Out of the nine scholarships The Hydrographic Society of America (THSOA) awarded this year, four went to recipients from the College of Charleston. Two CofC students, geology majors Victoria Houston ’17 and Ryan Hawsey ’18, were awarded $4,000 each toward their undergraduate education, and two alumni – geology major Christina Hefron Maschmeyer ’13 (now studying at the University of South Carolina) and marine biology major Shannon Hoy ’12 (now studying at the University of New Hampshire) – received $3,500 each toward their graduate education.

These CofC recipients are from the geology department’s BEnthic Acoustic Mapping and Survey (BEAMS) Program, which teaches them the critical software and methodologies they need to be competitive in today’s marine survey industry. As one of only two such undergraduate programs in the U.S., BEAMS provides charts for navigable waters and maps for fish habitats, maritime archaeological sites and other valuable marine resources. 

“These students have all taken tremendous initiative to gain knowledge and experience in the area of seafloor mapping,” says Leslie Sautter, associate professor of geology, who heads up both the BEAMS Program and the College’s Project Oceanica. “In addition to learning complex state-of-the-art mapping software, they have each been at sea for several days, collecting sonar water depth data, and have conducted independent research.”

RELATED: Read more about Sautter’s work and the oceanography opportunities available at the College.

THSOA scholarships were established in order to provide financial assistance to students who seek a degree in hydrographic surveying, ocean mapping, geomatics, ocean sciences, geographic information systems, ocean engineering, electrical engineering or other related field.