Dr. Larry Mayer is a Professor and the Director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire.
Dr. Mayer graduated magna cum laude with an Honors degree in Geology from the University of Rhode Island in 1973 and received a Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Marine Geophysics in 1979. At Scripps he 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 Department of Oceanography at Dalhousie University and, in 1991, moved to the University of New Brunswick to take up the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Chair in Ocean Mapping. In 2000, Larry became the founding director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the co-director of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center.
Larry has participated in more than 90 cruises (over 70 months at sea!) during the last 37 years, and has been chief or co-chief scientist of numerous expeditions, including two legs of the Ocean Drilling Program and seven mapping expeditions in the ice-covered regions of the high Arctic. He has served on or chaired many international panels and committees and has a large number of publications on a variety of topics in marine geology and geophysics.
He is the recipient of the Keen Medal for Marine Geology and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stockholm. He was a member of the President’s Panel on Ocean Exploration, National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for the Geosciences, and chaired a National Academy of Science Committee on national needs for coastal mapping and charting. He is currently co-chair of the NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Advisory Working Group and a member of the U.S. Department of State’s Extended Continental Shelf Task Force and is chairing a National Academy of Sciences Committee on the impact of the Deepwater Horizon spill on ecosystem services in the Gulf of Mexico.
Larry's current 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.