Larry Mayer sits at dock near a research vessel.

Larry Mayer selected as first recipient of Walter Munk Medal

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Larry Mayer, director for the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping and Joint Hydrographic Center at UNH, has been selected as the first recipient of the Walter Munk Medal. Established in 2019, the Walter Munk Medal is awarded biennially by The Oceanography Society to an individual ocean scientist for extraordinary accomplishments and novel insights in the area of physical oceanography, ocean acoustics, or marine geophysics.

Mayer’s selection for the Munk Medal was based upon his notable contributions in ocean science research and the development of technologies and software tools that have transformed the fields of marine geophysics, paleoceanography and marine archaeology. He is also prominently involved in Seabed 2030, an international effort to map the world’s ocean floor by the year 2030.

“There is no more fitting and deserving person to receive the inaugural Walter Munk Medal than Larry Mayer,” says Harlan Spence, director for the UNH Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space. “It is gratifying that the world’s leading professional societies, including now The Oceanography Society, continue to recognize Larry for his many sustained, impactful, innovative and transformative accomplishments as an ocean scientist. He is a remarkable and generous colleague and we are so very proud of him and his many important contributions to UNH."

Mayer adds the Munk Medal to his growing list of honors, including his recent elections to the National Academy of Engineering and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He was previously inducted into the Hydrographer Hall of Fame by the Hydrographic Society of America, awarded the Keen Medal for Marine Geology, and he holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Stockholm.

Mayer will receive the Munk Medal at The Oceanography Society awards ceremony on Feb. 18, 2020, taking place in conjunction with the Ocean Sciences Meeting in San Diego, California. The medal is named for Walter H. Munk, an American physical oceanographer and geophysicist who made important research contributions to tsunami monitoring, large-scale ocean circulation, Earth’s rotation, the oceanic lithosphere, ocean waves, tides, ocean mixing and ocean acoustics (including the development of ocean acoustic tomography).

The Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space (EOS) is UNH’s largest research enterprise, comprising six centers with a focus on interdisciplinary, high-impact research on Earth and climate systems, space science, the marine environment, seafloor mapping, and environmental acoustics. With more than $43 million in external funding secured annually, EOS fosters an intellectual and scientific environment that advances visionary scholarship and leadership in world-class research and graduate education.