Jackson County Civil Defense Director Takes Job At USM's Marine Center

Jackson County's civil defense director is stepping down to accept a position at the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Lab's marine education center in Biloxi.

Todd Adams, 40, has been Jackson County's civil defense director since 1999. He will become assistant coordinator of educational programs with USM's J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium.

"It is an excellent opportunity for me to use my earth/atmospheric science background to help educate children and teachers about the coastal process,'' Adams said.

USM has reduced staff at the marine education center and aquarium in recent months. Four educators, who handled special programs such as mini-camps and tours for school groups, were laid off on October 31, 2003.

The aquarium, which is under the auspices of USM, has seen a drop in revenue over the past year, school officials said.

The aquarium has been a draw for school groups from all over the country, but has experienced a decline in the number of kids participating in its programs.

Adams will help coordinate the programs.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)