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University Centers & Programs

University-National Oceanographic Laboratory System (UNOLS): UNSOL is an organization of 58 academic institutions and National Laboratories involved in oceanographic research and joined for the purpose of coordinating oceanographic ships' schedules and research facilities. 

One of the primary functions of UNOLS is to ensure the efficient scheduling of scientific cruises aboard the 18 research vessels located at 14 operating institutions in the UNOLS organization. Both current and future schedules for these ships are available through the UNOLS scheduling link. - Assets: Listing of Gulf-wide university-operated ocean research vessels, advanced ocean platforms (robots, buoys, moorings, subs), and ocean sensing and sampling systems. - People: Searchable database of marine experts in the gulf region. - Projects & Programs: Searchable database of current and past research projects and programs in the gulf region.


GCOOS Data Portal: Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) data portal provides information about the environment of the U.S. portion of the Gulf of Mexico and its estuaries for use by decision-makers, including researchers, government managers, industry, the military, educators, emergency responders, and the general public. 

MBRACE: The Mississippi Based RESTORE Act Center of Excellence (MBRACE) is Mississippi's Center of Excellence under the RESTORE Act's Center of Excellence Research Grants Program. MBRACE is a consortium of Mississippi’s four research universities (Jackson State University [JSU], Mississippi State University [MSU], The University of Mississippi [UM], and The University of Southern Mississippi [USM]), with USM serving as the lead institution.


USM School of Ocean Science and Engineering: The University of Southern Mississippi School of Ocean Science and Engineering (SOSE) harnesses elements from key areas of the university, including the Division of Marine Science (DMS) at the  Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory (GCRL) in Ocean Springs, MS, and the University’s fleet of five research vessels, to create a regionally, nationally and internationally recognized leader in marine science. The fleet boasts five vessels, including the 60-foot R/V Jim Franks and the 135-foot R/V Point Sur, which is the only oceanographic-class research vessel home-ported in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Click here to view online the SOST's annual report.

USM Center for Trace Analysis (CETA): The CETA coordinates analytical services provided by the USM Division of Marine Science. CETA's mission is to provide state-of-the-art expertise, training, analytical services, and research in trace chemical analysis.

USM Central Gulf of Mexico Ocean Observing System (CenGOOS): CenGOOS is a component observing system within the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System Regional Association. CenGOOS is operated by the Division of Marine Science at The University of Southern Mississippi.

USM Hydrographic Science Research Center (HSRC): The HSRC was created to develop and broaden the applications of ocean mapping and navigation technology. The HSRC provides research support to address the needs of governmental and commercial clients for information related to ocean navigation, the ocean floor and ocean processes. 

USM Ocean Weather Laboratory: The Ocean Weather Lab is a real-time integrated and predictive center for ocean modeling, data integration, and biogeochemical oceanography. The mission of the Ocean Weather Laboratory is to assemble and couple satellite remote sensing data with ocean models, in situ observations, and other remotely sensed products to fully characterize a 4-dimensional ocean. 

USM Center for Fisheries Research & Development (CFRD): The CFRD  is an estuarine and marine fisheries research center promoting sustainable fisheries and developing the leading fisheries scientists of the future.

USM Thad Cochran Marine Aquaculture Center (TCMAC): Located at the Cedar Point research site in Ocean Springs, MS, the TCMAC houses GCRL’s marine aquaculture research and graduate education programs. The TCMAC includes approximately 100,000 square feet of culture space devoted to live feed, broodstock, hatchery, nursery/growout, laboratory, experimental, and analytical facilities.

USM Marine Education Center (MEC): The MEC is the education and outreach arm of the University of Southern Mississippi’s Gulf Coast Research Laboratory.

USM Gulf Coast Geospatial Center (GCGC): The GCGC has established and monitors a network of Continuously Operating Reference Stations (CORS) throughout Mississippi in association with the Mississippi Height Modernization program. This program provides increased accuracy of elevation measurements that comprise the vertical portion of the National Spatial Reference System (NSRS) by integrating Global Positioning System (GPS) and other new survey technologies. 

USM CUBEnet: The USM’s Roger F. Wicker Center for Ocean Enterprise Coastal CUBEnet in the Gulf of Mexico is now live.  USM’s 4-D Cube is a web accessible interactive marine data tool tailored for a test area in the Mississippi Sound and Gulf of Mexico. The Cube provides parameter fields and vertical profiles from hydrodynamic models, satellites and field observations. 

Northern Gulf Institute - Data & Tools: The Northern Gulf Institute conducts research that builds an integrated, comprehensive understanding of natural and human impacts on northern Gulf of Mexico ecosystems and associated economies to improve its management. NGI is a cooperative institute led by Mississippi State University, partnering with the University of Southern Mississippi, Louisiana State University, Florida State University, and the Dauphin Island Sea Lab (AL).

LSU College of the Coast & Environment: The College of the Coast & Environment is a dynamic player in the effort to understand, save and restore coastal wetlands and the environment. An interdisciplinary faculty of national and international stature leads research in state-of-the-art laboratories, out in Louisiana’s unique natural landscape and around the world. Students and faculty work on the most pressing environmental issues today including coastal land loss, sea level rise, hurricanes and climate change.

LSU Coastal Studies Institute: The Coastal Studies Institute's primary research goal is to develop scientific knowledge, engineering principles, and planning tools to facilitate a resilient human presence on deltaic coasts, which are threatened world-wide by land loss and declining water and sediment supplies. An additional broader goal is to enhance LSU research efforts in coastal and shelf-sea processes and products around the world.

LSU Coastal Sustainability Studio: The Coastal Sustainability Studio (CSS) approach centers on supporting resilient human communities in the dynamic Gulf of Mexico environment.

LSU Center for Coastal Resiliency: The Center for Coastal Resiliency (CCR) is focused on the advancement and application of computational hydrodynamic and hydrologic models to include overland flow, river discharge, tides, wind-waves, and hurricane storm surge. CCR research and outreach activities target the northern Gulf of Mexico with particular focus on Louisiana as well as Mississippi, Alabama, and the Florida panhandle.

LSU Louisiana Sea Grant Program: The Louisiana Sea Grant promotes stewardship to the cultural, economic, and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone through a combination of research, education, and outreach programs. Based at LSU, it is part of the National Sea Grant Program.

LSU Center for River Studies: Underdevelopment, the Center for River Studies will be located at new research and engineering center, The Water Campus in Baton Rouge. The center will house the Expanded Small Scale Physical Model, one of the largest moving bed physical models in the world designed to simulate the Mississippi River’s depth, sediment and flow. The physical model will be used in conjunction with computer modeling to make informed decisions about the best way to sustain coastal Louisiana.

Tulane ByWater Institute: ​Located on the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans, the ByWater Institute at Tulane University fosters applied research and community engagement on coastal concerns as well as incubate innovation within the emerging environmental and energy sectors. The ByWater Institute conducts and supports research on energy, environment, and resilience.


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