John McDonough

Meet John McDonough

Dr. John McDonough is a physical scientist/administrator with NOAA who is committed to providing the data and information required for effective ecosystem-based management through the exploration of marine and coastal areas.


Hear John talk about his job and what it's like to conduct science while at sea. Download (mp4, 133 MB).

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John McDonough received his master’s in environmental science and policy from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, in 1998, and a B.S. in coastal geomorphology from the University of Maryland in 1989. He served as a physical scientist with NOAA’s National Ocean Service from 1989 to 2002, where he developed data and geographic information systems related to coastal and marine environments, and applied that information to help prepare management plans for marine protected areas. From 1998 to 2002, McDonough was the project manager for large-scale undersea research expeditions using a variety of tools and techniques, including manned and unmanned submersibles. Specific efforts include the Sustainable Seas Expeditions, a joint endeavor between NOAA and the National Geographic Society to explore the system of National Marine Sanctuaries managed by NOAA’s National Ocean Service. McDonough initially joined the NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration as the expeditions coordinator in January 2003, and has been the office's Deputy Director since 2005. He is committed to exploring and learning more about natural systems in marine and coastal areas, and providing the data and information required for effective ecosystem-based management.