Educational Calendar

Upcoming Events

    • 06/24/2020
    • 3:00 PM (EDT)
    • 07/15/2020
    • 4:00 PM (EDT)
    • Online via Zoom

    Map Reading: An Introduction

    Wednesdays, June 24-July 15, 3-4pm 
    Online via Zoom

    Length: 4 weeks, 1 hour per week
    Cost: $39

    Maps are used for both professional and recreational purposes. This course is aimed at anyone who would like to understand how maps are created and, mostly, to understand how to decrypt the information on a map. We will analyze the basics of maps and how we can “read” them to understand their meaning.

    Concepts including scale, symbols, and coordinates will be explained with practical examples of maps based mostly on the ones used in the US. Electronic cartography, GPS navigation and GIS are other important tools that supplement the traditional printed maps. Their basic notion and applications will be illustrated.

    Finally, some specific maps for the island of Martha’s Vineyard will be used as examples so to link the learning experience to our territory.

    WEEK 1

    • What is a map: simplified and scaled representation of the environment.
    • Some history of cartography: the evolution of maps through the centuries.
    • Basic principles of cartography: spheroid, geographic grid, datum.
    • Geographic projections: how to put a tridimensional sphere on a flat surface.
    • Scale of maps: the ratio between dimensions on terrain and on map.
    • Coordinate systems: common coordinate systems and their use
    • Using the map: how we can actually use a map on the terrain.
    • Orienting the map.
    • Navigation using a map.

    WEEK 2

    • Contour lines: how we can represent 3D features on a flat surface.
    • Contour lines and terrain features: reading the contour lines provides information on the elevation trend of the area.
    • Basic calculations on a map: elevation, distance, slope, area, volume.
    • Profiles: from contour lines to vertical elevation.
    • Examples of different landscapes: topographic maps show characteristic features in function of the typology of represented terrain.

    WEEK 3

    • USGS topographic maps: the most common maps in the US.
    • Examples of USGS topographic maps: Practical examples of maps.
    • Thematic and special maps: specific topics can be illustrated by specific maps: Qualitative thematic maps, Quantitative thematic maps, Aerial images and Orthophotomaps, Examples of thematic maps.
    • FEMA maps: how maps can be used to protect the territory.
    • Nautical maps: maps specifically designed for navigation.
    • Raised-relief maps: how to enhance the terrain elevation.
    • Block-diagrams: a 3D rendering of the terrain including the sub-surface.
    • Maps errors: limits and mistakes of the maps.

    WEEK 4

    • Satellite positioning (GPS): the use of satellites as aids to navigation and positioning. Include: Satellite constellations, 3D positioning, GPS systems.
    • Geographic Information System (GIS): computer-assisted cartography.
    • US Topo and GeoPDF: multi-layers digital maps with basic GIS capacities.
    • Digital terrain models: generation of tridimensional terrain representation.

    About the instructor

    Dr. Giorgio Caramanna is a geologist with more than twenty years of experience in research and teaching at the university level. He moved to the Vineyard in 2015 and lives here with his wife and son. He is currently a consultant for the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and runs his own
    consulting firm, Geo Aqua Consulting in the field of geology research and associated technical support.

    Cost for Course: $39


    • 06/29/2020
    • 6:00 PM (EDT)
    • 07/27/2020
    • 7:00 PM (EDT)
    • ZOOM

    Practical Brazilian Portuguese for Your Workplace & Our Community

    Mondays, June 29-July 27, 6-7pm –

    ONLINE via Zoom

    Length: 5 weeks, 1 hour per week

    This is a course for beginners.

    Break down the language barrier between you and your Brazilian customers, coworkers, in-laws and friends! Instructor Robert Ribeiro will teach you common phrases and responses, basic pronunciation and useful vocabulary to get you started on a path to fluency.

    Instructor: Robert Ribeiro

    Robert Ribeiro is a Brazilian native who has been living in the United States for nearly 20 years with is wife and two children. He currently works at the MV Preservation Trust. In addition to Portuguese, Robert also teaches math for our HiSET prep class. Robert received his degree in mathematics from Federal University in Minas Gerais, Brazil.


