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Pearl River Adds Unique Autonomous Coastal Mapping Course

WAVELAND, Miss. – To help fill the demand for coastal mapping technicians, Pearl River Community College has signed a five-year Collaborative Applications Research Agreement with the National Oceans and Applications Research Center. The collaboration, which started in June, will prepare PRCC students for employment in autonomous coastal mapping and monitoring fields.

Through the PRCC/NOARC collaborative effort, PRCC’s Hydrography classes are offered in coordination with its Unmanned Aerial Systems Program located at the PRCC Hancock Center in Waveland.

“Pearl River Community College is thrilled to partner with the NOARC leadership in offering this state-of-the-art program,” PRCC President Dr. Adam Breerwood said. “We will be the first college in the nation to offer a curriculum that combines maritime and aerial unmanned systems training. We work diligently to provide our students with the skills necessary to compete on a global stage. NOARC’s innovation and expertise are essential in this effort.”

Coastal mapping and hydrography is the act of charting area waterways. Information attained through coastal mapping and hydrography includes the shape of the seafloor, water depth, possibly submerged obstructions, in addition to water levels and tides. Potential starting salaries for hydrographers range from $70,000-$80,000 per year and $50,000-$60,000 for hydrographic support technicians.

Students participating in the course will attain real-world knowledge and skills which will assist them in employment in emerging job fields; the coursework will also help position students with companies for potential co-op and internship possibilities.

For more information on the Pearl River Community College Academic Pathways, visit prcc.edu.

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