September 9, 2019

Author(s): Richard Conn

The University of West Florida is partnering with Carnival Corporation to enhance the popular leisure travel company’s fleet-wide environmental officer training program.

The UWF Innovation Institute collaborated with Carnival’s Center for Simulator Maritime Training (CSMART) to launch a new Environmental Excellence course of instruction that is designed to foster a culture of learning, ownership and greater understanding of environmental compliance.

The course uses the Innovation Institute’s challenge-based learning concepts to provide interactive instruction and continuous professional development for environmental officers across Carnival Corp.’s nine brands.

"It is an honor to work with Carnival Corporation and the professionals at the Arison Maritime Center CSMART in Almere, The Netherlands,” said Vice Admiral (USN/Ret) Gerald L. Hoewing EdD (hc), senior advisor for strategic innovation with the Division of Research and Strategic Innovation at UWF. “Aligning UWF's world-class immersive learning experiences with CSMART Environmental Training Programs is a natural progression in the Innovation Institute's four years of collaborative work with Carnival Corporation."

The weeklong course consists of a simulated 23-day voyage on Motor Vessel Oceans Alive including repositioning from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Venice, Italy followed by a seven-day simulated voyage in the Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

“We have a long history of improving performance in organizations and building world class education and training,” said Dr. Pamela Northrup, vice president of research and strategic innovation at UWF.  “Our experience with Carnival expands our view tremendously and are so honored to have the opportunity to make a contribution to the CSMART, the world's first Center of Safety Excellence by DNV-GL. The classification represents the world's leading classification society and a recognized advisor for the maritime industry."

The Environmental Excellence course was developed as an advanced training course for Carnival Corporation's environmental officers that must be completed starting in the third year of service and then required annually. The new course builds on two prior environmental courses that are required for environmental officers to take at CSMART in their first two years, on top of the six-hour Operational Excellence course required annually at CSMART Academy for the nearly 7,000 environmental, bridge, engineering and electrical officers who support the company's global fleet.

“The Carnival Corporation environmental officers have a very complex job that involves considerable technical knowledge and an encyclopedic command of the regulatory environment,” said Dr. Dave Dawson, research scientist at the UWF Innovation Institute. “Their jobs also require analytical and communication skills and thought leadership to foster a culture of environmental awareness and ownership as key members of a ship's leadership team. There is typically only one environmental officer on a ship so their opportunities for specialized training, mentorship and coaching while at sea are limited. Our approach to the Environmental Excellence course has been to provide opportunities using real world scenarios to integrate and exercise their skills with their peers while at CSMART.  They not only learn from the authentic activities in the course, but also through the experiences of other EOs in similar situations. One of the by-products of this approach to the course is that the EOs are able to develop a network of contacts for support and advice once they return to sea.”