An illustration of corals, oil droplets and light through water.

2015 Ocean Science Symposium

Click here for the complete abstracts and speaker biographies.

Imagining the Future of Ocean Science

8:50 Symposium opening 

James Houck (Interim Dean, Penn State Law School), Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds (CMAST Director)

9:00 Welcome

Dr. Eric Barron (President, Penn State)

  Symposium Overview

Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds (CMAST Director)

9:15 Session I

Panel Moderator, Dr. Jenni Evans (PSIEE)


Envisioning the Future Ocean Science


A Naval Oceanography Perspective on the Future of Ocean Science

 Rear Admiral Jonathan White (U.S. Navy)
9:44 BOEM Environmental Studies Program: Developing science today for the policy needs of tomorrow Dr. Jill Lewandowski (BOEM)
10:00 Changing Ocean Conditions, Coastal Stressors, and the Need for Landscape-scale understanding of ocean systems: The Forces Shaping the Future of Ocean Science Dr. Holly Bamford (NOAA)
10:20  Panel Discussion  
10:45 Break  
11:00 Faculty Research Hot Spot
Imagining the future by studying past oceans
Geosciences, Dr. Lee Kump 
11:15 Session II Panel Moderator, Sarah Whitney (PA Sea Grant)


Intersection of Ocean Science, Policy & Politics

11:20 Ocean Solutions at the Nexus of Science, Society and Security

Sherri Goodman (COL)

11:40 A Review and Perspective of Recent Ocean Science Policy, Priorities and Relationships

Robert Winokur (Michigan Tech University; Former Chair, Satellite Task Force for NOAA Science Advisory Board)

12:00  The U.S. and the Law of the Sea Convention:  (Still) Alone on a Wide Wide Sea

James Houck (Penn State)

12:20  Panel Discussion 


12:50 Lunch  
1:45 Faculty Research Hot Spot

An update on damage to deep sea ecosystems from the Deep Water Horizon spill

Biology, Dr. Charles Fisher
2:00 Session III Panel Moderator, Dr. David Bradley (ARL)


Funding the Future of Ocean Science

2:05 Sea Change: The National Academies Decadal Survey of Ocean Science 2015 Report

Dr. David Titley (Penn State)

2:25 NSF in a Post-"Sea Change" Ocean: How Much? ... and Doing What? 

Dr. Rick Murray (NSF)

2:45  Science and Technology Trends Supporting the Development of Operational Environments Prediction

Dr. Frank Herr (ONR)

3:05 Panel Discussion 


3:45 Break  
4:00 Faculty Research Hot Spot

Climate change as a threat to estuarine restoration

Meteorology, Dr. Raymond Najjar

Graduate Student Hot Spot               

Automatic detection and bearing calculation of vocalizing marine mammals in relation to passive acoustic density estimation

 Graduate Program in Acoustics, Julia Vernon

Post-Doctoral Hot Spot                               

Natural selection generates biodiversity gradients in coral reefs at scales of hundreds of meters despite dispersal potential of hundreds of kilometers

Biology, Dr. Carlos Prada
4:45 Symposium Closing  


Reception will be held in the Penn State Arboretum from 17:00-18:00.

The Arboretum is next to the Katz Building.

CMAST and the symposium are supported by: 
The Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment  
Eberly College of Science

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
Department of Geosciences
College of Engineering
Graduate Program in Acoustics
PA Sea Grant

Speaker abstracts and biographical information follows.

Click here for a printable agenda in PDF format. 

Eric Barron

8:50 a.m. Opening Comments


Eric J. Barron, former dean at Penn State and former president of Florida State University, began his presidency at Penn State on May 12, 2014. Succeeding former President Rodney Erickson, who had served since 2011, Dr. Barron was named the 18th President of Penn State by the University's Board of Trustees February 17, 2014.

Dr. Barron returned to Penn State from the helm at Florida State, bringing with him nearly 35 years of leadership experience in academic administration, education, research, and public service, and a track record as a talented manager of fiscal policy within large and complex institutions. Dr. Barron led Florida State to two consecutive U.S. News and World Report rankings as the nation's "most efficiently operated" institution of higher education.

Dr. Barron earned a bachelor of science degree in geology at Florida State in 1973 before moving on to the University of Miami, where he earned master's and doctoral degrees in oceanography, in 1976 and 1980, respectively. Dr. Barron spent 20 years of his career at Penn State, serving as dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences from 2002 to 2006, and as founding director of the Earth System Science Center, one of the first major initiatives focused on the total study of Earth as a system, from 1986 to 2002. He also had a simultaneous appointment as director of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Environment Institute from 1998 to 2002. In 1999, he was named Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Penn State, and during his tenure as director, Industry Week magazine ranked him among "50 R&D Stars to Watch."

