After a small college (us!) began discussions with the federal government about bringing a large and very important special appropriation to the Florida Keys, working diligently and with full energy with all our partners, Director of the John E. Lockwood, Jr. School of Diving and Underwater Technology Bill Chalfant, Dr. Patrick Rice and Dr. Jill Landesberg-Boyle (me) were notified by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen that the funding they had proposed to receive with Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen’s full forward charge was approved!!
As the college’s director of the James E. Lockwood Jr. School of Diving and Underwater Technology, Chalfant will be one of those in charge of developing a training program the Navy could adopt for its scuba divers, port security and other defense or Homeland Security personnel who perform military and civilian security on the water. “It involves three-dimensional underwater imaging, inertial guidance systems, and developing training procedures for the Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command and other government agencies,” he said.
According to a project summary, the college will take part in:
- Modeling and simulation of natural subsurface environments;
- Diver training with simulated real-world scenarios; and
- Creating a training quality-control process in which new technologies, training methods and simulated environments are continuously upgraded and improved.
Never mind all that. It’s simply unheard of that a small community college should get such a big piece of the defense pie, especially on its first request to the U.S. Govenment Chalfant said.
“It’s an unprecedented amount for a small community college.
The college will share the $2.24 million. The Defense Department and the Navy receive part of the funding which is partnered with the college, as well as Stanford Research Institute and other partners.
Stanford Research Institute was part of Stanford University but is now independent of the school.
“We are especially grateful to Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen for her continued support of the college and the Florida Keys.”