Hydrographic Science Research Center
Hydrographic Science Research Center
The Hydrographic Science Research Center partners with the School of Ocean Science and Engineering and the Geography degree programs in the School of Biological, Environmental and Earth Sciences.
Humans have an intimate relationship with the ocean. It provides the air we breathe, influences weather, regulates global climate, and provides vital resources that affects every aspect of our lives. Around 40% of the world's population lives within 60 miles (100 km) of the coast, making them particularly vulnerable to changes in sea level, coastal degradation, flooding, and the damaging effects of hurricanes. The ocean economy contributes more than 300 billion dollars annually and over 3 millions jobs to the US economy. The marine environment is therefore vital to our planet and our well-being. Marine Scientists at USM study a broad range of research themes aimed at understanding ocean processes so that we may better understand the current and future role of the ocean in Earth systems, and better preserve and protect our marine resources.
Traditionally, the hydrographer has been associated with making the sea charts for navigation. This is still an important role but, as a science and profession, hydrographic surveying has developed into a multi-disciplinary occupation. The hydrographer is involved with every aspect of ocean data from bathymetric mapping of the ocean floor, managing large marine data sets, exploring for the minerals that lie far beneath, measuring currents, tides and waves, and observing the ocean environment.
The School of Ocean Science and Engineering offers the only ocean engineering degree in the state of Mississippi and one of only 10 such programs in the nation. This program features interdisciplinary coursework that integrates multiple engineering fields (e.g., mechanical, civil, electrical, computer, environmental). Collaboration between ocean engineering and other oceanographic disciplines allow our students the opportunity to engage in other marine related fields of study.
The oceans are part of the thin, outer shell of the Earth and marine science is the study of this envelope, from the deep sea to shallow coastal oceans: their biology, chemistry, geology and physics together make marine science a richly inter-disciplinary science. The oceans are dynamic and vast, they contain most of the Earth's water and carbon and surface heat, and much of its biomass, but they do not operate alone.
Autonomous vehicles are becoming increasingly involved in routine, innovative, and emergency data collection in the marine environment yet few curricula exist worldwide to train operators for this equipment. This certificate will provide students with a working knowledge on the operation of a variety of autonomous marine survey vehicles and to help them to understand the environment in which vehicles operate and how that environment factors into decisions and mission planning.
A graduate degree in Geography provides students with coursework and experience beyond the undergraduate degree that will help them prepare for and choose the professional career path for which they are best suited. The M.S. degree in Geography at Southern Miss offers students an opportunity to specialize in sub-fields of their interest while also gaining valuable experience working with faculty members on research projects and conducting their own independent research for their thesis.
Geography is the study of processes that shape human and physical environments on Earth. Geographers focus on a wide range of themes, including geospatial technologies, weather and climate change, land use and resource management, environmental analysis, planning, sustainability science, landscape study, and socio-cultural processes. Geographical research on global change is contributing to our understanding of some of the most pressing challenges that face our planet today.