ST. PETERSBURG, FL - An estimated 50% of the world’s people live in coastal zones. The sea is the avenue for 90% of the world’s commerce and 95% of U.S. international trade. An expanded use of port facilities will require an increasing number of technically trained workers, particularly as security tightens at ports around the country.
The Center for Maritime and Port Studies (CMPS) within USF’s College of Marine Science aims to lead prospective students of all backgrounds to much needed industry positions through a non-thesis Master’s program that will broaden their knowledge of oceanic and atmospheric interactions and provide technical studies on port infrastructure and the maritime transportation industry. The curriculum is under development, and, currently, students have the option to add coursework in port studies on top of their degree work in oceanography. On-line education, training and professional development will provide a way for people currently working in the port industry to obtain a graduate-level degree.
Researching and testing advanced sensors to be deployed within port infrastructures is an essential aspect of the mission statement of CMPS. Collaboration with the USF College of Public Health, the USF College of Engineering, the USF College of Business, and the USF Patel College of Global Sustainability provides a multi-disciplinary approach that will benefit the port industry greatly. From environmental contamination detectors to bomb-sniffing sensors, the new wave of technology, properly tested, will ensure safer waters for years to come.
With the large growth in port traffic expected at ports around the Gulf of Mexico and across the southeastern U.S., Dr. Mark Luther and many connected with maritime industries have a desire to see that growth occur in a sustainable manner.