Date of Award


Degree Type

Major Paper

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The National Undersea Research Program (NURP) is a federally-funded program that provides scientists with modern in situ technology that allows them to conduct research that goes beyond the constraints of traditional oceanographic methodology. NURP is comprised of five regional centers that administer underwater science, and through the principal investigators that are supported generate a vast quantity of diverse data. This data and information bank consists of the following: raw environmental data, logistical data, locational data, information about the scientists, video and still photograph documentation, and publication information. This paper describes the theory behind the implementation of a Database Management System (DBMS) designed to deal with the data requirements of the NURP. A relational database design was chose, and the entities that make up the database were selected from input received from the primary user group of this database - the scientists themselves. The last portion of the paper reviews Geographic Information Systems as a rational extension of DBMS by geographically registering the data summarized above. Several applications of GIS technology in the New England area are reviewed, with focus on the potential for utilization in the marine environment. Two pilot programs that have been initiated within the National Undersea Research Center at the University of Connecticut at Avery Point are discussed with reference to the special advantages that GIS may provide data managers.