Gambian Among 13 Hydrographers From University Of Southern Mississippi.

Gambian hydrographer graduates fro Southern Mississippi
Dominic Correa, native of Kunkujang, WR and a Gambian Hydrographer graduates from University of Southern mississippi.

In this Press Release from The University of Southern Mississippi, Dominic Correa from the Gambia Ports Authority became one of the few civilian to graduate the program dominated by military personnel. 

Thirteen graduates of the Joint International Hydrographic Applied Science Program (JIHASP) at The University of Southern Mississippi were recognized during a special ceremony held by the Department of Marine Sciences (DMS) at John C. Stennis Space Center.

Established in 1999, the Southern Miss program has conferred 174 Master of Science Degrees in Hydrographic Science to students from 24 different countries.

The welcome for the ceremony was provided by U.S. Navy Rear Admiral (retired) Ken Barbor, director of the Southern Miss Hydrographic Science Research Center. Opening remarks were provided by Dr. William “Monty” Graham, chair and professor of Marine Science and interim director, Gulf Coast Research Lab (GCRL).

Thomas Dehling, director of the Hydrographic Survey Division of the German Federal  Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, was the keynote speaker. Dehling is chair of the Capacity Building Sub-Committee of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO).

Dehling spoke of the importance of hydrography in international commerce and maritime safety. The Capacity Building Sub-Committee was formed by the IHO to assist developing coastal nations in improving their technical capability to conduct hydrographic surveys and produce accurate nautical chart products. He commended all the graduates on their hard work and urged them to promote the hydrographic profession and its mission to make the world’s seas safe for international shipping and environmental protection.

One of the Sub-Committee’s work programs is to provide education and training to hydrographers from developing nations. Dehling mentioned the funding support toward hydrographic science education from the Republic of Korea for students attending the Southern Miss program. Rear Admiral Barbor then read a letter from Mr. Keon-soo Sohn, Director General, Korean Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration, pledging continued support for the capacity building initiative administered by the IHO that provides full scholarships to attend the Southern Miss program to prospective hydrographers from developing countries.

Three students supported by the IHO-Korea Fund will be graduating from this class of students and four more students will be supported in the upcoming academic year.

Captain Rich Delgado, USN, Chief of Staff, Naval Meteorology and Oceanography Command, highlighted the strong partnership forged between the Navy and Southern Miss with JIHASP. Delgado is a 2002 graduate of the program. JIHASP is central to the advanced educational requirements of the U.S. Navy to meet their needs for highly trained hydrographers.

Captain Delgado also presented LT Brandon Adams the Hydrographer of the Navy Education Award for his outstanding academic performance and leadership during the challenging field project involving a hydrographic survey of the Rigolets Channel, Louisiana.

The International Hydrographic Bureau (IHB), located in Monaco, is the secretariat of the IHO, an international, intergovernmental organization established in 1921 to enhance safety of navigation and protection of the marine environment. The IHO, along with the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and the International Cartographic Association (ICA), provides certification of academic programs focused on hydrography and nautical cartography.

The Southern Miss program is recognized at the highest level – Category A — by these organizations, one of only two programs in North America to receive this recognition.

Maxim van Norden, instructor and coordinator of the program, says the program provides students with “technical and practical expertise in advanced hydrographic methods and standards that will enable them to assume leadership roles in using modern techniques in academic, government, military, and private organizations engaged in hydrographic activities.”

Van Norden explained that hydrography is the branch of applied sciences which deals with the “measurement and description of the physical features of oceans, seas, coastal areas, lakes and rivers, as well as with the prediction of their evolution, for the primary purpose of safety of navigation and all other marine purposes and activities, including economic development, security and defense, scientific research, and environmental protection.”

Van Norden also said partnerships make the program even stronger. “Our partnership with IHO and the Republic of Korea is providing a valuable benefit to the world community to enable international commerce to all corners of the earth. We especially thank the Korean Hydrographic and Oceanographic Administration for their generous financial support. “

Graduates from the program are employed by the Navy, NOAA, the Army, the offshore construction and hydrocarbon industry, and governments around the world. The world-wide shortage of qualified hydrographers makes Southern Miss graduates highly sought. They have been first on the scene after natural disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, the Haiti earthquake and the Indonesian tsunami to ensure the safe navigation of relief supplies into the affected areas.

The following Hydrographic Science Graduate candidates were recognized:

*Brandon Charles Adams, LT, USN, Fleet Survey Team – B.S. Marine Biology, Louisiana State University 2009.

*Maylord Manjares De Chavez, LTJG, Philippines National Mapping and Resource Information Authority – B.S. Geodetic Engineering, Univ. of the Philippines 2007.

*Dominic Correa, Hydrographer, Gambia Ports Authority – B.Sc. Mathematics, University of The Gambia, 2008.

*Uchechukwu Kelechi Erege, Sub Lt., Nigerian Navy – M.Sc. Surveying & Geoinformatics?, University of Lagos 2011, B.Sc. Surveying & Geoinformatics, University of Lagos 2007.

*Shaikh Imtiaz Bin Firoz, Lt.Cdr., Bangladesh Navy – M.Sc. Physics, National University of Bangladesh 2012, B.Sc. Naval Science, National University of Bangladesh 2006.

*Min Sung Kim, Project Surveyor, TerraSond Limited – B.Sc. Marine Science, The University of the South Pacific, Suva Fiji Islands, 2010.

*Natalie Ruth Lamberton, Physical Scientist GS-12, NAVOCEANO Hydrographic Department – B.S. Meteorology, Florida Institute of Technology 2006.

*Steven Tenhet Loy, LT, NOAA – B.S. Environmental Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2008.

*David Stephen Maggio, Project Surveyor, TerraSond Limited – B.S. Geology and Geological Oceanography, University of Rhode Island 2013.

*Callan Elizabeth McGriff – B.S. Civil Engineering, University of Idaho 2013.

*Christopher Robin McHugh, Project Surveyor, Terrasond Limited – B.S. Marine Science, Coastal Carolina University, 2013.

*Michaël Paulus Mosch, Lt., Royal Netherlands Navy – B.Sc., Maritime Science, University of Plymouth, UK, 2010.

*Tyler Hayes Sharp, LT, USN, Fleet Survey Team – B.S. Ocean Engineering, United States Naval Academy 2010.

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