November 16, 2018  

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Southern Miss Hydrographic Science Graduates to Establish New International Standards on Hydrographic Surveys

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Seven hydrography experts with ties to The University of Southern Mississippi will convene next month in Paris, France to begin the process of revising the Standards for Hydrographic Surveys (S-44) – an instructional guide that has not been updated since 2008.

Maxim van Norden, Director for Hydrographic Science programs at Southern Miss, points out that hydrographic surveys are critical to safety of maritime navigation, exploration for oil and gas, offshore engineering construction, coastal management, hurricane inundation studies, delineation of maritime boundaries, underwater archeology, habitat mapping, and military battlespace mapping.

“The Standards are revised as necessary to address changing requirements for hydrographic data and as new technologies are available to meet these emerging requirements,” said van Norden. The team of experts represent the member nations of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO), other technical organizations, and invited expert contributors.” 

All three official delegates for the USA representing the Navy, NOAA Office of the Coast Survey, and the National Geospatial-intelligence Agency (NGA) are graduates of the M.S. in Hydrographic Science program conducted at the USM Stennis Space Center campus. These delegates include:

  • Matthew Thompson, Technical Lead, Naval Oceanographic Office (USM Class of 2007)
  • Megan P. Greenway, Technical Advisor, Office of Coast Survey/NOAA (USM Class of 2008)
  • Douglas L. Roush, GEOINT Analyst, Applies Science/National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (USM Class of 2007)

Peru delegate Jaime Valdez, Directorate of Hydrography and Navigation, is a USM alum (Class of 2003), as is Turkey delegate Umit Gorur, Office of Navigation, Hydrography, and Oceanography (Class of 2006).

In addition to the official delegates, van Norden, and Dr. David Dodd, past director of the USM program, will attend as expert contributors. Van Norden has also served on previous teams that revised the standards in 2000 and 2008.

Southern Miss is one of only two internationally recognized Category A programs in hydrographic science in North America with its Master’s degree program and the only university in the United States with a 4-year undergraduate B.S. in Marine Science (Hydrography) degree offered at the Gulf Park campus.  

These programs are administered within the new School of Ocean Science and Technology at USM. For more information about the hydrographic science program, call 228.688.3177 or visit: