Dr. Larry Mayer is a Professor and first Director of the newly established School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering at the University of New Hampshire. He is also the Director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and the co-director of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center at UNH.
Prior to earning his Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Marine Geophysics in 1979, Dr. Larry Mayer graduated magna cum laude with an Honors degree in Geology from the University of Rhode Island in 1973. At Scripps Dr. Mayer worked with the Marine Physical Laboratory’s Deep-Tow Geophysical package, applying this sophisticated acoustic sensor to problems of deep-sea mapping and the history of climate. After being selected as an astronaut candidate finalist for NASA’s first class of mission specialists, Larry went on to a Post-Doc at the School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island where he worked on the early development of the Chirp Sonar and problems of deep-sea sediment transport and paleoceanography. In 1982, he became an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Oceanography at Dalhousie University and in 1991 moved to the University of New Brunswick to take up the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Ocean Mapping.
In 2000 Dr. Larry Mayer became the founding director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire and the co-director of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center. Dr. Mayer has spent over 70 months at sea during the last 37 years and has held the title of chief and co-chief of countless expeditions, which includes seven mapping expeditions in the ice-covered regions of the high Arctic.
He is the recipient of the Keen Medal for Marine Geology and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stockholm and the State Department’s Superior Honor Award. He was a member of the President’s Panel on Ocean Exploration, National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for the Geosciences, and chaired two National Academy of Science Committees, one on national needs for coastal mapping and charting an one on the impact of the Deepwater Horizon Spill on ecosystem services in the Gulf of Mexico.
Besides serving on, or chairing for, numerous international panels and committees–Dr. Mayer is currently co-chair of the NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Advisory Working Group, and a member of the State Department’s Extended Continental Shelf Task Force. Larry’s present research deals with sonar imaging and remote characterization of the seafloor as well as advanced applications of 3-D visualization to ocean mapping problems and applications of mapping to Law of the Sea issues, particularly in the Arctic.