Monday, July 31, 2017

Education and Outreach Coordinator - Northern Gulf Institute - Mississippi State University

Image result for NOAAWell, Its been awhile for sure.  No offshore, or travel pictures lately, The Oil & Gas industry downturn ate 200,000 American Jobs (including mine).  I have now returned to the University and Academia.  I am the Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Northern Gulf Institute at Mississippi State University and  .  While this does drastically impact my international travel.  I will be working on Earth and Atmospheric Sciences as related to the Gulf of Mexico.  This research will include Hurricanes and Severe Weather, Water Resources, and Geological Oceanography. It also allows me to live at home with my family and many of my friends. In the grand scheme of things it is my dream job, working with cool people and not being trapped in the Oil & Gas Industry.

Image result for Mississippi State university Banner

Lonely Planet Says:  "The state named for the most vital waterway in North America encompasses, appropriately enough, a long river of identities. Mississippi features palatial mansions and rural poverty; haunted cotton flats and lush hill country; honey-dipped sand on the coast and serene farmland in the north. Oft mythologized and misunderstood, this is the womb of some of the rawest history – and music – in the country"

Interestingly enough, I've lived in Mississippi the longest of anyplace in the U.S. and have gone to college here twice.  My father is from a small delta town called Alligator near the infamous "Crossroads" and the city of Clarksdale... 

Lonely Planet Says: "Clarksdale is the Delta’s most useful base. It’s within a couple of hours of all the blues sights, and big-name blues acts are regular weekend visitors. But this is still a poor Delta town, with crumbling edges and washed-out storefronts evident in ways that go beyond romantic dilapidation. It's jarring to see how many businesses find private security details a necessity after dark. On the other hand, there is a genuine warmth to the place, and most tourists in the region end up lingering for longer than they expected."

Roadside America has the following to say about "The Devil's Crossroads"
"This is "The Crossroads," the location where the legend says blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the Devil for the ability to play a mean guitar. The Crossroads has continued to gain popularity in music ("Highway 61," "Crossroads," "Cross Road Blues," "Highway 49," etc) and in movies ("O Brother, Where Art Thou?," "Crossroads," etc.).
Located at the corner of Highway 61 ("The Blues Highway") and Highway 49 in Clarksdale, MS, this is a definite photo stop for any follower of the blues, or rock & roll, for that matter. Some contend that the true crossroads is located at the intersection of Highways 8 and 1 in nearby Rosedale, but since it's nearby, go take a picture there too!
And in Clarksdale, adjacent to the Delta Blues Museum, is the Ground Zero Blues Club, a former cotton-grading warehouse from the early 1900's. Co-owned by Morgan Freeman, you can hear some great live Delta blues and chow down on some great southern grub, all in a venue considered to be one of the top 100 bars and nightclubs in America."

Mississippi State University:

University History

Early black and white photo of MSU alumni in corn field.
Mississippi State University forms a cohesive higher education-municipal community with Starkville, a growing agricultural-commercial-industrial city of nearly 24,000. Located in the eastern part of north-central Mississippi, MSU is 125 miles northeast of Jackson and 23 miles west of Columbus. It is served by U.S. and state highways 82,12 and 25, along with feeder air service through the Golden Triangle Regional Airport 14 miles to the east.
The communities enjoy many intellectual, cultural and recreational advantages. Among them are the MSU-Starkville Civic Symphony and Chorus; Starkville Community Theater; University Lyceum series, continuing intercollegiate athletic events in modern facilities, and varied recreational opportunities on playing fields and courts in neighboring forests, fields and lakes, and along the nearby Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.

The University

Early black and white photo of MSU students in a lab.
Mississippi State University is a comprehensive, doctoral degree-granting institution with a nationally and internationally diverse student body. To individuals, it offers a wide range of opportunities and challenges for learning and growth; to the world of knowledge, vigorous and expanding contributions in research, discovery and application; and to people in every region of Mississippi, a variety of expert services.

Mississippi State holds the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s designation as a Doctoral/Extensive institution. Representative of the American land-grant tradition and distinctive in its own character and spirit, it is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award baccalaureate, masters, specialist and doctoral degrees. For questions about the accreditation, contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or telephone 404-679-4500.

A faculty drawn from the best institutions in all parts of the nation work earnestly to demonstrate excellence in teaching, while producing in their specialized studies scholarly books, articles, and conference papers that gain respect for themselves, the university and the state. In the process, they ensure for their students instruction that immediately is in touch with current knowledge and thought.

A body of energetic researchers, both faculty and other, are assisted by an effective research administration to place Mississippi State among the top 100 universities in the nation in research and development in the sciences and engineering. Campus service agencies similarly are distinguished, earning the respect and support of their varied constituencies throughout the state, as well as in other states and countries throughout the world.

