U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker will be the keynote speaker Tuesday [Oct. 16] at the grand opening ceremony of the Mississippi State University Science and Technology Center at NASA's John C. Stennis Space Center.
The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
The $9 million research facility funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is the new Hancock County home for the MSU-led Northern Gulf Institute and researchers from the land-grant institution's Geosystems Research Institute.
NOAA's National Coastal Data Development Center and an Engineering Branch of NOAA's National Marine Fisheries Service are other building tenants.
Science and technology conducted at the center focuses on critical processes in the northern Gulf of Mexico including measurement and monitoring, physical and biological assessments, and social and economic impacts on coastal communities. Additional capabilities exist to evaluate watershed processes, hazards such as floods and storm surges, and impacts on food production associated with harmful fungi.
In addition to Wicker, the program also will include MSU President Mark E. Keenum and David Shaw, vice president for research and economic development, along with officials from NASA and NOAA.
Shaw says the 38,000-square-foot building has enhanced the abilities to address the pressing needs of the region.
"The research and educational programs developed at the MSU Science and Technology Center are nationally acclaimed, and the commitment to this new facility by NOAA and MSU is a strong example of our plans for continuing and expanding these efforts," Shaw said.
Computer resources and support are provided for the center by MSU's High Performance Computing Collaboratory.
According to HPC2 computing director Trey Breckenridge, computer resources and technical support are the lifeblood of the new NOAA Exploration Command Center located in the MSU Science and Technology Center.
"The new ECC at our MSU Stennis location is one of only seven in the world and provides a two-way communication system that allows scientists on research vessels at sea to collaborate with scientists on shore as they all view live, high-definition video streams from remotely operated underwater vehicles exploring Earth's oceans," Breckenridge said.