Skip navigation

Center for Ocean Enterprise

Marine Research Center


The Marine Research Center (MRC) in Gulfport is part of USM’s Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise. The MRC serves as hub for advancing uncrewed maritime systems and ocean data science. The facility’s proximity to the Port of Gulfport, coupled with favorable weather in all seasons, provides ideal conditions for year-round testing, demonstrations, and research on a wide range of maritime sensing, surveillance, and security technologies.

Testing and Prototype Modifications

Built for Exploration and Innovation

R/V Ken Barbor

The center was explicitly designed by and for marine researchers for conducting oceanographic analysis and exploration of the Gulf of Mexico. The facility supports USM’s 135-foot oceanographic research vessel, the R/V Point Sur, the 48-foot R/V Ken Barbor and the National Science Foundation’s 199-foot vessel, the R/V Gilbert R. Mason (launching 2023).

The University has formed a cooperative ecosystem among industry, education, and government to accelerate innovation. Our federal partners include the U.S. Coast Guard Research and Development Center, the U.S. Naval Research Lab, the Naval Oceanographic Office, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T ), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), as well as the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources and an increasing number of ocean technology companies.

Gulf Coast Feature

Take a Tour

Training and Certification

This one-week training seminar aims to provide U.S. Navy participants a practical overview of AUV operational capabilities with oceanographic applications to increase their operational proficiency. Participants will be introduced to the REMUS or IVER AUVs together with an introduction on mission planning, launch and recovery, vehicle tracking, using acoustic communications to change underway vehicle behavior, mission replay and post-mission analysis.


Students learn foundational material in oceanography and ocean engineering related to uncrewed undersea and surface vehicles (UUVs and USVs), such as variable-buoyancy gliders. This five-week program provides students with skills needed to operate uncrewed vehicles in challenging marine environments.

For more information or to register, click here.

The UMS Operator Program features five weeks of instruction. Students gain the knowledge and skills needed to conduct mission analysis and planning, specific vehicle and sensor matching, specific vehicle preparation, launch, operation, and recovery, followed by a quality review of collected data.

For more information or to register, click here.


Contact Us

Ocean Enterprise
USM Marine Research Center
1030 30th Avenue
Gulfport, MS 39501

Campus Map