The Marine Technology Society is celebrating its 60th anniversary this month.
In the early 1960’s, a group of business, academic and government leaders recognized the need for a professional society to bring together scientists, engineers and others interested in the rapidly growing fields of ocean technology and marine affairs.
They convened a committee to establish the character, name, objectives and basic policies for what became known as the Marine Technology Society – launched as a not-for-profit corporation in June 1963.
The founding members of MTS believed that advancements in the development and use of marine technologies would be essential to support responsible and sustainable use of the ocean, according to a society press release. Recognizing the increasing diversity of ocean interests, they established a system of regional sections and topical committees to allow members to self-select into, as a means of uniting the diverse and burgeoning membership around areas of interest.
Nowadays, the society boast 20 geographical sections and 15 technical committees worldwide.
According to MTS Chief Executive Officer Chris Ostrander:
“MTS is, at its core, a member organization. We exist to support the community of businesses, institutions, and people that work to advance ocean sciences, innovation and marine technology. The fact that MTS has been in existence for sixty years is a testament to its members.”
These members, then and 60 years later, represent all facets of marine technology – industry, education, government and policy making.
“With a rapid expansion of the ocean information economy there comes a requirement to develop career pathways, alternative credentialing and certification programs, and inclusive recruitment mechanisms to grow the ocean workforce. We will continue to tackle these challenges and opportunities in the Society’s next chapter.”
Since its inception, MTS has increased its international presence, significantly broadened its educational component and developed strong communication capabilities. Additionally, the society has established an Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Section and other initiatives to recruit the next generation of marine tech professionals.
In July 2023, MATE Inspiration for Innovation and its signature program, the MATE ROV Competition, which was established via contributions from the National Science Foundation and the MTS ROV Committee, will be integrated into MTS’s program offerings.
“By uniting current professionals with the next generation of marine technologists, we are forming a bridge and establishing a route for young professionals to further their progress in marine technology.”
MTS President Justin Manley added:
“In addition to the long-standing pillars in the industry, the membership includes young, innovative professionals on the upslope of their careers, and students just embarking on their life journeys. The financial foundation is stable and enables investment in programs that enhance member value and expand the influence of the Society. A living plan is in place to guide the future – and the future is bright.”
For more info about MTS, go to the society’s website at mtsociety.org.