About > Overview

About DMS

Mission Statement

The mission of the Division of Marine Science is to cultivate intellectual development and creativity through graduate and undergraduate education; to advance the fields of marine and hydrographic science through excellence in research; promote our position within the University, local, national and international communities through service and economic development activities; and, to communicate our programs to the public through outreach.  

Academic Programs

The University of Southern Mississippi Division of Marine Science (DMS) began in the mid-1980’s when the state assigned the university the leadership role in marine science. Initially called the Center for Marine Science, the division established multi-disciplinary graduate programs in marine science. DMS marine science degree programs (B.S., M.S., and Ph.D.) emphasize a cross-discipline approach in which all students obtain a working understanding of the four major fields of marine science: physical oceanography, geological oceanography, biological oceanography, and marine chemistry. This approach to educating competent marine scientists has been embraced by many of this nation’s most successful oceanographic institutions.

The division also offers an intensive M.S. program in hydrographic science. The hydrographic science program has received Category A certification from the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)/International Hydrographic Organization (IHO). The FIG/IHO International Advisory Board is responsible for reviewing the "standards of competence" for hydrographic surveyors.

Research Fields

Division faculty cover a broad sweep of marine and environmental research interests. The division currently has 14 tenure-track faculty in addition to numerous research scientists and post doctoral scholars, whose research interests cover a broad spectrum of marine sub-disciplines ranging from physical oceanography and data assimilation to ocean optics, marine coastal sedimentary processes, and micropaleontology, ocean productivity, geochemistry and trace chemical analysis, hydrographic science, coupled physical-biogeochemical modeling, development/application of ecosystem models, and remote sensing. Adjunct faculty provide additional expertise in fields such as ocean acoustics and numerical modeling.


We Conduct Global Research

The following are just a few of the diverse locations in which our faculty maintain on-going projects:


Arabian SeaIndian Ocean Sargasso Sea 
Bay of BiscayMascarene RidgeSouthern Ocean
Chesapeake BayMarshes of the Northern Gulf of MexicoSouth China Sea
Coastal TaiwanMississippi and Pearl RiversYukon River basin, AK
French Polynesian IslandsMississippi Sound & Bight 
The Great LakesNorthern Gulf of Mexico shelf 
Gulf of MexicoRocky Mountain National Park