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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.

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News & Events

USM Coastal Resilience Faculty Receive Environmental Justice Grant. (December 12, 2022)

Southern Miss Joins Second Cohort of Gulf Scholars Program. (October 6, 20222)

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

New Courses Offered 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


9:00 am

School of Music Audition Day at Marsh Auditorium

The School of Music welcomes incoming music hopefuls to campus for tours, information, and auditions.


10:00 am

Southern Miss National Poster Show at George Hurst Building - Gallery of Art and Design

A national juried gallery exhibition of posters designed and created by artists, graphic designers, and printmakers from across the U.S.


10:00 am

Southern Miss National Poster Show at George Hurst Building - Gallery of Art and Design

A national juried gallery exhibition of posters designed and created by artists, graphic designers, and printmakers from across the U.S.


12:20 pm

Coffee w/ an Entrepreneur at Scianna Hall

Join students, faculty, staff, and community members for Coffee w/ an Entrepreneur. This event promotes entrepreneurship campus-wide by establishing connections through coffee and conversations with leading entrepreneurs from various industries! The Hatchery is USM's hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. Find out who our upcoming guests are by following us on Instagram and Facebook.


6:00 pm

GCRL Science Café: Billfish Research in the Gulf of Mexico and Beyond at Caylor Auditorium

Billfish conjure up an iconic image of sleek, majestic predators which elusively cruise the world’s oceans. Recreational anglers have long romanticized these fish as the ultimate saltwater gamefish. Billfish are also an important component of the pelagic ecosystem; understanding their biology and ecology is vital for continued conservation. Scientists at USM’s Center for Fisheries Research and Development have been conducting research on billfish for over 25 years. The studies have focused mainly on billfish within the Gulf of Mexico with partners from the recreational fishing community, conservation groups, and the fishing industry. These partnerships have provided the means to research life history projects (age, growth, and reproduction), diet studies, satellite tagging projects, larval fish surveys, and habitat surveys. Please join us for a hybrid GCRL virtual and in-person Science Café presented by Jeremy Higgs, Assistant Director, Center for Fisheries, as he will provide an overview of the current research on billfish by the CFRD team. Jeremy has been a researcher with USM’s Center for Fisheries Research and Development since 2010 and has worked on various projects ranging from oyster reef restoration to pelagic fisheries. Currently, his research focuses on the life history, distribution, and movement of Highly Migratory Species, with a particular interest in sharks and billfish. The Science Café can also be viewed live on the MEC Facebook page. Special thank you to the sponsor of the Science Café, MS-AL Sea Grant, and to USM’s Marine Education Center for technical support. Join us for coffee, cookies, and other treats. Masks are available.

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