- Graduates of The University of Southern Mississippi's hydrographic
science master's program will put their new knowledge immediately
into practice following graduation ceremonies Friday.
The nine graduates
of the class of 2003 will disperse in many directions. Four of five
naval officers in the class will leave the following week to survey
Iraqi-Kuwaiti territorial waters to assist in the delivery of humanitarian
Miss Hydrographic Science graduate degree program was established
in 1999 to teach the science of charting seas, lakes, rivers and
other bodies of water.
Lt. Cmdr. Robert
Witzleb said he and his fellow officers are excited at the prospect.
"The types of data, coupled with the environment in which it
will be collected, certainly represent varsity hydrography,"
I am still a fledgling hydrographer, I feel that the hydro course,
and most notably the summer survey portion, have greatly increased
my knowledge and my confidence," said Lt. Richard Kennedy.
field project allows students to put into practice all the information
absorbed in the classroom. "The (field) project provided an
opportunity to learn from your mistakes before heading out to the
operational world," Kennedy said.
G. Renaud, commanding officer of the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office
(NAVOCEANO) based at Stennis Space Center, said Southern Miss provides
the educational foundation that ensures success in the field for
the Navy's Fleet Survey Team.
conducts military hydrographic and oceanographic surveys around
the world in support of Navy requirements," Renaud said. "These
requirements are related to safety of navigation, assured access,
freedom of navigation, and warfighting effectiveness. The Southern
Miss Hydrographic Science Program provides our operational hydrographers
with the essential foundation knowledge necessary to effectively
and efficiently perform these Navy surveys."
Lt. Cmdr. Anthony
Gilless will also graduate this Friday and will join his NAVOCEANO
colleagues headed to the Middle East shortly thereafter.
obviously learned a lot," Gilless said. "But more importantly,
I have been introduced to Southern Miss' cream-of-the-crop hydrographers."
in the class of 2003 will return home to countries like Peru, Sweden
both returning to Sweden in the middle of August," said Stigbjorn
Nilsson, referring to himself and colleague Ulf Olsson, both captains
of survey vessels with the Swedish Maritime Administration.
of us will be returning with new knowledge and ideas that will have
a large impact on our future work," he said.
students are scheduled to graduate Friday at Reed Green Coliseum
in Hattiesburg: Lt. Cmdr. James Buchanan (NAVOCEANO); Sub Lt. Siua
Fifita (Tonga Defense Service); Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Gilless (NAVOCEANO);
Lt. Richard Kennedy (NAVOCEANO); Giovanni Morris (NAVOCEANO); Stigbjorn
Nilsson (Swedish Maritime Administration); Ulf Olsson (Swedish Maritime
Administration); Lt. Cmdr. Jaime Valdez (Peruvian Navy); and Lt.
Cmdr. Robert Witzleb (NAVOCEANO).
Miss Department of Marine Science is strategically located at Stennis
Space Center in Hancock County, home to the world's largest population
of oceanographers and hydrographers. The department offers both
master's and doctoral degrees in marine science and a master's degree
in hydrographic science.