Marine Institute COVID-19 Information and Updates

Marine Institute COVID-19 Information and Updates

The Marine Institute’s priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and our community.

Please stay tuned to the latest information and updates as our response to COVID-19 evolves:

We will be reassessing and evaluating the situation continuously and issuing regular communication updates.

Latest Message 12: Message from Glenn Blackwood, VP, Memorial University (Marine Institute)

(April 3, 2020, 10:28 am NDT)

Good Morning everyone,

Life at the Marine Institute has changed over the last month but the “can do” attitude that has always prevailed within the MI community has not.

I’m not surprised by how our academic and student affairs, registrar, finance, IT, library, research, human resources, placement, planning, alumni, communications, international, recruitment, facilities, custodian, marine services, security teams and countless others have stepped up under unprecedented circumstances to take care of our students and each other, without missing a beat.

Our schools, instructors and centres have embraced innovative ways to connect with our students, clients and colleagues. I’m grateful for how they quickly adapted to ensure our students continue to have engaging learning experiences.

Our researchers may not be in the lab or field but they continue to mentor our graduate students, prepare and plan for future projects, complete reports for industry and papers for publishing.

I am proud of your exceptional efforts and commitment during what I know is a challenging time both personally and professionally. Thank you for being there in every way possible and keep up the great work.

To our current and future students and your families – a special thank you for your patience. Please know we weigh every decision about how we move forward in our academic programs and operations with your safety and well-being as our priority.

Wherever you are, thank you for staying at home, taking care of yourself, your family and, in turn, our communities. It’s vital that we practice physical distancing in the weeks to come as it is our best protection.

As the saying goes “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.” Well the past few weeks have been anything but smooth, however I’m confident our MI community will overcome this stormy sea together.

Please keeping checking our website regularly for news and specific information for the MI community.

Take care and stay well. 

Glenn Blackwood, Vice-President

Memorial University (Marine Institute)

News Archive

March 2020

Latest Message 11: Update on Waived Regulations, Technical Session, 2020 Admissions, Student Document Requests and Graduation

(March 30, 2020, 11:35 am NDT)

The Marine Institute thanks its students and employees for their patience and understanding as we work through a number of decisions to complete this semester and the remainder of our academic year. Today, we are providing further updates on the following:

Waived Regulations regarding Readmission and Continuance

Students in a certificate, technician, and diploma programs are advised that the Institute is waiving its academic regulations regarding re-admission and continuance for the Winter 2020 semester. Students who have not passed at least 50 per cent of the courses in which a grade is awarded or do not have a cumulative average of 50 per cent at the end of the Winter 2020 semester will not be required to withdraw from the Marine Institute. Students will be given academic forgiveness and be eligible to register in a subsequent semester. This may have implications for going on work terms. Failure in any courses will require students to complete those courses in the future and will significantly affect your graduation date.

Students in an advanced diploma program are advised that there is a waiver to continuance regulations for the Winter 2020 semester – meaning students who have obtained a grade of less than 50 per cent in any course will not be required to withdraw from the university. These students will be allowed to return in a subsequent academic semester. This may have implications for going on work terms. Failure in any courses will require students to complete those courses in the future and will significantly affect your graduation date.

Technical Session 2020

The Marine Institute’s Technical Session for students in Diploma/Degree, Diploma and Advanced Diploma programs will be delayed. The institute is assessing when and how the technical session can be delivered, including remote and future on-campus delivery. Further program-specific announcements will be made. Students will be advised 30 days prior to the start of any modified on-campus technical session.

2020 Admissions

The Marine Institute is continuing to accept students for Fall 2020. Until further notice, all admissions will be processed remotely and all required documents should be send electronically to Current applicants who have inquiries related to seat confirmation fees can also contact

Student Document Requests

As the Registrar’s Office is working remotely at this time, all requests for enrollment verification letters will be sent by email. If you have questions regarding enrollment letters please email

Marine Institute Graduation 2020

In light of our current circumstances as we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marine Institute will cancel its Graduation Ceremony, for technical certificates, technician diploma, diploma of technology, post-graduate certificate and advanced diploma programs. The institute is reviewing options to conduct an in-absentia graduation and ways to celebrate our graduates with our MI community.

