Skip navigation

Hamdan Selected for National Academies Panel to Guide Ocean Science into the Next Decade

Fri, 06/02/2023 - 09:36am | By: Van Arnold

Associate Vice President Research, Coast OperationsDr. Leila Hamdan, Associate Vice President Research, Coast Operations, and Professor in the School of Ocean Science and Engineering at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), has been selected to contribute her expertise to the National Academies’ 2025-2035 Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences.

This survey will advise the National Science Foundation’s Division of Ocean Sciences’ strategy towards investments in research, oceanographic infrastructure and development of the future ocean science workforce.

The 21-member expert committee includes ocean scientists from across the nation working in disciplines spanning biological, chemical, physical and geological oceanography, policy, social science and engineering.

“I am honored to be selected for this committee and to have the opportunity to work with an incredible group of professionals as we identify research needs and priorities for the future,” said Hamdan.

Dr. Kelly Lucas, USM Vice President for Research, noted the significance of Hamdan serving as the only member of the committee from an institution located in the Gulf of Mexico region.

“This is an invaluable opportunity to communicate on the complex science challenges of the Gulf region, and make sure the needs for scientific discovery and infrastructure of the Gulf are heard,” said Lucas.

The committee’s work will span approximately 18 months, and through a careful framework, will develop a list of questions that have potential to transform what we know about the ocean, and the critical role the ocean plays for all life on earth.

“The work we do together will influence the pace of scientific discovery, and how those discoveries shape lives, technology and careers into the future”, said Hamdan.

“Surveys like this create a sense of vision and purpose shared by the scientific community, and it is why the selection of committee members by the National Academies is so careful and deliberate. Dr. Hamdan’s selection for this expert panel is a testament to the esteem of her colleagues and her outstanding national reputation in the field,” said Dr. Chris Winstead, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at USM.

Dr. Hamdan joined USM in 2016 and has contributed to the reach and reputation of USM in the ocean science community internationally. Her efforts at USM lead to the award for the operation of a future NSF Research Ship Gilbert R. Mason and contribute to USM’s membership in the NOAA Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute. Dr. Hamdan maintains an active marine research portfolio that provides opportunities for USM students in the lab and at sea.

“Her experience in marine ecological research and commitment to mentoring future ocean scientists will fuel her contributions to this committee,” said Dr. Gordon Cannon, USM Provost.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, provide objective advice to inform policy, spark progress and innovation, and address challenging issues for the benefit of society. The full charge of the committee and committee member bios can be found here.