MTS Sponsors Community College Students to Attend Underwater Intervention

March 17, 2020

As part of its focus on supporting students and developing careers in marine technology, MTS sponsored five students from Northwestern Michigan College (NMC, Traverse City, MI) to attend the Underwater Intervention (UI) conference in New Orleans in February.

Bernadette Bottke, Kelly Smith, Abby Siddall, Dalton Mitchell, and Caitlin Harrigan are enrolled in NMC’s Marine Technology program. Four of the students delivered presentations as part of UI’s Marine Education Track. They discussed the hands-on, real-world projects that they are involved in at NMC, including the use of ROVs, sonar, and other underwater technologies to inspect the foundation of dams, pipelines, and other structures in the Great Lakes. The industry professionals who attended the session left impressed with the students’ knowledge and application of the technology; one even offered a student a summer internship with his company. 

Jill Zande (President/Executive Director of MATE Inspiration for Innovation [MATE II], Associate Director and Competition Coordinator of the MATE Center, and Chair of the MTS Monterey Bay section) noted that MTS provides funds each year to bring community college students to the UI conference. Community college students often lack both access to these types of opportunities and the resources to take advantage of them. MTS’s support of the MATE Center and students attending the conference is helping engage, foster, and sustain the next generation of marine technologists.

“As someone in the Marine Technology program, it’s sometimes hard to know what companies are out there, and what they do for the industry, so attending a conference give us a real chance to meet some of the faces behind the company and make connections to them,” said Abby Siddall. “I am hoping to attend more conferences in the future and make more connections with the companies and the people in this industry.”

To learn more about the how community college students can attend UI, contact Jill Zande at To learn more about other opportunities for students offered by MTS, click here.

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