SPACE CENTER --
Students in The University of Southern Mississippi's Department of
Marine Science will have the opportunity this fall for firsthand experience
with one of the world's most technologically advanced survey systems.
a subsidiary of Toronto-based Optech Inc., will sponsor a graduate-level
course on airborne laser technology this fall within Southern Miss'
Department of Marine Science. Optech Inc. is the world's leading
manufacturer of airborne laser mapping technology.
the past several years, The University of Southern Mississippi's
dedication to teaching and research in hydrographic science has
resulted in the creation of a world-class academic program,"
said Dr. Grady Tuell, managing director of Optech International.
Tuell is now
a new adjunct professor for the Southern Miss Department of Marine
Science. "I will teach a graduate course on the topic of airborne
laser technology and its application to surveying problems in shallow
water and coastal mapping environments," Tuell said. "I
will rely upon my Optech colleagues, both here and in Canada, to
assure that we create a challenging and interesting course. I will
bring in guest lecturers who are truly world-class authorities in
all aspects of laser mapping technology."
has also donated $250,000 worth of hydrographic laser-specific software
for student education and research associated with the course.
no university teaches graduate-level courses in bathymetric airborne
laser mapping," Tuell said. "I'd like to see Southern
Miss become an academic center of expertise in this technology,
and in the fusion of airborne laser data with other data sets which
ultimately improve our understanding of the shallow water environment."
in this relatively new technology will expand curriculum for current
Ph.D. candidates in the Department of Marine Science who are seeking
a doctorate in marine science with a concentration in hydrographic
have two students seeking that degree right now," said Don
Roman, director of Southern Miss' Hydrographic Science Research
Center at Stennis. "This (doctoral) level course is simply
not available anywhere else and adding this to their curriculum
will be a tremendous benefit to their degree program."
The new course
will also benefit students seeking the master's degree in hydrographic
science, as airborne laser mapping is becoming an extremely useful
tool in the surveyor's arsenal.
combines a powerful, probing laser radar, or "lidar,"
and high-speed electronics on an airborne platform, usually a small
airplane. By surveying water depths from the air, the lidar avoids
the time and access problems that hinder survey platforms on the
is an evolving technology in hydrographic science and one that we're
pleased our students will learn more about from Dr. Tuell,"
his doctoral and master's degrees from Ohio State University and
a bachelor's degree from the University of Georgia. Before assuming
his current position with Optech, Tuell completed 20 years of active
duty with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He
was also an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Coastal
Engineering for two years at the University of Florida.
established offices at Stennis Space Center in 2001, providing the
company with proximity to government customers and academic collaborators.
Last month, the company relocated to new offices at the Stennis
Miss Department of Marine Science is strategically located at Stennis
Space Center in Hancock County, Miss., 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.