We know that this disruption is challenging for many of you and we are committed to moving forward in supporting your academic journey. Please stay healthy and keep reviewing the MI COVID-19 website for further updates.




Latest Message #10: Important Update for Marine Institute Students

(March 20, 2020, 1:35 pm NDT)

We understand this continues to be an extremely challenging time for students. As the Institute has come together to address this unprecedented situation, the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our primary concern. 

At this point, the Marine Institute Ridge Road building campus remains open. Our instructors and academic support teams in our Schools and across the Marine Institute are working together to ensure that we preserve the integrity of our academic semester and we are doing everything possible to support our students. Your instructors and student support teams are and will continue to be available to address your questions and to provide assistance. There are a couple of specific areas that we wanted to update you on today:

Modification to Course Evaluation and Final Exams

Marine Institute students in all programs will be informed of their modified course evaluation scheme by their instructors before the end of the day, Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

There will be no on campus exams for the Winter 2020 semester.

Instructors will be replacing final exams with alternate final assessments. These assessments will be a take home assessment or a test. All final assessments will be completed by the last day of the current exam period, April 19th for technical certificate and diploma students and April 21st for undergraduate and graduate degree students.

Spring and Summer 2020 semester registration delay

The opening of registration for the Spring 2020 semester will not begin as scheduled. The delay will allow time to review the planned course and program offerings, including technical sessions and work terms, and make adjustments as needed. Once a revised registration date has been determined, students will be notified.

Winter Scholarships

We have received a number of inquiries related to the release and confirmation of the Winter 2020 Scholarship recipients. Students receiving a scholarship will be notified early next week.

Student Supports

Please continue to visit the MI COVID-19 site for up to date information and FAQ for answers to common questions or check out the contact information page for phone numbers or email addresses for key departments. You can also email with your questions.

Specific support services continue to be available remotely with employees in student support, accessibility services, registrar’s office and office of career integrated learning working remotely and committed to supporting you in this difficult time.

Students Health and Wellness

The Student Wellness and Counselling Centre on the St. John’s campus remains open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Monday-Friday, for regular in-person physician and nursing appointments. Students arriving at the clinic should not arrive early for their appointments and should not bring visitors with them.

Students with COVID-19 questions and concerns should visit or call 811 directly. Do not present in person to the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre if you are experiencing a cough, fever, difficulty breathing, and have travelled outside the province or have had contact with someone who has the COVID-19 virus.

Counselling appointments will be delivered remotely. Students who wish to book counselling appointments can call 864-8500 and select option 5 to book a remote session with a counsellor.

A reminder to all students that the Student Wellness and Counselling Centre (SWCC) website offers a number of online and phone-based community mental health and wellness supports. Please refer to the detailed list of resources here: if you need remote support.

Students with urgent mental health concerns should avail of the following community-based services:

  • 24-hour mental health crisis line: (709) 737-4668 (local) or 1-888-737-4668 (province-wide).
  • Mobile Crisis Response Team: 1-888-737-4668 St. John’s Region.
  • 24 hour Walk-in Psychiatric Assessment Unit at the Waterford Hospital Site on Waterford Bridge Road: (709) 777-3021 or (709) 777-3022.




Latest Message #9: To all our Students, Faculty, Staff and Industrial Clients of MI Community

(March 20, 2020, 12:15 pm NDT)

This has been an extraordinary week. Like you, we have been trying to understand what impact the COVID-19 pandemic will have on our personal, professional and academic lives.

We are concerned about everyone’s well-being and have been working around the clock to do everything we can to protect our community’s health and safety.

Since we announced our decision to transition to remote delivery, everyone at the Marine Institute has been working together to smoothly adapt our courses, carry out our commitments to our industrial clients, and preserve the academic continuity of the Winter 2020 semester.

