Skip navigation

Hydrographic Science Graduates Honored in Virtual Ceremony

Fri, 08/07/2020 - 14:13pm | By: Jill Eure

The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering honored its 2020 Hydrographic Science graduates in a virtual ceremony held this week via Facebook live.

The school awarded 12 degrees — one Bachelor’s of Science and 11 Masters’ of Science. USM is one of two universities in the US offering this graduate program and is the only university that offers a BS in Marine Science with emphasis in Hydrography. In addition, both programs are certified, Category A and B respectively, by the International Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers.

“When I became coordinator of this program last fall, I had no idea how much this year would mean to me. These students truly hold a special place in my heart, and I feel completely blessed to have taught them, mentored them and watched them grow,” Hydrographic Science Program Coordinator Sheila Malley said. “This has been a particularly challenging year, but I want to acknowledge the perseverance and hard work of this graduating class despite every obstacle they have faced and overcome to get to this moment.”

The University of Southern Mississippi Master’s of Science degree in hydrographic science was approved by the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning in 1999. The program was designed in cooperation with the U.S. Navy to meet the demanding Category A requirements by the Féderation Internationale des Géométres, International Hydrographic Organization and International Cartographic Association (FIG/IHO/ICA) International Board of Standards and Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors and Nautical Cartographers.

USM was the first educational institution in the United States to receive this certification. In 2018, the International Board awarded USM the Category B Recognition for the B.S. Marine Science (Hydrography) program — the only university Category B program in the country.

“Seventy percent of the earth is covered by water; 90 percent of the global trade occurs on the water, and 26 percent of our economy is tied to that trade,” Rear Admiral John Okon, keynote speaker, said. “Hydrography is in every aspect of that, and if we are going to have a prosperous, safe country with safe partners, hydrography is going to have to lead the way.”

The graduates receiving Category A certification (M.S.) are: Adrian Montufar Arroyo, Ryan Harner, James Hawsey, Rami Lamouchi, Samantha McGowan, Nicole Dawn Mountain, Reed Nelle, Rachel Gisewhite Svatek, Jeremiah Thomas, Senam Tsei and Grant Webb

The Category B Certificate (B.S.) graduate is: Evan Rohde

Additionally, James Hawsey was awarded the Hydrographer of the Navy award, which is designated for outstanding academic and practical performance in the joint international hydrographic applied science program. Graduate Ryan Harner was presented the Survey Award by the program faculty. This award was presented based on performance and expertise throughout the school year, particularly for the summer survey program.

“I am extremely proud of this program because hydrography is such a unique and valuable field,” said Dr. Karen Coats, Dean of the USM Graduate School. “It’s a signature program for Southern Miss and one that exemplifies our commitment to research and learning that makes a positive impact across the globe.”