For more on Dr. Barron, please visit:



Jennifer Miksis-Olds, Ph.D.

9:00 a.m. - Symposium Overview


Dr. Jennifer Miksis-Olds is the founding director of The Penn State Center for Marine Science and Technology (CMAST). Also at Penn State, she is a Senior Research Associate with the Applied Research Laboratory, an Associate Professor with the Graduate Program in Acoustics in the College of Engineering and an Associate Professor with the Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences in the College of Agriculture.




Jenni L. Evans, Ph.D.

Session I Panel Moderator, PSIEE Director


Jenni L. Evans is a Professor of Meteorology at The Pennsylvania State University, and is currently Acting Director of the Penn State Institutes of Energy and the Environment (PSIEE). She is a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and served on its Council from 2005 to 2008. 

Dr. Evans’ research encompasses tropical cyclones from genesis to decay, extratropical transition, or landfall. She was one of a small group of scientists who developed a new understanding of extratropically transitioning tropical cyclones, systems such as Hurricane Sandy of 2012. These systems can have potentially devastating societal impacts far from their tropical genesis – even in Scandinavia and Alaska. The impacts of climate change on tropical cyclones and shorter-lived tropical convective systems are also major components of her research. Finally, she has included a strong commitment to translating her science into practical applications. To that end, she collaborated on developing a framework for understanding the evolutionary state of cyclonic storms, the Cyclone Phase Space (CPS); the CPS is used operationally at the US National Hurricane Center and in both Australia and Japan. More recently, she has collaborated on the use of novel statistical methodologies for synthesizing information from ensemble forecast systems of tropical cyclones.

Dr. Evans is a Subject Matter Expert for the UN ESCAP/WMO Typhoon Committee and co-chaired the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) 8th Intergovernmental Workshop on Tropical Cyclones. She has served for over a decade as the Lead Meteorologist for the Professional Team assisting the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology. Other current and former professional activities include the US Weather Research Program Science Steering Committee, Science Steering Committee for the US THORPEX Pacific Asian Regional Campaign, Advisory Board for the NOAA/NSF Developmental Testbed Center, Editor of AMS Monthly Weather Review and Associate Editor of Weather and Forecasting.




RADM Jon White

9:20 a.m. - A Naval Oceanography Perspective on the Future of Ocean Science

The Navy remains committed to future investment and advancement regarding ocean science.  Naval Oceanography applies knowledge of thecurrent and future ocean environment to decision-making associated withwarfare, operational safety, and strategic planning.  This requires significanteffort in advanced data collection and assimilation capabilities; next-generation fully coupled numerical air-ocean-ice models, and innovativedata management/data visualization. The Navy cannot realize these futurecapabilities alone.  We must work together across academia, industry andgovernment to address the common challenges ahead.

We face increasingcompetition for the military “knowledge advantage” we hold in the oceantoday, and the uncertainty presented by our changing climate and overallEarth system threatens our global security interests – at home and abroad.  Our global Navy, long founded in science and technology, is sailing ahead tomeet these challenges. This includes increased mobilization of our nation’stalented scientific individuals and organizations, as well as continuedScience, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education initiatives forour nation’s youth. 


Rear Admiral Jonathan W. White is the Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy, an director of the Task Force on Climate Change at the Navy. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Aspiring to be an oceanographer since the age of seven, Jon White earned a bachelor of sciencedegree in Oceanography from Florida Institute of Technology, and a master’s degree in Meteorologyand Oceanography from the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School.  

He was commissioned as a U.S. Naval Officer in 1983 and has had numerous operationalassignments at sea and ashore.  He was the 50th superintendent of the U.S. Naval Observatory.  His initial flag officer assignment in 2009 was as Commander, Naval Meteorology andOceanography Command. He was promoted to Rear Admiral (two star) and assumed his currentduties in August 2012.