Students, important information about your course evaluations and final exams will be posted on our Marine Institute COVID-19 website today along with other details on student supports. Please check this site frequently for updates and further information.

We thank our instructors and all of our employees as they support our students, clients and each other. 

We thank you for your patience and trust while we navigate this ever-changing and challenging situation.

We also want to take this moment to thank and commend those in the healthcare field for their efforts to protect and care for us. Following their guidelines and advice is the greatest respect we can show them.

The Marine Institute remains open for now and we are here to help you as we complete this semester and move forward in the coming weeks. 

Please remember there are a number of supports available to you through the Marine Institute and your community and we encourage you to reach out if you need help. Please go to the Marine Institute COVID-19 website where all pertinent information will be posted as it becomes available.

Look after yourself and each other and we will come through this situation stronger together.

Best wishes,


Glenn Blackwood, Vice-President

Memorial University (Marine Institute)





Latest Message #8: MI Continuing To Develop Final Exams Procedures

(March 18, 2020, 2:02 pm NDT)

We are aware of current messaging circulating to the broader Memorial student community regarding an update on final exams for Winter 2020 semester. This messaging does not apply to Marine Institute programs (Technical Certificate, Diplomas of Technology, Advanced Diploma, Post Graduate Certificate, Undergraduate and Graduate). We are currently working on the final examination procedures for all Marine Institute programs and the Marine Institute will communicate with you directly when the procedures are finalized.





Latest Message #7: Exams update for Marine Institute students

(March 18, 2020, 9:36 am NDT)

Please note, update #6 this morning (March 18, 8:20 am) regarding exams does not apply to exams for certificate, diploma, undergraduate or graduate students at the Fisheries and Marine Institute. Those students will be updated directly by their faculty. Full update at





Latest Message #6: Update on final exams for Winter 2020 semester

(March 18, 2020, 8:20 am NDT)

Students are advised that there will be no final exams taking place on campus in April. This includes both on campus and online invigilated exams. A proposal regarding final exams has been approved.

Instructors have been presented with a number of options as alternatives to an on-campus final exam in April, which could include an alternative method for conducting the final exam or the postponement of the on-campus final exam to a later date.

Each of these options will give students the choice between accepting a PAS/FAL grade or obtaining a numerical grade.

Students should note that a grade of PAS or FAL has no implications for their academic averages.

Students will be given further instructions on how to communicate their choice between PAS/FAL or a numeric grade at a later time.

Instructors are expected to communicate the option they have selected for the courses they teach as soon as possible.

Please note this update does not apply to exams for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Nursing, Centre for Nursing Studies or the Western Regional School of Nursing. You will be updated directly by your Faculty.





Latest Message #5: Update from the Office of the Vice-President (Research)

(March 17, 2020, 6:32 pm NDT)

  • Activities for faculty, staff and students (undergraduate and graduate) in all research laboratories will be suspended from 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, onward.
  • Researchers should not submit any new protocols involving animals. Continuation of existing research studies involving animals will be considered on a case-by-case basis. These requests should be submitted to Dr. Jennifer Keyte, university veterinarian and director of Animal Care Services, via email at
  • All fieldwork for faculty, staff and students (undergraduate and graduate) is suspended from 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 18, onward. Researchers currently in the field should return immediately.
  • All graduate students in research-intensive (e.g., thesis-based programs) should work from home. Meetings with supervisors should be carried out using remote methods.
  • Research groups should arrange meetings using remote methods.
  • Research Grant and Contract Services (RGCS) is moving to a blended model of onsite and remote operations. The Memorial University Researcher Portal (ROMEO) is accessible remotely and faculty and staff should continue to use it for submission of applications and awards to RGCS.
  • Memorial’s Strategic Institutional Research Initiatives (SIRI) unit is moving to remote operations.
  • Activities at Technical Services are suspended until further notice.
  • Memorial’s campuses remain open. The suspension of research activities will be reviewed on a regular basis to determine when normal laboratory and fieldwork activities can resume.




