December 20, 2014  

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Southern Miss Hydrographic Science Program Graduates to be Honored

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Thirteen graduates of the Joint International Hydrographic Applied Science Program (JIHASP) at The University of Southern Mississippi will be recognized during a special ceremony set for Thursday, July 31 at the Stennis Space Center campus in Hancock County, Miss.

University of Southern Mississippi President Rodney D. Bennett will provide opening remarks for the ceremony, scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. in the Building 1200 Auditorium at Stennis Space Center. Established in 1999, the Southern Miss program has conferred 158 Master of Science Degrees in Hydrographic Science on students from 23 different countries.

Robert Ward, president, of the International Hydrographic Bureau will be the featured speaker. Ward, a retired Australian Navy officer and former Deputy Hydrographer of  Australia, was elected as a director of the IHB in September 2007 and then as its president in September 2012. 

The IHB, located in Monaco, is the secretariat of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), an international, intergovernmental organization established in 1921 to enhance safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment. The IHO, along with the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA), provides certification of academic programs focused on hydrography and nautical cartography. 

The Southern Miss program is recognized at the highest level – Category A -- by these organizations, one of only two programs in North America to receive this recognition.

Joining Mr. Ward at the podium will be Joon-ho Jin, director of the Nautical Chart Division, Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration. Jin will announce the continued financial support by the Government of the Republic of Korea for the capacity building initiative administered by the IHB that provides scholarships to attend the Southern Miss program to prospective hydrographers from developing countries. Three students supported by the IHO-Korea Fund will be graduating this summer and three more students will be supported in the upcoming academic year.

Also, Rear Admiral Tim Gallaudet, Commander Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command/ Hydrographer of the U.S. Navy, is scheduled to highlight the strong partnership forged between the Navy and Southern Miss with JIHASP. JIHASP is core to the advanced educational requirements of the U.S. Navy to meet their needs for highly trained hydrographers. 

Southern Miss graduates are employed by the Navy, NOAA, the Army, the offshore construction and hydrocarbon industry, and government jobs around the world. The world-wide shortage of qualified hydrographers makes Southern Miss graduates highly sought after. They have been first on the scene after natural disasters, such as Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and the Indonesian tsunami, to ensure the safe navigation of relief supplies into the affected areas. 

For more information about the hydrographic science program, visit http://www.usm.edu/marine.