Jill Lewandowski

9:45 a.m. - BOEM Environmental Studies Program: Developing science today for the policy needs oftomorrow

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is the Federal agency responsible formanaging use of energy and mineral resources that are found on the Outer Continental Shelf(OCS) – approximately 1.7 billion acres of our Nation’s continental shelf located beyond State
waters.  The resources covered include oil and gas; wind, waves, and current energy; sand,gravel, and other minerals. Diverse Federal laws task BOEM with protecting the environment asthese activities go forward. Environmental protection requires science as well as policy with eachinforming the direction of the other.Since 1973 the BOEM Environmental Studies Program (ESP) has provided over $1 billion forresearch on environmental impacts from energy and mineral development. It is guided by fourmain principles:  1) studies conducted by BOEM must be use-inspired so that determined resultsmay be applied towards management decisions; 2) research supported by BOEM must be held tothe utmost scientific integrity and credibility; 3) partnerships should be sought, wheneverpossible, to leverage funds with other interested Federal, State, and private stakeholders tomaximize the utility of results and extend limited budgets; and 4) BOEM must engage regularlywith stakeholder and public educational outreach for quality assurance, peer-review planning,and data dissemination. This presentation will walk through how the BOEM ESP anticipates,develops and funds science today for the policy needs of tomorrow.


Jill Lewandowski currently serves as Acting Chief of the Division of Environmental Assessmentin the Headquarters Office (HQ) of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) whereshe oversees BOEM compliance with environmental statutes and regulations ranging from airquality to protected species to historic and cultural preservation. Previously, Jill served as theBOEM national lead biologist handling marine protected species, including marine mammals,endangered species and ocean sound. Prior to BOEM, Jill worked at the National MarineFisheries Service’s and the National Wildlife Federation. Jill received her Ph.D. in EnvironmentalScience and Policy at George Mason University where her research centered on developingalternative decision-making approaches for complex environmental issues, such as the impacts of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals.



Dr. Holly Bamford

10:00 a.m. - Changing Ocean Conditions, Coastal Stressors, and the Need for landscape-scaleunderstanding of ocean ecosystems: The Forces Shaping the future of Ocean Science
Changing climate conditions, population growth and aging infrastructure are some of the forcesshaping our world today and into the near future. Recognizing the challenges wrought by sealevel rise, erosion, ocean acidification, increasing demand on coastal and ocean resources andaging infrastructure, NOAA will look to focus its ocean and coastal science towards betterunderstanding these challenges and applying the observations, modeling and forecasts todecision-making efforts in support of healthy oceans and resilient coastal communities andeconomies.


Holly A. Bamford, Ph.D.Assistant Administrator for Ocean Services and Coastal Zone Management, National Ocean Service Dr. Holly A. Bamford is the Assistant Administrator of the National Ocean Service, performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management for the US Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Bamford provides leadership and strategic direction for NOS, which serves as the primary federal agency providing science-based solutions to address evolving economic, environmental, and social pressures onour oceans and coasts. Before becoming the Assistant Administrator for NOS, Dr. Bamford served as the agency’s Deputy Assistant Administrator. In this position, her many responsibilities recently included that of NOAA Incident Coordinator during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, where she executed emergency response efforts including navigation surveys of the New York port area to quickly restore the region’s maritime commerce.

Previously as the first Director of NOAA’s Marine Debris Program in 2005, Dr. Bamford brought national recognition to issues related to marine debris and to the program.Dr. Bamford has a number of widely referenced publications in the field of environmental chemistry and water quality, including papers in Environmental Science & Technology, and Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.  She has received a number of awards for her exceptional leadership and partnership skills including a NOAA Bronze Medal and two Coastal America Presidential Partnership Awards. Dr. Bamford has served on a number of science and advisory committees, including Chairperson on the Federal Interagency Marine Debris Coordinating Committee, and at the 2007 Ocean Policy Forum in South Korea. She has presented at a number of international meetings and academic institutions, and given interviews to national media outlets including CNN, Rolling Stone Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal.




11:20 a.m. - Ocean Solutions at the Nexus of Science, Society and Security
Our oceans have long been a source of much that is important: food, transportation, quality of life, exploration, and national security. Scientific ocean exploration has deep roots in American history, and modern ocean science was born in the years before World War II when the U.S. Navy developed undersea capability with submarines and later sonar. 

Today, the U.S. is at a critical inflection point in ocean policy and science, research and technology. The ocean environment is changing physically, chemically and biologically at a rate not seen in human history, and our ability to understand, predict and sustainably manage it is challenging. At the same time, the deep ocean is the last unexplored frontier on the planet and likely holds the key to forecasting long-term weather and climate patterns. The ocean is also at the heart of U.S. national security in both the Arctic and the Pacific: from the opening of the Arctic, which could herald new geostrategic dynamics with Russia, to China’s aggressive creation of islands in the South China Sea.

Scientific knowledge of the ocean has never been more important to our society and security. Yet ocean science research is under siege in Congress. Budget sequestration has left dwindling resources for all federal investments, including research and education. Some in Congress are using this opportunity to cut funding for the geosciences, earth sciences and climate research.

