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Massachusetts Maritime Academy - Course Descriptions Seafarers Pollution Compliance Program - Course Descriptions
Note: To register for a course, you must first apply for admission to the program. Click the following link to access the online application form:

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Ecological Consequences of Marine Pollution

This course introduces students to the ecological consequences of ship-based pollution. The course begins with a brief overview of global trends in the type and amount of pollution entering the ocean from ships, after which students explore basic concepts in marine ecology that are relevant to understanding the impacts of pollution on marine ecosystems. With these concepts in mind, students will examine interactions between major types of pollution generated by ships and marine fauna, flora, and habitats. Pollutants examined will include oil, plastic and other garbage, sewage, ballast, and atmospheric emissions. Students will conclude the course by completing an independent assignment in which they research and discuss ecological concerns associated with a ship-based pollutant in a marine setting of their choice. Registration for this course is now available for individuals who have been admitted to the program.

Marine Pollution and Vessel Engineering Systems

This course provides a broad overview of Marine Engineering Systems, both in use onboard ship and for shore-side support, and their impact on marine pollution.  The course will examine primary marine systems such as those for Propulsion and Power, and discuss their relationship to the operation of the ship, and their impact on the marine environment.  Current engineering practices, with respect to sources of marine pollution will also be examined with particular attention of current regulations of the US Coast Guard, and other international regulatory organizations.  The course will also examine shore-side marine engineering systems for ship construction and operational support, and their impact as a source of marine pollution.  The course will further identify and examine the more important engineering systems in this category such as auxiliary systems for fuel and fuel handling, ballasting, pumping, cargo handling, discharges and emissions.  

Students will gain an overall understanding of the function and range of Marine Engineering Systems, and their relationship to marine pollution.  The course will employ interactive, internet-based tools to support this objective. As part of their work, students will develop a term project to identify and address specific topics (of their own choosing with input from the instructor and class) in Marine Pollution from Engineering Systems.  The project will look at trends in Marine Engineering System development (for example new pollution sources, power plant efficiency monitoring systems, advanced emissions controllers, alternative fuel sources), and the new technologies needed to provide solutions and alternatives in this dynamic area.  

Registration for this course will begin in December, 2008.

Marine Pollution and Deck Operations

This course familiarizes students with sources of marine pollution from commercial and recreational maritime vessels. Students will focus on recognizing ways that deck operations can minimize marine pollution from oil, hazardous waste, garbage, sewage, ballast, emissions, and plastics. After a brief introduction to the history of maritime pollution and relevant local, national (U.S.), and international regulations, students will evaluate the mechanical systems, processes, and best practices designed to minimize shipboard pollution. The importance of adhering to pollution regulations will be emphasized throughout the course, while stressing the advantages of a healthier and more productive working environment for seafarers through careful compliance.

Legal Issues in Marine Pollution

This course examines the major federal U.S. laws, associated regulations, and implementing policies that address vessel-source marine pollution due to operational discharges, dumping of waste at sea, and accidental pollution of the marine environment. This course also identifies the major international treaties on vessel-source marine pollution; the U.S. is a party to some of these treaties, but not all.  This course also covers the response authorities and associated liability for pollution, as well the bases for civil and criminal penalties to polluters under various federal laws.

Registration for this course will begin in May 2009.

Environmental Communication in the Maritime Industry


This course is designed to familiarize students with the discipline of environmental communication and to examine fundamental issues that arise in the maritime industry as it communicates with its stakeholders about its impact on the environment. Students will acquire a working knowledge of the theoretical and practical aspects of professional communiation, evaluating communication strategies, methods, and techniques for communicating environmental risk. Students will explore a range of focus areas withint he discipline of environmental communication and consider the challenges of building productive and responsible dialogue with stakeholders under a variety of circumstances. Examining principles of public relations, environmental communication, risk communication, crisis communication, and technical communication, students will gain an understanding of the complexity and demands of environmental communication in the maritime industry.

Registration for this course will begin in July 2009.

last updated 12-3-2010 by seafarer@maritime.edu