Honourable Anne Kang
Students at Coast Mountain College will gain hands-on experience with a new mobile marine classroom beginning in September.
“The mobile marine classroom gives students the opportunity to practise coastal natural resources management, ecosystem restoration and environmental monitoring with the tools and technology they will be using once they enter the workforce,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness and MLA for North Coast. “As alumnus of the applied coastal ecology program, it's fantastic to see how the program has evolved over time to keep up with the latest technology used in the natural resource sector. The mobile marine classroom is an important tool for carrying out the necessary work in protecting and monitoring this important coastal environment and training the future stewards of the north coast region.”
The B.C. government provided $250,000 to Coast Mountain College to purchase a new 7.6-metre (27 foot), 12-passenger, aluminum-hulled boat to serve students and staff in the college’s applied coastal ecology program. The funding was also used to purchase the following parts and equipment:
“We need an all-hands-on deck approach to make life better for British Columbians, to create a sustainable economy and to protect our environment,” said Anne Kang, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Training. “Our science and technology sectors are being filled with highly skilled graduates, and our government is excited to make investments in relevant and innovative training programs, such as the applied coastal ecology program, that will prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow without having to leave their communities.”
The new boat, named Na Malgsa Aks, will serve students as a mobile classroom, complete with the latest technology for field studies off the Prince Rupert coast. Indigenous Elders and the college collaborated to name the vessel. Na Malgsa Aks means “the story the water tells” in the La̱xyuubm Ts’msyen language.
The combined classroom and field-work experience the boat will enable will prepare students for careers in sustainability, ecology, and fish and wildlife conservation. The technical skills students learn in the program are in demand for more than 111,000 anticipated job openings in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) expected in B.C. by 2031.
Investing in programs such as Coast Mountain College’s applied coastal ecology program is part of StrongerBC’s Future Ready Plan. Future Ready is making education and training more accessible, affordable and relevant to help businesses grow and to prepare British Columbians for the jobs of tomorrow.
Titi Kunkel, acting vice-president, academic, students and international, Coast Mountain College –
“We are delighted to have this new marine classroom. This has allowed us to expand our unique science programs using the latest marine technology. With the grant, we now have a new boat fitted with state-of-the-art technology to provide learners with skills required for careers in environmental and coastal marine science.”
Kyla Macilroy, Coast Mountain College, applied coastal ecology program graduate –
“Getting out on the water not only showcases learning outcomes taught in the classroom but also enhances student skills needed within field-based careers. This is an amazing investment in the applied coastal ecology program. It connects students to various aquatic ecosystems and gives insight into what a future career might hold when working in environmental positions. I am very excited for this new addition to Coast Mountain College and can’t wait to see what new and exciting things students will experience.”
A backgrounder follows.
This $250,000 funding for Coast Mountain College builds on government’s commitment to building B.C.’s knowledge economy, promoting and supporting innovation in B.C. through capital projects, and funding research internships and scholarships in a variety of fields, such as technology, health, business, science and engineering.
Seven major investments have been announced over the past year to support the growth of B.C.’s technology and innovation economy.
On July 22, 2021, government announced an investment of $64.8 million to expand UVic’s Engineering and Computer Science Building by adding a six-storey addition with new laboratory and teaching spaces and an adjacent new high-bay research and structures lab.
On Aug. 13, 2021, government announced an investment of nearly $25 million to support 34 post-secondary research projects that will drive innovation and economic growth. The projects will also help create jobs, protect biodiversity and the environment, and help keep British Columbians healthy and safe.
On Oct. 1, 2021, government announced the completion of a state-of-the-art learning environment with Okanagan College’s new health sciences centre. Government invested $16.6 million into this project, which opened to students in September 2021.
On Feb. 17, 2022, government announced an investment of $136.6 million to build a new state-of-the art trades and technology complex at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Burnaby campus. The complex will be a hub for skills training and will include four new buildings, benefiting more than 12,000 full- and part-time students per year in more than 20 trades and technology programs.
On May 25, 2022, government announced that more graduate students will benefit from a $3.75-million scholarship fund that will spark innovation, economic growth and help recruit and retain workers in B.C.
On June 13, 2022, government announced $25 million to support a new learning environment for the school of biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia.
On June 29, 2022, government announced the completion of a new innovative space at BCIT for students studying nursing, MRI diagnostics and other health-care roles. Government invested $66.6 million into the Health Sciences Centre for Advanced Simulation, set to open in September, which will support students in 32 health-care programs.
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