We have the opportunity, indeed the imperative, to reframe the national dialogue on scientific ocean research by connecting solutions and the communities that benefit, as well as by joining scientific ocean research to fundamental societal needs. We need to work more closely with strategic allies and partners in the national security, commercial, and technology development communities, among others, to strengthen our efforts and enable practical societal solutions to emerge from ocean science research. 


Sherri Goodman is the President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that represents 90 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. From 2001-2015, Ms. Goodman served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of CNA, a non-profit research organization that provides analyses and solutions for national security leaders and public sector organizations.  She is also the founder and Executive Director of the CNA Military AdvisoryBoard, whose landmark reports include National Security and the Threat of Climate Change (2007), and National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change (2014), among others.

From 1993 to 2001, Ms. Goodman served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security), responsible for environmental, safety and occupational health programs and policies of the Department of Defense. Ms. Goodman has twice received the DoD medal for Distinguished Public Service, the Gold Medal from the National Defense Industrial Association, and EPA’s Climate Change Award.  Ms. Goodman has served on the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  She has practiced law at Goodwin Procter, and has worked at RAND and SAIC. Ms. Goodman serves on the boards of the Atlantic Council, Committee on Conscience of the U.S. Holocaust Museum, the Joint Ocean Leadership Initiative, and the Secretary of State’s International Security Advisory Board.  She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations. A graduate of Amherst College, Ms. Goodman has a law degree from Harvard Law School and a masters inpublic policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government



Robert Winokur

11:40 a.m. - A review and perspective of recent ocean science policy, priorities and relationships
There are long-standing relationships between science priorities, government policy and politics.  For the most part these relationships have been stable over time, although science priorities have shifted as administrations and politics have changed.  Priorities in ocean science are a subset of national priorities and vary as changes in administrations and congress take place.  During the past 10 to 15 years there have been various attempts and emphasis placed ondeveloping a national strategy for ocean policy, including an enumeration of ocean science andrelated infrastructure priorities.  Numerous strategies and plans have been published, the federal government developed two approaches to ocean policy, and agencies such as the Navy and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have issued science strategies and vision documents.  
This talk will present a high level overview of the relationships between ocean science priorities, policies and politics.  Specific examples of ocean science priorities compiled from various recent policy documents and studies will be presented, along with examples of the interaction of policy and politics.  It is also noteworthy that ocean science priorities are not only driven from the top down, but also defined within an agency in order to support both national and mission driven capabilities.   Regardless of strategy and policy it is ultimately the budget that determines priorities and implementation.


Bob Winokur is a former Deputy Oceanographer of the Navy and Deputy/Technical Director for Oceanography, Space and Maritime Domain Awareness, within the office of the Chief of Naval Operations, as well as a former Assistant Administrator for Satellite and Information Services and Acting Director, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration.  He has also served as acting Oceanographer of the Navy and in various senior executive positions in the Navy and the private sector, including in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy and the Office of Naval Research, President, Earth Satellite Corporationand VP, Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education.  Mr. Winokur has over 50 years of experience in marine science and satellite remote sensing and retired as a long-time senior executive in May 2013 after 47 years federal service.  

Mr. Winokur has a bachelor'sdegree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a master's degree from The American University.  His awards include Presidential Meritorious and Distinguished Rank Awards; Department of Commerce Gold Medal; National Academy of Public Administration Public Service Award; The American University Roger Jones Award for Public Service; and Fellow,Acoustical Society of America, Marine Technology Society and  American Meteorological Society; and Distinguished Achievement Award, Compass Publications and Marine TechnologySociety.  He has a broad range of experience in undersea technology, ocean observing and satellite remote sensing systems, oceanographic ship policy, disaster information technology, and national ocean policy.  Bob served on and chaired numerous national and international committees,  such as co-chair Interagency Working Group on Facilities and Infrastructure, chair Satellite Task Force for NOAA Science Advisory Board, Chair NATO research ship Independent Expert Team, and member of the President’s National Ocean Policy Task Force. Mr. Winokur is currently serving as a part time consultant/senior advisor for ocean science and satellite remote sensing programs and policy.



James Houck

12:00 p.m. - The U.S. and the Law of the Sea Convention:  (Still) Alone on a Wide Wide Sea

Although the United States has signed the international Law of the Sea Convention, the U.S. Senate hasnever ratified this important treaty.  This has broad implications for the U.S. economy, national security,and marine scientific research.