    • 07/20/2020
    • (EDT)
    • 07/24/2020
    • (EDT)
    • Online Via Zoom

    Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Class A Training

    One Week Training, July 20-24, Morning or Afternoon

    5 half-day sessions Monday-Friday, July 20-24 (plus date of exam)
    Choose mornings (8am-12pm) or afternoons (1pm-5pm)

    PUBLIC HEALTH INFO: This course is held outdoors, with a maximum of 4 students per session. Proper ventilation will be maintained in truck, and truck will sanitized before use and wiped between demonstrations. Face coverings are highly recommended for students.

    Cost: $4375 (INCLUDES cost of exam)


    • All students must have a valid Class A commercial learner’s permit. To learn how to apply for a commercial learner’s permit, click here.
    • All students must have a valid regular (Class D) driver’s license. 
    • All students must have the ability to shift a large commercial vehicle without the use of the clutchaka floating gears. (See the video below for a demonstration of this technique at 5:50).

    Watch from 5:50 for a demonstration of shifting without the clutch, or “floating gears”

    Instructor: Dan Eaton, Owner, All Phase Training


    • 07/25/2020
    • 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM (EDT)
    • VTA

    Hoisting 2A/1C Licensure & Renewal Prep Course

    Saturday, July 25 9am-3pm
    at the VTA


    Date: Saturday, July 25
    Time: 9am-3pm (for new license), 11am-3pm (for renewals)
    Location: VTA (in MV Airport Business Park)
    Prep for New License: $275
    Prep for License Renewal: $225
    Prep for Renewal of ONE license only (2-A or 1-C): $125
    (Above fees do not include cost of exam)

    Our Hoisting 2-A/1-C License Prep & Renewal Course is a single 6 hour class designed to give the applicant all the information necessary to pass the Massachusetts Department of Public Safety Class 2-A/1-C hoisting exam.

    2-A: This license is for the operation of an excavator and also allows you to operate a backhoe, front end loader and skid steer
    1-C: This license is for the operation of a forklift, rough terrain telescopic handler (lull) and knuckle booms

    This course covers: 
    • Application Process 
    • Basic Information 
    • Walk Around Inspection Procedures 
    • Servicing 
    • Start up and Shut down Procedures 
    • Utilities 
    • Trenching 
    • Transporting Machines 
    • Hand Signals 
    • Department of Public Safety 
    • Dig Safe 
    • OSHA 

    About the exam

    • Exam is not included in this prep course. 
    • Students must complete State application and sign-up for their exam at least one month before the exam.
    • Registration is on a first come, first served basis. 
    • Exams are held at the end of each month across the state. The closest location is Taunton, MA. 
    • Exam dates in Taunton will be announced in this space shortly. Please plan accordingly.
    • Age restrictions: Applicant must be 18 years old at time of exam.

    About the instructor

    Dan Eaton is a retired Massachusetts State Trooper and former CDL examiner. He is the owner and founder of All Phase Training, the first approved training facility offering Massachusetts Department of Public Safety’s mandatory Continuing Education Programs for license renewals.


    • 07/30/2020
    • 10:00 AM (EDT)
    • 08/20/2020
    • 11:00 AM (EDT)
    • Online via Zoom

    Personal Financial Planning

    Thursdays, July 30–August 20, 10-11am ONLINE via Zoom

    Instructor: Chris Qwinn

    Length: 4 weeks, 1 hour per week

    • Week 1:
      • Taking out loans (why, how, how much, when)
      • Building credit
    • Week 2:
      • Budgeting, saving, and analyzing expenses
      • Major Asset Purchases: Homes & Cars
    • Week 3:
      • Taxes (Income, capital gain, and property) and inflation
    • Week 4:
      • Investment Asset Classes (Equities, Fixed Income, Alternatives, Cash)
      • Investment Accounts (Roth IRA, Traditional IRA, Taxable Account)

    About the instructor



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MV Builders Association

PO Box 290

Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

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