March 23, 2017  

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USM Professor Authors Introductory Book on Marine Science Methods

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Frustration fueled inspiration which led University of Southern Mississippi professor Scott Milroy to author his first textbook -- “Field Methods in Marine Science: From Measurements to Models,” available now and published through Garland Science.

The textbook serves as an authoritative guide on the methods most appropriate for field research within the marine sciences, from experimental design to data analysis. Written for upper-level undergraduate and graduate students, as well as early-career researchers, the textbook also provides an accessible introduction to the concepts and practice of modeling marine system dynamics.

“The idea for the textbook was borne from the fact that I had always been frustrated by the difficulty in finding an introductory ‘training manual’ for students to actually design and perform field experiments in marine science,” said Milroy, assistant chair and associate professor in the Department of Marine Science.

The textbook seeks to train the next generation of field scientists to move beyond the classic methods of data collection and statistical analysis to contemporary methods of numerical modeling; to pursue the assimilation and synthesis of information, not the mere recording of data. Milroy plans to teach from the textbook for the first time during the Spring 2016 semester.

With a research background in ecological modeling, Milroy capitalized on the opportunity to include modeling in the textbook. He notes that when scientists create computer models of complex ocean dynamics, they must use the actual real-world data – measured in the field – to create and test those models.

“I was further frustrated by the lack of introductory texts available on computer modeling; nearly all of them are written for very advanced users, and virtually none for undergraduate, or early graduate, students,” said Milroy. “So I thought this textbook would give me the opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: write a good introductory manual for field methods (Chapters 1-9), and then gently take the reader through the process of using his/her own field data to create simple mathematical models that can be used to simulate/forecast complex ocean and ecological dynamics in virtual space (Chapters 10-14).”

For more information about Milroy’s new textbook, visit:;jsessionid=1zQKZ7XJEcgLqjDUp5XV7Q