Gazebo Gazette

Have you ever wanted to know a little bit more about the engineering, navigation, and any other facets associated with the mighty Mississippi River? The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will offer that opportunity when the Gulf Park Cultural Arts Series kicks off Thursday, Feb. 3 on the campus in Long Beach.

Dr. Norma Jean Mattei will be the featured speaker for the spring semester’s first event that begins at 6 p.m. in the Hardy Hall Ballroom. Her presentation is titled: “The Mississippi River Commission and its Job Wrestling with Old Man River.”

Mattei is a professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of New Orleans. She is also an expert in sustainable engineering and construction and large watershed management initiatives. She currently serves as the senior civilian member and one of two civilian civil engineer commissioners on the Mississippi River Commission.

Heather Miller, business manager for Academic Affairs at USM Gulf Park and a member of the Cultural Arts Series committee, explains that Mattei is the perfect choice to lead-off the 2022 schedule.

“Dr. Mattei’s role as civil engineer and senior civilian member on the Mississippi River Commission, coupled with her multi-faceted foci, made her an excellent candidate to present for our series,” said Miller.

Miller notes that the Cultural Arts Series aligns with the overarching vision of USM’s Coastal Operations.

“Dr. Mattei’s presentation, and the series in general, speak to the three pillars guiding Coastal Operations’ vision: Understanding the Ocean and Coasts; Improving Coast Resilience and Supporting the Blue Economy, said Miller.