Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center

Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping/Joint Hydrographic Center

Located in the Chase Ocean Engineering Lab on UNH’s Durham campus, The Center for Coastal Ocean Mapping /Joint Hydrographic Center (CCOM/JHC) has helped establish UNH as an international leader in the field of coastal hydrography and advanced coastal ocean mapping.  Its aim is to develop tools to advance ocean mapping and hydrography while also training the next generation of hydrographic ocean mappers. 

CCOM/JHC has 19 teaching and research faculty whose expertise ranges from marine acoustics and deep-sea photo and video mosaicking to airborne LIDAR and 4D visualization.  A group of technicians, engineers and support personnel round out the staff and contribute to the vibrant environment of research and learning.  The CCOM/JHC also funds seven Marine Science Graduate Fellowships for students studying coastal hydrography. 

The lab features state-of-the-art technology, including a Telepresence Console, a “Geowall” high-resolution display system, and modern classrooms.  Facilities include an acoustic test tank, labs and highbays, and the research vessels R/V Coastal Surveyor and R/V Cocheco.  The data Visualization Research Lab conducts research into the problem of 4D-GIS, visualization of large reformation structures, 3D interactive techniques, multi-resolution rendering, database issues, and practical applications of virtual reality, as applied to ocean-related problems.

The JHC is a formal cooperative partnership between UNH and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The CCOM is a complementary university center that expands the scope of ocean mapping interaction and collaboration with the private sector, other government agencies and other universities.  The CCOM/JHC has created numerous opportunities for interdisciplinary faculty partnerships and student research.  The CCOM/JHC’s main research areas include:

  • Improving the sensors used for hydrographic, ocean and coastal mapping (such as sonar, ladar and AUVs), with emphasis on increasing accuracy, resolution and efficiency, especially in shallow water.
  • Improving and developing new approaches to hydrographic, ocean and coastal mapping data processing with emphasis on increasing efficiency while understanding, quantifying and reducing uncertainty.
  • Developing new and innovative approaches for the 3D and 4D visualization of hydrographic and ocean mapping data sets, including better representation of uncertainty, and complex time- and space-varying oceanographic, biological and geological phenomena.

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