The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) and the organizers of the CCOM-UNH/OMG-UNB Multibeam Course sponsored two graduate students and one recent graduate to attend MBC77 held in New Orleans in January.
The recipients of the scholarships reflected the broad geographical coverage of THSOA; Mile Saunders from Oregon, Johnson Oguntuase from Mississippi, and Michael Espriella from Florida. They also have different academic background, including GIS and land surveying, remote sensing, GIS and habitat assessment. All three scholarship recipients acknowledged that the course added significantly to their seafloor mapping knowledge and provided a great basis for their ongoing multibeam related work.
Michael noted that it provided him with invaluable knowledge and experience for since he is at the start of using multibeam for habitat mapping. He was also surprised to learn of the variety of applications of multibeam data both from the lecturers as well as the attendees, as communicating with other students was one of the most beneficial aspects of the course: “Perhaps the best aspect of the course was the opportunity to learn from five different leaders in the field each with their own interests providing a variety of perspectives”.
Johnson is undertaking his PhD at USM and was pleased that the course strengthened his conceptual understanding of the physics applied in multibeam; especially, bottom detection and seafloor imaging techniques. “One major aspect of the course that is overly interesting to me is the dynamic error recognition and analysis … before attending this course, my skills on troubleshooting artifacts were simply subjective to guesses. I now have a firm grip on artifact diagnosing!”
Miles has a strong background in geo-spatial analysis and came to the course with deep-water multibeam and sub-bottom mapping experience from his time as a data acquisition technician on E/V Nautilus expeditions. He thought he understood the general principals that controlled these systems, but after the first several lectures, realized how incredibly complicated and intertwined multibeam systems are, and what is needed to properly integrate all the ancillary systems. “… without the THSOA scholarship I would not have been able to attend the MBC77 in New Orleans. I know that this course will have a direct impact on how I will map and process data in the future.”
Miles G. Saunders
Michael C. Espriella