USM professor wins Bennett award
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – Vernon Asper, professor in the Department of Marine
Science, is the recipient of the T. W. Bennett Jr. Distinguished Professorship in the
Sciences award. The honor is awarded every two years to an exceptional professor in the
sciences. The awarded professor will receive a total of $40,000 over the course of two
years. The funds from the professorship are used to provide research assistance, clerical
support, equipment, travel and to sponsor a symposium. The symposium is planned for
the fall of 2008 and the topic will be the use of advanced technology to explore the ocean.
Asper is the chair-elect of University Oceanographic Laboratory System, a nationwide
organization that manages all of the large research ships which operate all over the world.
Source: USM, 10/02/07)


Research lab pushes for focus on aquaculture
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss – Officials from the Gulf Coast Research Lab held a roundtable
with economic development officials this week to convince them there’s a window of
opportunity to create a new industry in South Mississippi. The industry they’re pushing is
marine aquaculture – growing marine plants and animals in a controlled environment,
both offshore and onshore. Lab officials say it will help restore wild stocks as well as
satisfy the nation’s growing hunger for seafood. The United States imports 80 percent of
its seafood, and of that 40 percent is grown through foreign aquaculture operations. The
lab, part of the University of Southern Mississippi, thinks its research could help form the
foundation for new businesses in South Mississippi. Experts pointed out that the
aquaculture industry in this country is at about the same point that the broiler industry was
50 years ago – scattered, small operations. Today the broiler industry is vertically
integrated with about 50 big players and chicken consumption now outstrips both pork
and beef consumption. The USDA says the broiler industry is one of the success stories
in American agriculture for the use of technology, improvements in production practices
and product marketing. (
Source: Tcp, 08/31/07)

Students compete to name research vessel
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – The University of Southern Mississippi has launched a
contest to name its newest Gulf of Mexico research vessel. The contest is open to 6th, 7th
and 8th grade classes in George, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, Stone and Pearl River
counties. Each entry must be submitted with an essay and list of resources used in
researching the proposed name. All entries must be received by Sept. 21 and can be sent
through mail, fax or e-mail. For more information call 228.688.3177. (
Source: University
of Southern Mississippi, 08/29/07)

JULY 2007

Changing output of U.S. scientific articles: 1988-2003
In the early 1990s, the absolute number of science and engineering articles published by
U.S.-based authors in the world’s major peer-reviewed journals plateaued – a change
from a rise in the number of publications over preceding decades. The trend occurred
across different categories of institutions, different institutional sectors, and different fields
of research. In other developed countries – a group of 15 members of the European
Union and Japan – the absolute number of articles continued to grow throughout most of
the 1992–2003 period. During the mid- to late 1990s, the number of articles published by
EU scientists surpassed those published by their U.S. counterparts, and the difference
between Japanese and U.S. article output narrowed. (
Source: National Science
Foundation, 07/18/07)

USM professor’s research published in science journal
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. – A University of Southern Mississippi marine science
professor is part of a research team whose study on sediments in the Houston ship
channel were recently published in the journal “Environmental Science and Technology.”
Dr. Kevin Yeager, assistant professor in the Department of Marine Science at Southern
Miss, is among researchers who produced the study “Dioxin Chronology and Fluxes in
Sediments of the Houston Ship Channel, Texas: Influences of Non-Steady-State Sediment
Transport and Total Organic Carbon.” In 2004, Yeager and his colleagues began
research on the Houston Ship Channel while attending Texas A&M University in
Galveston. The 52-mile-long channel is one of the busiest ports in the United States.
Source: University of Southern Mississippi, 07/05/07)

GCRL scientist picked for microbiology committee
OCEAN SPRINGS, Miss. – Dr. Crystal N. Johnson has been appointed to the
communications committee of the American Society for Microbiology. Johnson is a
research assistant professor in the Gulf Coast Research Lab marine microbiology
laboratory. Johnson’s appointment is for a three-year term beginning July 1. The
committee oversees ASM’s public outreach component. ASM is the largest and oldest life
sciences association in the world, and includes more than 40,000 members worldwide.
Now in its 60th year, the GCRL focuses on coastal and marine research and education
and is in the University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Ocean and Earth Sciences,
College of Science and Technology. (
Source: University of Southern Mississippi,

JUNE 2007

USM provost stepping down
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – The University of Southern Mississippi Provost and Vice President
for Academic Affairs, Jay Grimes, has resigned his position effective July 31. USM
President Martha Saunders says Grimes will continue serving the university as professor
at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory’s Department of Coastal Sciences in Ocean
Springs. Grimes, who came to Southern Miss in 1997, currently oversees a research
group at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory that focuses on marine microbiology
research. A search for a replacement has begun. (
Source: University of Southern
Mississippi, 06/15/07)

MAY 2007

Joint research focus of Biloxi meeting
BILOXI, Miss. – A lot of brainpower gathered at the Beau Rivage casino Wednesday for a
conference focusing on understanding the science and natural processes of the northern
Gulf of Mexico. The Northern Gulf Institute convened a two-day meeting of 100 marine
and atmospheric scientists from universities and government agencies rimming the Gulf of
Mexico. NGI is a new cooperative science institute sponsored by the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration. It brings together expertise from several fields to study
problems faced throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico from Louisiana to Florida.
Mississippi State University is leading the institute and has formed partnerships with the
University of Southern Mississippi, Louisiana State University, Florida State University,
Dauphin Island Sea Lab and other groups. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 05/17/07)

DoD turns to venture capitalists
The Defense Department is using some of the nation’s top technology investors to help it
find innovations from tiny start-up companies. DeVenCI (Defense Venture Catalyst
Initiative) brings together two groups that have much to gain from each other and that
have had trouble finding efficient ways to work together. “We’re a search engine,” said
Bob Pohanka, director of DeVenCI, noting that the program is a chance for military
procurement officials to have more intimate contact with investors who make a living
scouring laboratories and universities for the latest innovations. The program provides a
regular exchange of ideas and periodic meetings between a select group of venture
capitalists and dozens of strategists and buyers from the major military and intelligence
branches. Government officials talk about their needs, and the investors suggest
solutions culled from technology start-ups across the country. The project is in its early
stages. There have been three meetings since October. (
Source: New York Times,