The History

Early black and white photo of MSU students learning about agriculture.
As the Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi—one of the national land-grant entities created by Congress through the 1862 Morrill Act—it was established February 28, 1878. In doing so, the Mississippi Legislature gave it a mission to provide training in "agriculture, horticulture and the mechanical arts . . . without excluding other scientific and classical studies, including military tactics."

The new college received its first students in the fall of 1880 during the presidency of former Civil War general Stephen D. Lee, a United States Military Academy graduate. In 1887, Congress passed the Hatch Act to provide for the establishment of the Agricultural Experiment Station in 1888. Two other pieces of federal legislation provided funds to extend the college’s mission: the 1914 Smith-Lever Act called for "instruction in practical agriculture and home economics to persons not attendant or resident," creating a statewide effort that led to extension offices in every county; and the 1917 Smith-Hughes Act that supported the training of teachers in vocational education.
Early black and white photo of MSU students in a computer lab.
In 1926, it gained accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

By 1932, when the Legislature changed the name to Mississippi State College, the institution included the Agricultural Experiment Station (1887), College of Engineering (1902), College of Agriculture (1903), School of Industrial Pedagogy (1909), School of General Science (1911), College of Business and Industry (1915), Mississippi Agricultural Extension Service (1915) and Division of Continuing Education, (1919).

The legislature made a second name change in 1958 to Mississippi State University, by which time the Office of Graduate Studies had been organized (1936), doctoral degree programs begun (1951), the School of Forest Resources established (1954), and the College of Arts and Sciences created (1956).
The College of Architecture admitted its first students in 1973, while the College of Veterinary Medicine admitted its first class in 1977. The School of Accountancy was established in 1979.


Early black and white photo of MSU students working on farm equipment.
As a land-grant institution, Mississippi State University is dedicated to three broad purposes already mentioned: learning, research, and service. Learning, both on- and off-campus, enhances the intellectual, cultural, social and professional development of students; research, both to extend the present limits of knowledge and bring deeper insight, understanding, and usefulness to existing knowledge; and service, to apply knowledge and the fruits of research to the lives of people.

Fulfilling these purposes is the primary goal of the educational units that make up the total university. Among others, these include the academic departments, colleges and schools, along with continuing education, Mississippi State University Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station.

Quality of the faculty, staff, and administrators ensures the high quality of the instruction, research and service provided. Resulting university programs ensure that students receive a well-designed and comprehensive education that will assist them in leading constructive lives and achieving personal and professional goals.

The University Today

Photo of MSU students checking out a lighting display.
Mississippi State University in the 21st century comprises the following academic units: College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, including the School of Human Sciences; College of Architecture, Art and Design; College of Arts and Sciences; College of Business, including the Adkerson School of Accountancy; College of Education; Bagley College of Engineering, including the Swalm School of Chemical Engineering; College of Forest Resources; Office of the Graduate School, and College of Veterinary Medicine.

The Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station operates 16 branch stations throughout the state to conducts research in a variety of areas and assists in the university's teaching and service functions.

Finally, the Mississippi State University Extension Service offers programs and services to state residents through campus and county offices and personnel.

Supporting the academic and educational programs of the total university are the Mitchell Memorial Library and it branches.
Photo of MSU students working on architecture plans.
Within the institutional framework, several units perform specialized teaching, research or service activities. Among these are the Center for Distance Education, Shackouls Honors College, Advanced Research Projects Laboratory, Center for Safety and Health, Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology, Electron Microscope Center, Portera High Performance Computing Center, Institute for Digital Biology, Institute for Neurocognitive Science and Technology, Franklin Furniture Institute, Forest and Wildlife Research Center, Sustainable Energy Research Center, Mississippi State Chemical Laboratory, Research and Curriculum Unit, Center for Education and Training Technology, GeoResources Institute, Life Sciences and Biotechnology Institute, Social Science Research Center, Carl Small Town Center, Design Research and Informatics Laboratory, Educational Design Institute, Jackson Community Design Center, Gulf Coast Community Design Studio, Biological and Physical Sciences Resources Institute, Center for Computational Sciences, Cobb Institute of Archaeology, Institute for the Humanities, John C. Stennis Institute of Government, Center for Educational Partnerships, Early Childhood Institute, Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Blindness and Low Vision, Mississippi Writing/Thinking Institute, Martin Center for Technology and Disability, Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems, Center for Computer Security Research, Center for DoD Programming Environment and Training, Computational Simulation and Design Center, Institute for Clean Energy Technology, High Voltage Laboratory, and Raspet Flight Laboratory.
Photo of flowers in front of MSU chapel
Mississippi State University also operates an off-campus, degree-granting center in Meridian where both undergraduate and graduate programs are offered, as well as a program center at the Stennis Space Center in Hancock County. In cooperation with the U. S. Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station, the engineering college offers a master of science degree in Vicksburg.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning has designated Mississippi State as a comprehensive, doctoral degree-granting institution. This designation, in concert with its original land-grant mission, make the university a major contributor to the state’s educational system. For more than a century, Mississippi has benefited greatly from the university and its graduates, most of whom have remained in the state and aided in its economic, social, and educational development.

