Ocean Mapping (M.S.)

Ocean Mapping (M.S.)

Ocean Chart

Why get a master’s degree in earth sciences with an ocean mapping option? 

More than 85 percent of the ocean floor is still unexplored. Ocean mappers are modern-day explorers, mastering not only the elements of mapping the seabed, but also becoming adept at such topics as the geologic characterization of the seabed; mapping of living ocean resources and habitats; and development of the tools, sensors and techniques used to map the oceans.  

Why choose for your earth sciences degree? 

As a student in the ocean mapping program at UNH, you’ll gain experimental, numerical and analytical skills through rigorous classes and research projects. You’ll have access to exceptional equipment and facilities, including the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM/JHC), one of four data centers for the Seabed 2030 project, which aims to create the definitive map of the world ocean floor; the Jere A. Chase Ocean Engineering Laboratory; and the R/V Gulf Surveyor, a 48-foot ship purpose-designed for ocean mapping activities. Our extensive experimental and computational facilities include a variety of test tanks, autonomous and robotic vehicle development programs, high-performance computing clusters and data stores, and a data visualization laboratory. Most students accepted into our program are supported as research associates through externally-funded grants. 

Potential career areas 

  • Data analysis  
  • Education 
  • Environmental and hydrographic consulting firms  
  • Governmental agencies 
  • Hydrographic surveying 
  • Marine hardware and software development  
  • Marine resource management  
  • Mineral resources exploration 
  • Ocean technology  
  • Remote sensing  
  • Research

Contact

Department of Earth Sciences
56 College Road
214 James Hall
Durham, NH 03824

P: (603) 862-1718
E: earth.sciences@unh.edu

Curriculum & Requirements

A degree option in Ocean Mapping is for students who wish to prepare for careers in such areas as federal and institutional marine research, federal and international positions in hydrographic surveying, the environment, private sector offshore mineral resources exploration industries, and marine hardware and software development. The study of ocean mapping is a key niche in the ocean technology field.

Hydrography, in the context of this program, is the measurement and definition of the configuration of the bottoms and adjacent land areas of oceans, lakes, rivers, harbors, and other water areas, and the tides (or water levels) and currents that occur in those bodies of water. It includes elements of both physical oceanography, and surveying and mapping. Ocean mapping is a broader concept that includes not only the elements of hydrography, but also encompasses such topics as the geologic characterization of the seabed and the mapping of living resources and habitats.

More information about CCOM (Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping), which oversees this degree program, can be found at http://ccom.unh.edu/.

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
ESCI 872 Applied Tools for Ocean Mapping 2
ESCI 874 Integrated Seabed Mapping Systems 4
ESCI 997 Seminar in Earth Sciences 1
MATH 831 Mathematics for Geodesy 3
 Credits10
Spring
ESCI 871 Geodesy and Positioning for Ocean Mapping 4
ESCI 875 Advanced Topics in Ocean Mapping 4
ESCI 998 Proposal Development 1
 Credits9
Summer
ESCI 972 Hydrographic Field Course 4
 Credits4
Second Year
Fall
ESCI 858 Introduction to Physical Oceanography 3
ESCI 859 Geological Oceanography 4
ESCI 899 Master's Thesis ( or Elective for Directed Research Option) 3-4
 Credits10-11
Spring
Elective 3-4
ESCI 899
or ESCI 898
Master's Thesis
or Directed Research
2 or3
 Credits5-7
 Total Credits38-41

Students in the thesis option must satisfactorily complete at least 30 graduate credits, which include the credits accumulated in the core curriculum. Students in this option must complete a master's thesis (6 credits) and give an oral presentation of the results.

Students in the non-­thesis option must satisfactorily complete at least 34 graduate credits, which includes the core curriculum, a 2­-credit directed research project (ESCI 898 Directed Research), and a written and oral presentation of that research.

Ocean Mapping

The core curriculum for the option in ocean mapping normally includes:

ESCI 858
Introduction to Physical Oceanography
ESCI 859
Geological Oceanography
ESCI 871
Geodesy and Positioning for Ocean Mapping
ESCI 872
Applied Tools for Ocean Mapping
ESCI 874
Integrated Seabed Mapping Systems
ESCI 875
Advanced Topics in Ocean Mapping
ESCI 972
Hydrographic Field Course
MATH 831
Mathematics for Geodesy
Required Courses:
ESCI 997
Seminar in Earth Sciences (first year)
ESCI 998
Proposal Development (first year)
Select Master's Thesis or Directed Research:
ESCI 899
Master's Thesis
ESCI 898
Directed Research

Students may fulfill the Category A (professional) International Federation of Surveyors/International Hydrographic Organization/International Cartographic Association (FIG/IHO) Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors by completing some additional specialized requirements. For more information, please visit the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping website, www.ccom.unh.edu.

Deadlines

Applications must be completed by the following deadlines in order to be reviewed for admission:

  • Fall: Jan. 15 (for funding); April 1 (final)
  • Spring: Dec. 1
  • Summer: N/A
  • Special: N/A

Application fee: $65

Campus: Durham

New England Regional: No

Accelerated Masters: Yes

New Hampshire Residents

Students claiming in-state residency must also submit a Proof of Residence form. This form is not required to complete your application, but you will need to submit it after you are offered admission or you will not be able to register for classes.

Transcripts

If you attended UNH after September 1, 1991, and have indicated so on your online application, we will retrieve your transcript internally; this includes UNH-Durham, UNH-Manchester and UNH Non-Degree work. 

If you did not attend UNH, or attended prior to September 1, 1991, then you must request one official transcript be sent directly to our office from the Registrar's Office of each college/university attended. International transcripts must be translated into English. We accept transcripts both electronically and in hard copy:

  • Electronic Transcripts: Please have your institution send the transcript directly to grad.school@unh.edu. Please note that we can only accept copies sent directly from the institution.
  • Paper Transcripts: Please send hard copies of transcripts to: UNH Graduate School, Thompson Hall- 105 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824. You may request transcripts be sent to us directly from the institution or you may send them yourself as long as they remain sealed in the original university envelope.

Letters of recommendation: 3 required

Recommendation letters submitted by relatives or friends, as well as letters older than one year, will not be accepted.

Test Scores: GRE Required

GRE required. Request official test scores to be sent directly to the Graduate School by the testing service. Test scores more than five years old are not acceptable. Student copies and photo copies of scores are not considered official. Our CEEB code is 3918.

For general information about test scores required for admission into our programs please visit our Test Scores webpage.

Personal Statement/Essay Questions

Prepare a brief but careful statement regarding:

  1. Reasons you wish to do graduate work in this field, including your immediate and long-range objectives,
  2. Your specific research or professional interest and experiences in this field.

Important Notes

All applicants are encouraged to contact programs directly to discuss program specific application questions.

International Applicants

The University of New Hampshire recommends that international applicants who are living outside of the United States, and are planning on pursuing a research based degree, submit a preapplication form before submitting a full application. Your preapplication request will be carefully reviewed and a decision usually provided within 3 weeks. If your preapplication is approved then it is recommended you then submit a full application. If you are currently living in the United States (on a H1B visa, etc.), or you plan on pursuing a professional master’s degree, then you do not need to submit a preapplication.

Prospective international students are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS, or equivalent examination scores. English Language Exams may be waived if English is your first language. If you wish to request a waiver, then please visit our Test Scores webpage for more information.

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