National and International Recognition for Leadership in Oceans
Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Marine Institute (MI) of Memorial University is sailing into 2014 celebrating on two fronts; its 50th anniversary and gaining national and international recognition.

Beginning as the College of Fisheries, Navigation, Marine Engineering and Electronics on Parade Street in January 1964 it is now known as Canada’s largest and most comprehensive education and applied research institute for the ocean sector.

MI will be celebrating its 50th anniversary with a number of special events for alumni, students and employees. Details can be found at

Helping to lead these celebrations is vice-president, Glenn Blackwood, who has been at the helm of the institute for the past nine years and has been instrumental to its success. During his tenure so far Blackwood has led MI through an expansion and has helped broaden its range of industry-driven academic programming.

This past fall, Blackwood was elected as Chair of the International Association of Maritime Universities (IAMU) during the 14th annual general assembly in Constanta, Romania. IAMU consists of 53 maritime universities worldwide and is based in Japan with funding from the Nippon Foundation.

Blackwood will assume the new role this April. His appointment as chair of IAMU comes after MI successfully hosted the 13th annual IAMU annual general assembly in 2012. This was the first time the conference was ever held in Canada and he is the first Canadian to chair IAMU.

“Through my new role I hope to further position MI’s involvement in the changes taking place internationally for certification of seafarers and meeting new training maritime educational requirements.” Blackwood said.

Blackwood is also starting 2014 as one of four people from this province recently inducted into the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. In November, Blackwood was inducted into the society’s College of Fellows Class of 2013 along with Shawn Stratton, president of LiveMore Group and two Memorial University professors Dr. TA Loeffler and Dr. Derek Wilton. Lieutenant Governor Frank Fagan was granted an honorary fellowship.

The society is one of Canada’s largest non-profit educational organizations and is known for its goal of spreading knowledge and appreciation of Canada’s people, culture and geography.

“Memorial University and the Marine Institute have a mandate to advance oceans in Newfoundland and Labrador and Canada,” said Blackwood.  “Through my new role as a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society I will focus on promoting an appreciation for our oceans and the uniqueness of this region of Canada.”

Blackwood is well recognized at the national and international level for his collaboration with industry to spearhead major projects, his ability to attract funding from private and public sector organizations and his expertise in resource management. He holds a M.A. in fisheries resource management and a B.Sc. (honours) in Marine Biology from Memorial University.