Larry Mayer — director of UNH’s School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering, director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, co-director of the UNH/NOAA Joint Hydrographic Center, professor of Earth sciences and ocean engineering — has yet another hat to wear: Presidential appointee. President Obama named Mayer to a four-year term on the U.S. Arctic Research Commission (USARC), an independent federal agency that advises the President and Congress, the White House announced.
“Dr. Mayer's work has significantly advanced the field of oceanography, and it directly benefits society. For example, his maps of the seafloor in the high Arctic, north of Alaska, are essential contributions to our nation's efforts to establish the full extent of our continental shelf,” said the Honorable Fran Ulmer, the presidentially designated chair of the USARC.
Mayer’s research expertise includes sonar imaging, remote characterization of the seafloor, and advanced applications of three-dimensional visualization to ocean mapping. He has been chief or co-chief scientist of numerous expeditions, including seven cruises on the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy mapping unexplored regions of the Arctic seafloor in support of a potential U.S. submission for an extended continental shelf under the Law of the Sea Treaty. Mayer and other CCOM/JHC researchers will return to the Arctic for further extended continental shelf mapping late this summer.
“I am very honored to have been appointed to the commission,” he said. “With growing recognition of the critical role that the Arctic plays in a myriad of global issues including national security, resources and climate, it is incumbent on us to assure that we conduct the best possible research in order to better understand this complex and fragile region.”
“This is a great honor and opportunity for Larry,” said Jan Nisbet, UNH senior vice provost for research. “Arctic research is especially important now, as the National Science Foundation, NOAA and others have identified the changing Arctic as a scientific priority.”