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School of Coastal Resilience

Building Resilient Communities and Individuals

More than 3.4 billion people, some 44% of the world’s population, live within one hundred miles of a coast. In the United States alone, 65 million people reside in coastal counties where virtually every facet of life, be it economic, political, social, cultural, or beyond, is impacted in some fashion by coastal climates, weather events, environments, ecologies. Coastal resilience matters to us all.

The School of Coastal Resilience is home to over thirty research and teaching faculty in the sciences and mathematics, social sciences, and humanities. Our research and teaching interests encompass coastal processes, ecology, and geography; environmental history, literature, film, policy, and ethics; environmental protection and social justice; sustainability studies and education; in short, all matters that impact human well-being and ecosystem vitality in coastal regions. 

Meet our facultyPlan your visit


Coastal Resilience faculty support several Arts and Sciences degree programs that are available at both the Gulf Park and Hattiesburg campuses--Biological Sciences, Geography, Mathematics, English, History, Philosophy, Spanish, Political Science, and Criminal Justice. Two new undergraduate degree programs that are only obtainable at Gulf Park are available in Fall 2022: Sustainability Studies Bachelor of Arts, and Sustainability Sciences (Coastal System Dynamics) Bachelor of Science. 

The B.A. degree in Sustainability Studies will provide students with the cultural, social, and scientific understanding of human-nature interaction necessary to achieve meaningful environmental change. By bridging approaches from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences, the interdisciplinary B.A. in Sustainability Studies will attract students with a wide range of interests and prepare them to take leadership roles in careers in environmental communication, policy, and research. Students will gain scientific literacy and learn how cultural understandings of the environment impact civic discourse, knowledge production, and decision making, and how to develop sustainable solutions for pressing social and environmental problems.

The Sustainability Sciences (Coastal System Dynamics) B.S (CSD) program is a multi-disciplinary science degree aimed at addressing resilience and sustainability of coastal zones as a combination of human and ecological systems. The CSD degree is built from ecology, GIS, statistics, calculus 1, field methods, resources elective, human wellbeing elective, and an environment and society elective. CSD majors will also earn a certificate or minor in a field of their choice. Students in CSD will complete capstone practicum that shows applied research in coastal system dynamics, as, for example, on the barrier islands, port interactions, beach erosion, urban planning, infrastructure, fishing, aquaculture, hurricane preparedness, and the like. Through research, applications, community interactions, and teaching, the Sustainability Sciences B.S. program focuses upon coastal system dynamics to address critical to the human habitation of coastal zones well into the next century. Leveraging USM’s coastal location, expertise, and community partnerships, students will learn about the physical aspects of sustainability with a holistic inclusion of the human element as a well-rounded multi-disciplinary scientist.

The B.A. in Media and Entertainment Arts (Film) program at the Gulf Park campus is designed to immerse students in the study and practice of film as an expressive and professional art form. The Film program’s core sequence teaches students to master the fundaments of filmmaking, such as screenwriting, directing, lighting, cinematography, mise en scène and creative editing. Our film history and theory courses further introduce students to how cinema makes meaning, how it has been regarded across audiences and cultures, and how filmmakers and artists create forms both new and familiar.

USM's Film Emphasis (video)

New Interdisciplinary Projects Planned for Community-Engaged Research Initiative (June 2022)

International Development (IDV) is a hybrid doctoral program which encompasses the content and academic rigor of a traditional on-campus program, yet in a flexible delivery format. The curriculum includes majors and minors in Economic Development, Political Development, Security Studies, and Social/Cultural Development. IDV faculty represent various academic disciplines, while the diverse IDV student body includes students from colleges and university faculties, the military, private and public sectors, and non-profits.

Learn More

News & Events

USM to Participate in the Gulf Scholars Program of the National Academies (October 6, 2022).