Through membership in such organizations as the Southern Regional Education Board, American Council on Education and National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, Mississippi State is recognized for educational and technological contributions to the national and international communities.

Today, the commitment of faculty, administrators and staff personnel is to continue the high quality of teaching, research and service to Mississippi.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Arrival at Walvis Bay, Namibia

After a 17 Day Crossing of the Atlantic during which we watched every movie on the media server, we arrived at Walvis Bay, Namibia.

Lonely Planet Says...

 "Wedged between the Kalahari and the South Atlantic, Namibia enjoys vast potential as one of the youngest countries in Africa. In addition to having a striking diversity of cultures and national origins, Namibia is a photographer’s dream – it boasts wild seascapes, rugged mountains, lonely deserts, stunning wildlife, colonial cities and nearly unlimited elbow room.

A predominantly arid country, Namibia can be divided into four main topographical regions: the Namib Desert and coastal plains in the west, the eastward-sloping Central Plateau, the Kalahari along the borders with South Africa and Botswana and the densely wooded bushveld of the Kavango and Caprivi regions. Despite its harsh climate, Namibia has some of the world’s grandest national parks, ranging from the wildlife-rich Etosha National Park in Northwestern Namibia, to the dune fields and desert plains of the Namib-Naukluft Park in Western Namibia. Windhoek, in the Central Highlands, is the country's geographical heart and commercial nerve centre, with an ethnic mix of people, while surfers and beach-lovers won't want to miss Swakopmund.

Namibia is one of those dreamlike places that make you question whether something so visually orgasmic could actually exist. Time and space are less defined here. Landscapes collide. Experiences pile up. Watch a lion stalking its prey on a never-ending plain in Etosha. Fly down a giant dune on a sandboard. Spend a night alone in the desert under a sky so thick with stars you can’t differentiate between constellations."

You should go online and read what they have to say... I find then an invaluable resource when travelling... anywhere..!

History of Namibia

The Portuguese navigator Diogo Cão reached Cape Cross, north of the bay, in 1485. There followed Bartolomeu Dias, who anchored his flagship São Cristóvão in what is now Walvis Bay on 8 December 1487, on his expedition to discover a sea route to the East via the Cape of Good Hope. He named the bay "O Golfo de Santa Maria da Conceição." However, the Portuguese did not formally stake a claim to Walvis Bay.

The Herero called the place Ezorongondo. Little commercial development occurred on the site until the late 19th century. During the scramble for Africa, the United Kingdom occupied Walvis Bay and a small area surrounding the territory, and permitted the Cape Colony to annex it in 1878, both to forestall German ambitions in the region and to ensure safe passage of British ships around the Cape (Walvis Bay was the only known natural harbour on the Namibian coast). The Cape government, correctly predicting a German invasion of the region and desiring protection for its Griqualand diamond fields, originally requested permission to incorporate the whole of South West Africa, but this was blocked by Britain. Consequently when the Germans later colonised the region, only Walvis Bay remained as an enclave out of its control. In 1910, Walvis Bay, as well as the Cape Colony, became part of the newly formed Union of South Africa. Subsequently, a dispute arose with Germany over the enclave's boundaries. This was eventually settled in 1911 and Walvis Bay was allocated an area of 434 square miles (1,124 km2).

The enclave was overrun by the Germans during the South-West Africa Campaign early in World War I. But South African Forces eventually ousted the Germans in 1915 and Walvis Bay was quickly integrated into the new martial law regime established in South-West Africa. South Africa was later awarded control (a "C" class mandate) over South-West Africa by the League of Nations to administer SWA as an integral part of South Africa. Civilian rule was restored in South-West Africa in 1921 and administration of Walvis Bay was transferred to SWA by Act of the South African parliament in 1922. 

In 1971, anticipating an imminent ceding of its control over South-West Africa, South Africa transferred control of Walvis Bay back to its Cape Province, thus making it an exclave. In 1977, in an attempt to avoid losing control of Walvis Bay to a possibly hostile SWAPO-led government, the South African government reimposed direct rule and reasserted its claim of sovereignty based on the original annexation. In 1978, the United Nations Security Council provided for bilateral negotiations between South Africa and a future Namibia to resolve the political status of Walvis Bay.

In 1990 South-West Africa gained independence as Namibia, but Walvis Bay remained under South African sovereignty. At midnight on 28 February 1994 South Africa formally transferred sovereignty over Walvis Bay and the Penguin Islands to Namibia

When we finally saw land it was impressive... The desert as far as you could see, with no trees... Stopping at the sea.
Namibian Harbor Pilot
Gangway watch as usual... I work days and am off nights... Hard to see the country in the dark after midnight!
But we did find "THE RAFT" an AWESOME restaurant who looked after us v ery well for both nights!
The Raft was managed by Wally, who took great care of us and showed us a great time in Walvis Bay!