Cal Maritime Touts the "Academy" Advantage

Academies are traditionally small, focused, structured educational institutions. These characteristics all describe California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) in Vallejo, whose 1,075 students study one of only six majors.

California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime), located on Vallejo’s waterfront, is one of only seven degree-granting maritime academies in the United States—and the only one on the West Coast. Photo courtesy of Cal Maritime

By Patrick Burnson

Published: March, 2017


Academies are traditionally small, focused, structured educational institutions. These characteristics all describe California State University Maritime Academy (Cal Maritime) in Vallejo, whose 1,075 students study one of only six majors. Personalized teaching is emphasized, with a student-to-faculty ratio of 13 to 1 and an average class size of 22.


Some people assume Cal Maritime is a military academy because its students wear uniforms, but this is not accurate. In fact, 92 percent of its graduates go directly into for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations, government agencies or graduate schools, while eight percent graduate as commissioned officers in the military.


“We do stress some similar values as the military academies such as leadership and accountability—but our students have no obligation to join the military when they graduate,” said spokespeople. “Our reputation among the many corporations, industries, agencies and graduate schools filled with Cal Maritime alumni is that of a school preparing professional, responsible and successful graduates.”


Free Maritime Lecture Series in San Francisco


Cal Maritime professors will be among those examining maritime history, science and art at a free lecture series at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park beginning this month.


The Blue Room Lectures are presented in a partnership of the National Park Service and California State University. All the programs take place at the Maritime Museum’s Blue Room at 900 Beach Street, San Francisco.  A question-and-answer session follows each talk.  


Saturday, March 25: Artists Lauren Hartman and Martin Machado will present “Onshore Winds and Offshore Accounts,” a conversation focusing on capturing the sights and subjects at ports of call all over the world in artistic works.


Saturday, May 20: Dr. Alex Parker will discuss “Urban Oceans: The Remarkable Changing Ecology of the San Francisco Estuary.”


Saturday, July 29: Kate Sammler will discuss “Measurement and Meaning: Rising Sea Levels and Sinking Elevations.” From the local San Francisco tide gauge—the nation’s oldest continually operating tidal observation station—to the concept of global mean sea level, this lecture will examine the historical development of sea level and the geopolitical and geophysical implications of rising seas.


All programs begin at 1 p.m. For more information, contact (415) 561-7177.


Middle Harbor Project Brings Efficiency to Long Beach


Many Cal Maritime grads go on to develop successful careers in seaport terminal management as well. For example, academy alumni from a variety of backgrounds are pushing the maritime industry to even greater efficiencies as part of the Middle Harbor Redevelopment Project in Long Beach.


The project employs robots as well as sophisticated control, navigation and terminal operations software, and it challenges the norms of terminal operations with its zero-emissions footprint, advanced software technologies, use of automation and cutting-edge engineering technology.


Middle Harbor is unique among all the terminals in the world, including other terminals that incorporate automation. In fact, it is the greenest and most technologically-advanced terminal in the world today.


Among the many contractors and subcontractors who are working on the project, there are many Cal Maritime alumni. And the project operator, Long Beach Container Terminal, employs academy alumni who are performing feats of operational magic driven by automated machines.


NavisWorld Conference Returns


Finally, Cal Maritime students and grads may well be among those working waterfront professionals attending this year’s NavisWorld in San Francisco this month.


For Oakland-based Navis, this is its 11th biennial event, and it will once again provide a forum for participants to learn best practices in business and operations management from an international group of terminal and supply chain industry professionals.


Industry and technology product experts from Navis, ports and terminals, partners and other industry associations will present sessions and deliver information on the latest technologies and process improvements that are being used today to optimize terminal and supply chain processes.


Navis World 2017 is an invitation only, three-day Navis customer conference that brings together more than 300 marine terminal executives, directors, managers and IT personnel from around the world. Every other year, leaders in supply chain operations gather at NavisWorld to network and learn about the latest and most innovative solutions that are helping to improve operational efficiencies.


Patrick Burnson is the Executive Editor of Logistics Management. (