Indonesian Institute Enlists NMC For Coral Reef Study
Marine Tech, Drones, Water Studies Integrated In Mapping Project
Nexus Spring 2019 Cover Feature
Ryan Mater prepares to launch an NMC drone in Indonesia’s Bunaken National ParkHiking through dense tropical jungle on an Indonesian island last May, NMC student Ryan Mater thought longingly of a project he and his marine technology classmates had left unfinished in a college classroom.
It was a hybrid drone, capable of taking off from and landing on water, and then dropping a submersible payload, like a camera. It would have been ideal for the work that had brought Mater and 11 fellow students to Indonesia: Conducting a study on the health of the coral reef system in a national park by integrating their expertise in marine technology, aerial mapping, water quality testing and data collection.
But the classroom was 9,000 miles, 34 hours of travel and three customs inspections away. When they’d chosen their equipment, they’d decided the hybrid was too bulky and too untested to justify shipping. Now Mater and the rest of the NMC team would have to find another way to tackle the task, one they had only a week to complete.
“We had to alter our game plan,” said Mater, 20, who led the group’s Unmanned Aerial Systems unit.
NMC’s aviation program will get a lofty showcase before a national audience this summer when a pair of student pilots fly across North America in the Air Race Classic, the oldest air race of its kind, and exclusively for female pilots.
Ninety years after legendary aviator Amelia Earhart made cross-country racing popular, Team Hawk Owls — Hannah Beard of Interlochen (left) and Jessi Martin of Maple City (right) — will take off from Jackson, Tenn. on June 18 in an NMC Cessna. The 2,500 mile trip is a race against the clock broken into nine legs. They expect to land in Welland, Ontario, by June 21.
“It’s going to be marathon,” Martin, 43, said.
“Sunrise to sunset flying,” agreed Beard, 23.
Entering the Air Race Classic is the latest example of how women at NMC are making significant strides in what has long been a male-dominated field. While only four percent of U.S. airline pilots are female, nearly 20 percent of current NMC aviation students are now women. The college is now home to a chapter of Women in Aviation International, which allows them to network and support each other.
On Wednesday, May 18, 2016 NMC’s Unmanned Aerial Systems program in partnership with Michigan State University kicked off our research project at the Northwest Michigan Horticulture Research Center in Leelanau County.
Our UAS & Cherry Leaf Spot project is an exciting collaboration between NMC and MSU through which weekly imagery will be collected using unmanned aircraft. Students enrolled in the NMC/MSU Fruit and Vegetable Crop Management program will analyze the data each week as a means to determine how Cherry Leaf Spot (a fungal pathogen) can be better managed by cherry growers.
Want a way to stand out from the crowd when it’s time to look for a job?
Consider a study abroad trip. Students who study abroad find a job twice as fast as those who don’t and earn $7,000 more, according to 2012 studies.
NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer as a student on a 2011 trip to the UK.
Moreover, in a global economy employers increasingly value study abroad experiences, but relatively few students take them, according to the Chicago Tribune. NMC Flight Instructor Abigail Smelzer is one who did and saw it pay off in her job hunt.
As an aviation student at NMC, she visited the United Kingdom in 2011 and South Africa in 2014. Steve Ursell, Head of International Aviation at NMC, said those trips gave Smeltzer an edge when the department was looking to employ flight instructors in August 2014.
“Her experience in both the UK and South Africa certainly assisted her in gaining a flight instructor position at NMC because we have a very active international program,” Ursell said.
“Because I went on the trip as a student, now I understand the whole point of what the international program is about,” Smelzer said.
Earn a two-year degree in the specialized fields of Engineering Technology and, more importantly, graduate with the skills necessary to get a job in the ever-expanding markets that bridge the gap between the engineers and scientists – the strong, vibrant technical and production workforce.
We have combined this with areas of emerging specialized fields to prepare graduates for future industrial business needs regionally, nationally, and globally.
Online retailer Amazon created quite a buzz Monday when it released a video showcasing a future service it calls PrimeAir. Utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles, Amazon says by 2015, it hopes to deliver purchases to customers’ doorsteps within 30 minutes of order.