Dr. Robert Detrick is the Assistant Administrator of NOAA’s Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research and chair of the NOAA Research Council.
A marine geophysicist, Dr. Detrick has extensive experience in marine science, technology, and marine operations. Before joining NOAA in 2012, Dr. Detrick was Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Earth Sciences. He joined NSF in 2008 following more than 20 years at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), where he was a Senior Scientist Vice President for Marine Facilities and Operations.
Dr. Detrick’s research focused on aspects of marine geology. He lists more than 100 scientific publications on the seismic structure of mid-ocean ridges and oceanic crust, the size, depth, and properties of ridge crest magma chambers and the nature of mantle flow beneath mid-ocean ridges and relationship to ridge segmentation and axial topography.
He has participated in more than 30 major oceanographic cruises, 18 as Chief Scientist or Co-chief Scientist. He was Co-Principal Investigator for WHOI's ocean bottom seismic instrumentation laboratory which builds and operates ocean bottom seismometers for the U.S. National Ocean Bottom Seismic Instrumentation Pool. He was Senior Principal Investigator on WHOI’s NSF-funded project to build a replacement for WHOI's Deep Sea Research Vessel, Alvin.
Dr. Detrick holds a bachelor's degree in geology and physics from Lehigh University, a master’s degree from the University of California, San Diego in marine geology, and a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/WHOI Joint Program in Oceanography.