Latest Message #4: Update on suspension of classes and change in library hours

(March 17, 2020, 1:10 pm NDT)

Based on ongoing consultation with units and a determination of their ability to be responsive, and the evolving public health environment, Memorial University has moved up the timeline for suspension of all classes. As of end of day Tuesday, March 17, all classes (in person and online) on all campuses will be suspended. Remote delivery of classes is scheduled to resume on Monday, March 23, as previously announced. Students with questions about their classes should contact their instructor.

Direction regarding student residences remains the same as issued at 8:15 p.m., March 16.

All Memorial Libraries on all campuses will have an early closure at 5 p.m. today, March 17. All Libraries will reopen as scheduled tomorrow, March 18, but will close at 5 p.m. for all users and will remain closed until further notice for all users. See for more information and resources. Library employees should report to work as scheduled until further notice.

For more, see





Latest Message #3: Message from Vice-President Glenn Blackwood

(March 16, 2020)

Good evening everyone,

The COVID-19 situation is unfolding and we ask our students, faculty and staff to work with us as we navigate this unprecedented issue.

We understand there is anxiety around returning to class and work on Tuesday March 17, 2020 and we are working extremely hard to navigate the complexities.

The Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University of Newfoundland will move to remote delivery of classes for the remainder of the Winter term 2020 on Monday, March 23. Our campus and other locations will remain open.

ALL Institute operations will continue as normal with faculty and staff at work on Tuesday March 17, 2020, unless you have arrangements with your supervisor. Managers will be working with employees to identify work from home arrangements where possible.

While we transition and continue to adjust our daily behaviours in this phase of COVID-19, we understand the stresses everyone may be under.  There are many questions and many of them are around what will happen to the remainder of term.

This week will be critical for us as we understand what it means to move to remote delivery. We will need all your help and cooperation to achieve this model.  We appreciate everyone working together as a team to achieve the best possible outcome for our students.

I know we have successful experience in this delivery model, and we will need the help of those with significant experience in this area to assist others to adapt to the model of course delivery.

MI will be launching a webpage shortly and is developing a Frequently asked questions that will address some of the questions we are receiving and update it as themes change in these questions. We have been in constant meetings at various committee levels to plan for Memorial and MI and will continue to update our community.

Please continue to monitor information channels from MI and Memorial.

As always the Marine institute community comes together through difficult times and we will require all of us to work together during this unprecedented event. It is our collective responsibility to ensure the success of students.





Latest Message #2: Update on COVID-19 Response Links to Important Information for faculty, staff and Students

(March 16, 2020)

Please see the latest news update from Memorial University.





Latest Message #1: MUN suspending classes March 18, return remotely March 23

(March 15, 2020)

The Marine Institute is suspending all classes and labs (both face-to-face and those currently offered online) at the end of the day on Wednesday, March 18.

Instruction is scheduled to resume remotely on Monday, March 23.

During this time, the university will remain open which means employees will report to work, research activity, work-terms and clinical placements will continue. Academic and student support units such as the Libraries will remain open.

While there are currently no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Memorial University, the university is taking this action to further protect the health and safety of students, faculty and staff and the people of the province through implementing social distancing practices. Enhanced cleaning protocols across Memorial’s campuses are currently being implemented.

To be absolutely clear, in-person classes and in-person labs will not resume this semester following end-of-day Wednesday, March 18. Any course delivery from March 23 will occur through remote teaching. In many cases, this will mean online delivery through tools such as Brightspace and other technologies. However, instructors will be responsible for communicating specific course changes to their students.

The pause in instruction from March 19-22 inclusive will allow instructors time to develop their plans for remote teaching from March 23 to the end of the semester. Note that instruction in existing online courses will also be paused from March 19-22 to allow students and instructors time to focus on transitioning to the new circumstances.

The process for completing final exams will be communicated to students in advance of the exam period.