Geomatics Engineering Technology program

Exploring the deep

Chad Downey pictured here in front of the ROV known as Zeus, the machine used for marine exploration

By Nick O'Dea - gfwadvertiser

Growing up in Newfoundland, Chad Downey of Grand Falls-Windsor admitted he was not much of a sailor. The son of a mill worker, he grew up watching television documentaries and credits that for much of his interest in the marine world.

After pursuing the Geomatics Engineering Technology program at the College of the North Atlantic, he discovered his love for marine surveying. A work term with the Coast Guard presented itself and cemented his passion for oceanic exploration.

Geomatics includes land and marine surveying, the creation and updating of maps, among other things, and can use tools such as GPS, remote sensing and photogrammetry.

"I had more interest in the marine surveying than I had with land surveying," Mr. Downey said. "I worked land surveying in Labrador for about a year, but I kept trying to get back out on the boats, it's harder to get a job out at sea than it is on land."

Although his passion remained, opportunities were scarce in marine surveying.

While Mr. Downey was laid off from a construction surveying job, he watched a program on the company Odyssey and their explorations. He decided then that he would send the company a resume.

"I was watching TV at my buddy's house, and I was watching Odyssey's show they have on Discovery Channel, 'Treasure Quest,'" Mr. Downey said. "I figured they had techs like me working there, for the surveying process."

He sent in a resume online and hoped that if the stars would align in the right way, he might receive a response.

Months had passed as Mr. Downey waited for other opportunities to come to fruition.

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