New marine research center for USM in Gulfport
The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering has a new marine research center at the Port of Gulfport.
The newly opened marine research center at the Port of Gulfport is a two-story, 18,000 square foot state of the art building. Kevin Martin, a senior marine instrumentation specialist with Southern Miss, tells News 25 about the oceanographic research they are doing here. “We basically cover anything in the water from the physics of the water to the sediment movement to the biology of the water, the chemistry of the water, geology.”
Martin started as a student at USM. He is excited for this growth. “I did go through this program. I enjoyed it and I stuck around to support it and I’m having a great time.”
The first set of students were here in April to finish a course. This semester will be the first time students will get full access. Learning is confined to the facility for students. They also have access to the university’s 135 foot research vessel, Point Sur, which sits on the Port of Gulfport right behind the facility.
This new facility being so close to the water can help students have easier access to vessels. Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center Director Kelly Lucas said, “This facility has been great. It really puts us really close to be able to get on the water quick. It’s a great visual aid for people who are driving down the road and see the center here.”
The School of Ocean Science and Engineering invited congressional members to come and tour this new facility. They say it’s important to have our congressmen and women see firsthand what they do here. Vice President for Research Gordon Cannon said, “They’re a very important part of helping us get resources and they want to see the results of that and they also want to become very conversant with what we’re doing here.”