USM joins $94M Ocean Exploration Institute


The University of Southern Mississippi is joining four other nationally renowned ocean science institutions to form The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Ocean Exploration Cooperative Institute.

USM’s School of Ocean Science and Engineering, Ocean Exploration Trust, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, University of New Hampshire, and the University of Rhode Island will work with NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research to survey an estimated 3 billion acres of submerged U.S. territory.

“The partnership with these four other nationally-renowned ocean science institutions speaks volumes about The University of Southern Mississippi’s reputation in ocean science and engineering,” said Dr. Gordon Cannon, vice president for Research at USM.

“We’ve worked hard to build this reputation and are grateful to have received strong support from the State of Mississippi, the Gulf Coast and our own university leadership.”

In joining OECI, USM is initially set to receive $11.25 million over five years to fund a multitude of ocean science projects, including much needed exploration of the Gulf of Mexico.

“The collaborative partnership with NOAA and the four other institutions as well as the associated funding will allow USM to advance our research in developing advanced underwater technologies that fit well with our current international research profile,” Cannon said.