NASA has awarded a $3 million grant to build The University of Southern
Mississippi's capability for applying remote sensing technologies
to coastal zone research and management.
President Dr. Shelby Thames announced today that the two-year grant
will fund continued development of the Gulf Coast Geospatial Center,
a research program and data warehouse established last year with
the support of the NASA Earth Science Applications Directorate at
Stennis Space Center.
center is located at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean
component of the center's mission is to train students and researchers
in the use of geospatial technologies," Thames said. "This
opportunity ensures that our students and faculty will remain on
the cutting edge of this rapidly evolving field."
facilities, hardware and personnel now in place, the center will
focus on acquiring geospatial data primarily related to Mississippi's
coastal region, starting up the research component of the program
and expanding efforts to equip researchers, students, resource managers
and planners with the tools available through geospatial sciences.
for the program are Dr. William E. Hawkins, professor of coastal
sciences and executive director of the GCRL, and Dr. Cecil Burge,
associate vice president of research and technology transfer.
scientific personnel at the geospatial center will continue development
and teaching of Southern Miss courses in applied geospatial sciences
this fall. The center and NASA are also organizing a conference
that will bring to the coast the latest information on geographical
Gulf Coast Geospatial Conference is scheduled for Oct. 22-24 at
the Palace Casino Resort in Biloxi," Hawkins said. "The
conference will feature national leaders in the fields of geographical
information systems (GIS) and remote sensing."
workshops, panel discussions, training sessions and demonstrations
are designed for professionals who work with environmental, natural
resource and development issues of coastal Louisiana, Mississippi
researchers, the use of geospatial tools across the spectrum of
scientific disciplines requires a major shift in perspective, but
agency and university scientists in our region are recognizing the
analytical power that remote sensing and GIS add to their work,"
and facilities are already being tapped by researchers and students.
Scientists with the university and with state and federal agencies
are working on an invasive species project. Southern Miss and Jackson
State University graduate students are incorporating geospatial
sciences into their thesis and dissertation research.
is what we are here for."