Courses in Sustainability, beginning Fall 2022

Students Earn Awards for Essays as Part of ‘The Mississippi Everyday Heroisms Project’. (June 2, 2022)

New Interdisciplinary Projects Planned for Community-Engaged Research Initiative. (June 29, 2022)

Black History Lecture:  “Coastal Resistance and Coastal Resilience: Black History in the Mississippi Gulf South”, presented by Dr. Owen James Hyman. (February 22, 2022)

Contact Us

School of Coastal Resilience

Physical Address

730 East Beach Blvd
Long Beach, MS 39560 

Campus Map





Over 30 faculty 13 different disciplines


In 2020-2021, faculty published 5 books, 6 peer-reviewed book chapters, 11 peer-reviewed articles or creative productions, and 56 other scholarly works. 


International development has more than 60 doctoral students in training.

School of Coastal Resilience News

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School of Coastal Resilience Events


5:30 pm

A Conversation with French Ambassador to the U.S.: Philippe Étienne at Thad Cochran Center

USM's College of Arts and Sciences and School of Social Science and Global Studies are honored to host distinguished visitors, the French Ambassador to the United States Philippe Étienne and Consul General of France in Atlanta Anne-Laure Desjonquère, for a lecture open to the public, with a reception to follow. Ambassador Étienne, an expert in the European Union and continental Europe, will host a lecture titled, “A Conversation with French Ambassador to the U.S.: What can the Franco-American Relationship Offer in Times of Uncertainty?” The conversation will address a range of topics that will be of interest to USM and the community, including transatlantic relationships, the French language, and the role of the U.S., France, and Europe in current crises. He will be accompanied by the recently appointed Consul General of France in Atlanta and career diplomat Anne-Laure Desjonquère, who prior to this appointment was head of the division of European Union law and international economic law in the Legal Affairs Department of the MEFA. At the end of his lecture, Ambassador Étienne will recognize students who participated in the French in France Summer Program by bestowing certificates of excellence. For more information or questions about the event contact Keltoum Rowland via email at


7:00 pm

The Lyric Body: Tales of the Human Experience at Theatre and Dance Building - Studio 115

A collaborative dance and creative writing concert called "The Lyric Body: Tales of the Human Experience" will be held. Seven creative writing graduate students have teamed up with students in dance to put together this unique event.


11:00 pm

Strategic Communication (StratCom) Week

The School of Media and Communication, in partnership with the College of Business and Economic Development and the School of Marketing, has put together a weeklong slate of activities and contests for the first-ever Strategic Communication (StratCom) Week! The week’s activities put students together with professionals and faculty to explore the exciting fields encompassed by strategic communication. The events highlight the many careers available to students who see themselves helping non-profits, agencies, companies and other organizations to design, create and research messages for internal and external audiences. The week is organized around the specializations offered within the Strategic Communication major, public relations, advertising, media sales, and organizational communication. Check out the event's website for a detailed schedule and locations. For questions about Stratcom Week, contact Dr. Ed Simpson, Director of the School of Media and Communication, via email at


12:00 am

Spirit of Southern Invitational at Mannoni Performing Arts Center Auditorium

The School of Music and Choral Activities present the Spirit of Southern Invitational, a day-long contest for contemporary a cappella groups and small choral ensembles. The community is invited to hear some exciting choral and a cappella music all day.


11:00 am

Southern Miss Powwow at Spirit Park

An annual tradition will be renewed on USM's Hattiesburg campus when the Southern Miss Powwow returns to celebrate the culture and traditions of Native peoples. The public will be able to participate in dance competitions, music, and art, as well as enjoy food from local vendors. The day’s activities will begin with Gourd Dancing at 11 a.m. and Grand Entry at 2 p.m. Among other activities to follow, the powwow will honor several of its supporters and participants who have passed, including long-time emcee Harold Comby; the first recipient of the Tradition Keepers Award, Pearlie Thomas; and two of its Head Men, Ryan Bell, and Matthew Santella. The event’s closing song is set for 6 p.m.

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