The safety and survival training that takes place for offshore workers occurs in simulated environments. The Marine Institute at Memorial University is where my research is conducted and is also a centre for industrial safety training. Training environments here can range from simulations done in the classroom, in a pool that surrounded by an environmental theatre that can create simulated ocean conditions (darkness, waves, rain, wind, thunder, lighting), or even on a research ship in the Atlantic ocean. This continuum of simulation realism allows for issues of training specificity to be addressed. How should the realism of the training progress to maximize the learning and transfer as well as prevent forgetting. Also, how can performance levels be maintained after simulation training is completed? The high-risk nature of the simulation training that takes place at the Marine Institute allows us to address questions that are not possible in a laboratory setting. There exists a good understanding of how stress influences performance, but there is less understanding about how stress influences the process of skill learning and retention. Much of the training we study is highly stressful, which will allow us the opportunity to observe how people respond to stress during practice to gain insight into how stress affects long term skill retention. Another major factor related to training realism is exposure to cold water during training, since all real life survival scenarios in the North Atlantic will involve being exposed to cold water. We plan to study how people respond when exposed to very cold waters (2oC deg) on hand function (both with laboratory tasks and with realistic survival tasks such as knot untying). We also intend to examine how training can be modified to improve how people respond to the effects of cold water exposure. Techniques such as meditation and mindfulness training will be used to modify the ability to tolerate cold and perform motor skills when cold. We plan to use measurements of brain activity to examine some of the possible brain structures involved in this adaptation to understand the mechanisms behind cold exposure training. The realism of the training that takes place will allow us to examine the applicability and limits of theories of motor skill learning. In addition to contributing to our theoretical understanding of these issue, this research is of particular interest to the safety and survival of anyone who works on the ocean (e.g., marine aviation, search and rescue, scuba diving, fisheries, oil and gas, and marine transport). Not only can this research potentially save lives and prevent injury, by preventing accidents through a better trained work force, our research can also potentially prevent the destruction of expensive equipment and lost work time. The findings from this research can be used to develop industry wide national safety standards, best practices for training protocols and competency standards.