A global consultation on marine science skills and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) was launched on 12 September 2012 by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST, UK) in association with prominent learned societies, associations, industry, academia and governmental bodies. The aim of the consultation is to produce a guidance document for all those wishing to follow, or already following, a career path in the marine science profession to ensure they are best placed to face the challenges that lie ahead.
David Loosley, chief executive of IMarEST, sees a number of elements that are integral to maintaining sustainability in a rapidly changing world. Ensuring that growth in maritime trade and society’s requirement for energy and other resources from the sea are balanced by effective environmental policies is in his eyes of foremost importance. In parallel, new technologies must be enhanced to explore and observe oceans and seas and to implement protection measures. Marine scientists, who come from a diverse range of backgrounds and move into a wide range of roles in a discipline that covers many sectors, are driven by their curiosity, and need to be confident that the correct career structure and path is in place, so they can rise to the challenges that lie ahead.
The outcome, a study ‘IMarEST Marine Science Skills and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Assessment: Developing a Career Path for a New Generation of Marine Science Professionals’ consultation, is a first step in identifying skills gaps as part of a review of the professional development needs within the marine science community. The results of the consultation, which closes on 31 December 2012, will be used to develop tools to fill these gaps and address these needs, working in conjunction with other stakeholders.
In launching the consultation at Oceans of Potential 2012 in Plymouth, Dr Hannah Flint, a Chartered Scientist (CSci) and Chartered Marine Scientist (CMarSci), currently seconded to IMarEST’s Australia New Zealand and South Pacific (ANZSPAC) Division as Divisional Manager, spoke of the potential to further empower marine scientists internationally with the overall effect of enhancing the credibility of their recognised profession.
The consultation is targeted at all career stages – students undertaking marine science undergraduate and postgraduate courses; early career marine scientists; and those marine scientists working in senior positions in academia, marine policy, research and business.
Mark Calverley, consultancy director of Fugro GEOS and a member of the IMarEST STAG explains, marine science needs to offer people a very definite career path to engage, develop and sustain those undertaking a challenging and exciting role as professional marine scientists.
All involved in marine science are invited to take part in the consultation and as an added incentive IMarEST are offering the opportunity to win one of two iPads to those who take part. The consultation document and online survey can be found at IMarEST’s website.