18th July 2013).
The Bursary programme at the Marine Institute provides 3rd level students with the skills and experience to further develop their careers within the marine sector. Twenty-six students from diverse fields of studies are gaining work experience in a variety of jobs including fish and shellfish assessments and surveys, corporate communications, sampling salmon and commercial fisheries in ports, assessments of maritime economics and oceanographic buoy development.
Mr. Joe Silke, Marine Environment and Food Safety Manager at the Marine Institute, spoke about the quality of the bursars work during their eight week placements and the confidence Ireland can have in the future of the marine industry. “The students have continued to demonstrate their understanding, and the overall context of the programmes within which they have worked. It is encouraging to see that we have a new cohort of highly motivated and engaged marine scientists coming through the third level system that will ensure Ireland retains its high reputation in marine science and technology into the coming decades”.
The value of the Marine Institute Bursary Programme, historically is significant to the marine science sector explained Ms. Helen McCormick, Senior Laboratory Analyst at the Marine Institute. “The bursary programme has been ongoing since the 1960’s and it gives students an opportunity to gain valuable experience within their chosen subject field. Previous bursars have gained various positions within the Marine Institute at all grades up to and including Director level.”
”The Bursary Seminar Day is used to give students a chance to practice their presentations skills and provide information on their bursary to their peers. The standard of the presentations this year was extremely high and showed that during the short period of the student bursaries, they fully understood the subject matter and were able to communicate this to the audience,” she added.
The Bursary programme is highly recognised and is aimed at undergraduates who have completed two years' study in a relevant discipline. This year bursars came from a total of twelve different third level institutes across Ireland and the UK including NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, University of Ulster, Queen’s University Belfast, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology, Institute of Technology Tralee, University of Plymouth, Sligo Institute of Technology, Anglia Ruskin University, Dundalk Institute of Technology, University College Cork and Carlow Institute of Technology.
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Of the sixteen presentations, there were a total of five award-winning presentations, with three awards for the individual presentations and two awards for the group presentations.
Aoife Gath (Earth and
Ocean Science, National University of Ireland, Galway) who is working in the Communications office in Oranmore spoke about how the Marine Institute engages with media, social networks and primary school outreach through the Explorers Education programme and her work on these programmes.
Edmund Burke (Wildlife Biology, Tralee Institute of Technology) spoke about gaining experience in monitoring the environment and habitat of the catchment area in Newport and the importance of the monitoring programme to the region.
Hugh O’Sullivan (Marine Science, National University of Ireland, Galway) spoke about his work in the port of Dunmore East where he collects data from a variety of fish species and also from Nephrops (the Dublin Bay prawn) and how this work provides information needed to make important decisions regarding the marine.
Jessika Ridge (Physics and Instrumentation, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology) and Gerard Forde (Energy Engineering, Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology) provided a detailed insight into their work for the Ocean Science and Information Services where they have developed a testing facility for micro-scale wind turbines which potentially could be used as power sources in remote off-shore locations.
Shane Thompstone (Marine Science, National University of Ireland, Galway) and Eimear Kelly (Environmental Science, National University of Ireland, Galway) who are based in Oranmore and Newport respectively and are working for the National Wild Salmon Assessment. Eimear spoke of her role sampling salmon and recovering microtags, while Shane talked about his job processing the information to computer stage and also his investigation into the life cycle of the wild salmon.