Maritime Courses Stress Hands-on Experience

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

Hands-on experience is invaluable when learning how to repair vessel machinery on sea and land.

That’s the difference between knowing how to fix a device and being able to do it in real life. The maritime workforce development coordinator at Kodiak College, LA Holmes, says all the maritime workshops help the students recreate what they’ll experience in the field.

“I try to build them in such a way so that the adjunct instructors have hands-on things to show the students. You’re not just sitting there in a class talking about electricity. You’re actually wiring up some DC items, or you’re actually looking at the AC and how it works on a boat when you’re plugged into the dock, or you’re using power through your inverter.”

Kodiak College can now offer even more hands-on opportunities thanks to funds from the state’s Alaska Technical Vocational Education Program. Holmes says TVEP funding enabled the college to purchase a refrigerated seawater systems trainer. She explains refrigeration devices are a big deal to local fleets.

“Most of the fish buyers want the catch boats to have refrigerated seawater on board for salmon purchases. That means they don’t want to buy your salmon unless you have had it in a RSW system on board your boat. It’s a pretty complicated system and even just getting the terminology down of how it works and why it works and what you need to do to keep it working is a pretty big deal.”

She says the RSW trainer arrived a little over a week ago.

“It is an RSW system that is electrically powered, and it plugs into the wall and it makes water cold in a fish tote that we have which simulates the fish hold of the boat, and we hope to be finding an adjunct instructor to teach a short workshop on that, and then we’ll be holding those classes.”

Holmes says the theme was chosen based on community interest and the course will be part of a program of affordable, noncredit classes.

You can hear the full conversation with Holmes and her colleagues from Kodiak College by checking out the most recent Talk of the Rock episode.

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