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School of Ocean Science and Engineering

About > Overview

The School of Ocean Science and Engineering (SOSE) harnesses elements from key areas of The University of Southern Mississippi, including the Division of Marine Science (DMS) at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, Miss., and the University’s fleet of five research vessels, to create a regionally, nationally and internationally recognized leader in marine science. The purpose of SOSE is to aggregate all of Southern Miss’ marine-related research and education programs under a single administrative unit and to coordinate, but not consolidate, operating budgets and facilities. The SOSE focuses on academic and research enterprises of ocean science already existing at Southern Miss, the state’s flagship university for marine science as previously directed by the Institutions of Higher Learning. Additionally, the SOSE will further the mission of the College of Arts and Sciences and the University to engage in economic development along the coast specific to the maritime economy and provide an administrative structure where maritime technology programs offered through Southern Miss can be housed.

Locations

Halstead – This 50-acre site is the original GCRL location on Davis Bayou in Ocean Springs, Mississippi. Numerous academic, research and administrative units are located at this site, including dormitory, dining and classroom facilities supporting the long-running Summer Field Program. The Halstead harbor is home to the R/V Jim Franks, R/V Hermes and Miss Peetsy B, and its boat launch supports small boat research and academic operations.
Cedar Point – Acquired in the 1990s to support GCRL’s emerging marine aquaculture program, Cedar Point encompasses 225 acres adjacent to the National Park Service’s Gulf Islands National Seashore in eastern Ocean Springs. Within Cedar Point is the new Marine Education Center and Toxicology facility. Situated on 100 acres, the Marine Education Center serves as the education and outreach arm of GCRL and provides an immersion experience for participants in a unique, coastal setting. Research in the $5 million Toxicology lab focuses on the effects of anthropogenic substances on aquatic or marine species. The researchers focus on three key areas: nanotoxicology, toxicogenomics, and the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
Point Cadet in Biloxi, Mississippi, serves as a teaching and research vessel staging site for the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and is the homeport of the R/V Tommy Munro.
The John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, Mississippi, houses the University’s Division of Marine Science, Hydrographic Science Research Center, Center for Gulf Studies and Center of Higher Learning. Division faculty conduct research that spans the global oceans while offering graduate programs in marine science and hydrographic science, and undergraduate programs in marine science and ocean engineering. The division also offers the first Unmanned Maritime Systems Certification
in the United States.
The Port of Gulfport is a 250-acre deepwater port and an inland port facility in Gulfport, Mississippi, and is home to the University’s largest research vessel, the R/V Point Sur. The Port of Gulfport is also home to the $12.2-million Marine Research Center (MRC). Located on Highway 90 at the Port’s entrance, the Marine Research Center is the centerpiece for a new maritime blue economy in South Mississippi. The MRC provides shoreside support to USM’s 135-foot oceanographic research vessel, the R/V Point Sur, and to a number of academic and research programs