Color photo of employee.

Larry Mayer

Director - Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping
Phone: (603) 862-2615
Office: Center for Coastal & Ocean Mapping, Chase Ocean Engineering Lab, Durham, NH 03824

LARRY MAYER is a Professor and the Director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire. He 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 Dept. of Oceanography at Dalhousie University and in 1991 moved to the University of New Brunswick to take up the NSERC 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 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 35 years, and has been chief or co-chief scientist of numerous expeditions, including two legs of the Ocean Drilling Program and nine mapping expeditions in the ice covered regions of the high Arctic. He has served on, or chaired, far too many international panels and committees and has the requisite 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 as well as the National Academies report on the impact of the Deepwater Horizon Spill on ecosystem services in the Gulf of Mexico. He was the co-chair of the NOAA’s Ocean Exploration Advisory Working Group, and the Vice-Chair of the Consortium of Ocean Leadership’s Board of Trustees. He is currently the Chair of the National Academies of Science’s Oceans Studies Board, Chair of the MARUM Science Advisory Board, and is a member of the State Dept.’s Extended Continental Shelf Task Force and the Navy’s SCICEX Advisory Committee. In 2016, Larry was appointed by President Obama to the Arctic Research Commission and in 2017 he was elected to the Hydrographic Society of America Hall of Fame. In 2018, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and, in 2019, was elected as a foreign member in the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. In 2020, Larry was selected as the first recipient of the Walter Munk Medal from the The Oceanography Society.

Larry's current research deals with increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of seafloor mapping and remote characterization of the seafloor (including through the use of autonomous vehicles) 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.

Courses Taught

  • ESCI 759/859: Geological Oceanography
  • ESCI 875: Adv Topics in Ocean Mapping
  • ESCI 973: Seafloor Characterization
  • ESCI/OE 875: Adv Topics in Ocean Mapping
  • OE 875: Adv Topics in Ocean Mapping
  • OE 991: Ocean Seminars II
  • OE 999: Doctoral Research


  • Ph.D., Geology/Earth Science, University of California
  • Ph.D., Geophysics and Seismology, University of California
  • B.S., Geology/Earth Science, University of Rhode Island

Selected Publications

  • Sowers, D. C., Mayer, L. A., Masetti, G., Cordes, E., Gasbarro, R., Lobecker, E., . . . Dornback, M. (n.d.). Mapping and Geomorphic Characterization of the Vast Cold-Water Coral Mounds of the Blake Plateau. Geomatics, 4(1), 17-47. doi:10.3390/geomatics4010002

  • Glueder, A., Mix, A. C., Milne, G. A., Reilly, B. T., Clark, J., Jakobsson, M., . . . McKay, J. L. (2022). Calibrated relative sea levels constrain isostatic adjustment and ice history in northwest Greenland. QUATERNARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, 293. doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2022.107700

  • Dorschel, B., Hehemann, L., Viquerat, S., Warnke, F., Dreutter, S., Tenberge, Y. S., . . . Arndt, J. E. (2022). The International Bathymetric Chart of the Southern Ocean Version 2. SCIENTIFIC DATA, 9(1). doi:10.1038/s41597-022-01366-7

  • Mitchell, G. A., Mayer, L. A., & Gharib, J. J. (2022). Bubble vent localization for marine hydrocarbon seep surveys. INTERPRETATION-A JOURNAL OF SUBSURFACE CHARACTERIZATION, 10(1), SB107-SB128. doi:10.1190/INT-2021-0084.1

  • Jakobsson, M., & Mayer, L. A. (2022). Polar Region Bathymetry: Critical Knowledge for the Prediction of Global Sea Level Rise. FRONTIERS IN MARINE SCIENCE, 8. doi:10.3389/fmars.2021.788724

  • Morlighem, M., Williams, C. N., Rignot, E., An, L., Arndt, J. E., Bamber, J. L., . . . Zinglersen, K. B. (2017). BedMachine v3: Complete Bed Topography and Ocean Bathymetry Mapping of Greenland From Multibeam Echo Sounding Combined With Mass Conservation.. Geophys Res Lett, 44(21), 11051-11061. doi:10.1002/2017GL074954

  • Jakobsson, M., Mayer, L., Coakley, B., Dowdeswell, J. A., Forbes, S., Fridman, B., . . . Weatherall, P. (2012). The International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO) Version 3.0. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 39. doi:10.1029/2012GL052219

  • Jakobsson, M., Macnab, R., Mayer, L., Anderson, R., Edwards, M., Hatzky, J., . . . Johnson, P. (2008). An improved bathymetric portrayal of the Arctic Ocean: Implications for ocean modeling and geological, geophysical and oceanographic analyses. GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, 35(7). doi:10.1029/2008GL033520

  • Jakobsson, M., Backman, J., Rudels, B., Nycander, J., Frank, M., Mayer, L., . . . Moran, K. (2007). The early Miocene onset of a ventilated circulation regime in the Arctic Ocean. NATURE, 447(7147), 986-990. doi:10.1038/nature05924


  • Most Cited Publications