Hydrographic Education in Turkey and Latest Trends in the World

Aykut N. O. , Alkan R. M.

International Symposium, Modern Technologies, Education and Professional Practice in Geodesy and related fields, Varna, Bulgaria, 23 - 24 September 2010, pp.46-58

  • Publication Type: Conference Paper / Full Text
  • City: Varna
  • Country: Bulgaria
  • Page Numbers: pp.46-58


Hydrography provides a wide background for nearly every phenomena that occurs in, on or under the seas, oceans, rivers and lakes. Hydrography is a branch of applied sciences which deals with the measurement and description of the physical features of all water sources. Marine transportation and safety navigation, environmental protection and management, coastal zone management, marine and resource exploration, tourism, recreational boating, pollution, maritime boundary delimitation, maritime defense and security can be listed as the major application areas of hydrography. This discipline emerged as a response to the need of reliable information about the navigable waters for marine and human transportation. At the present, different methods of hydrography are mainly used for marine transportation. Marine transportation has large and compelling economic benefits since 75% of earth is covered by seas and oceans. As the regulation and International Maritime Organization (IMO) has 172 members, among the approximate of 250 total states. International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) has 84 members. Some states without a Hydrography Office only stand as members of the IMO. Turkey connects Asia and Europe with road and marine transportation. Approximately 50,000 ships crossed the Bosphorous and Çanakkale Straits in 2009. Turkish Commerce Fleet has 2,219 ships that are over 150 GT ranking 16th in the world. Furthermore, 93.5% of imports to Turkey and 72% of total export are carried out through marine transportation. From this point of view, hydrographic surveys are crucially important in order to provide safety and sustain the economic gains. Due to the necessity of specific expertise, hydrographic surveys should be conducted with experts who majored hydrography with an academic background and field training. Currently, there are 3 certificate programmes that award A, B and C level degrees worldwide. These programmes are offered as a set of courses or complete master/doctoral degree programs in universities. Accreditation is required by the IHO for a hydrographer or engineer for conducting surveys worldwide with an IHO certificate. Governments also issue national certificates (C degree) to students who completed the required coursework. In Turkey, Navigation, Hydrography and Oceanography Office educates its personnel with national courses. This year B level certificate courses has been initiated for training engineers in ODTU, Ankara. In addition, Geomatic Engineering students have opportunity take classes on theoretical hydrography in several universities. This paper presents a comprehensive examination of the needs and benefits of hydrography in marine transportation; hydrographic education in Turkey; and the current educational trends in the world.