Dean Houck focuses his research and teaching on international law and national security law, with aparticular emphasis on the law of the sea and law of armed conflict.  He joined Penn State after retiringas the 41st Judge Advocate General of the U.S. Navy in 2012.  As Judge Advocate General,Admiral Houck was the principal military legal counsel to the Secretary of the Navy and Chief of NavalOperations and led the 2,300 attorneys, enlisted legal staff, and civilian employees of the worldwideNavy Judge Advocate General’s Corps. He also served as the Department of Defense Representative forOcean Policy Affairs and served on the National Oceans Council.  As a member of the Penn State Lawfaculty, he served as a member of the Hoover Institute’s Arctic Security Initiative.



David Titley

2:05 p.m. - Sea Change: The National Academies Decadal Survey of Ocean Science 2015 Report

Titley will present a summary of the recently-released US National Academy of Science ‘Sea Change:  A Decadal Survey of Ocean Science’ report.  Titley, along with Dr. Shirley Pomponi, co-chaired the committee.  He will discuss the task of describing a path forward for the ocean sciences in today’s budget-constrained environment.  He will review the recommended eight decadal ocean science priorities, and the recommendations to the National Science Foundation on overarching goals and strategies to balance the competing priorities of infrastructure sustainment and science.


Dr. Titley is a founding Director of the Center for Solutions for Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State University. He served as a naval officer for thirty-two years, concluding his career as a Rear Admiral.  Titley’s career included duties as Oceanographer and Navigator of the Navy and Deputy Assistant Chief of Naval Operations for Information Dominance. While serving in the Pentagon, he also initiated and led the US Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change. 

After retiring from the Navy, Titley served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Commerce for Operations, the Chief Operating Officer position at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He has also spoken on various domestic and international stages, including Congressional Hearings, the International Panel on Climate Change, and a TEDx talk, amongst others.

Titley holds a BS from Pennsylvania State University and an MS from the Naval Postgraduate School. He also has a Ph.D. in Meteorology from the same institution. He was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society in 2009 and holds an honorary Doctorate from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.



Richard W. Murray, Ph. D.

2:25 p.m. - NSF in a Post-“Sea Change” Ocean: How Much?…and Doing What?
Ocean Sciences funding from the NSF is at a crossroads.  Fundamental decisions regarding the balancebetween investment in infrastructure (physical and cyber-) and investment in hypothesis-driven scienceproposals and programs are on-going and will affect basic ocean research for years to come.  With the releasein early 2015 of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences (NRC/NAS) report “Sea
Change: A Decadal Survey of Ocean Sciences, 2015-2025”, and with NSF Ocean Sciences reply beingissued in early May, we are in the midst of a national discussion of the challenges that risinginfrastructure costs pose to NSF’s fundamental mission to support core scientific research andtechnological innovation.  I will present the latest results of NSF’s recent changes in internal funding that
will show the ongoing restoration of core research support, present some future projections of budgetaryallocations, and identify some on-going conversations about future NSF support for ocean science.


Rick Murray is Division Director, Ocean Sciences, at the National Science Foundation,on a four-year IPA position beginning January, 2015.  Murray is a Professor of Earth and Environment at Boston University (BU), where he has been located since 1992. He wasthe Director of the BU Marine Program from 2006-2009, and served as Chair of the Department of Earth Sciences from 2000-2005.  While pursuing his undergraduate degreeat Hamilton College (1985), he also participated in the Sea Education Association (SEA) program in Woods Hole.  After receiving his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley, he was a post-doctoral scholar at the Graduate School of Oceanography(University of Rhode Island).  

Murray’s research interests are in marine geochemistry,with an emphasis on sedimentary chemical records of climate change and the sub-seafloor biosphere.  He has authored or co-authored ~80 peer-reviewed scientific research papers. Murray’s research funding has been provided by the National Science Foundation, the Ocean Drilling Program and Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), the U. S.Geological Survey, and other agencies.  

Murray is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, a former Trustee of the Sea Education Association (resigning upon acceptingthe NSF position), and helped initiate and manage the Link Foundation’s Ph.D.Fellowship Program in “Ocean Engineering and Instrumentation”.  As a seagoingoceanographer, he has participated on many research cruises in various capacities,including Co-Chief Scientist on the “Asian Monsoon” IODP expedition and Chief Scientist on the last full research cruise of the R/V Knorr. Rick Murray is a resident of the coastal community of Scituate, Massachusetts, where he has lived since 1998.  He was an elected Selectman from 2006-2014 (a position heresigned upon accepting the NSF position), and served as Chair, Vice-Chair, and Clerk ofthe Board of Selectmen at various times.  He is a former appointed member of the Waterways Commission.  In his capacity as Selectman, Murray took a special interest incoastal issues, including managing development, enhancing foreshore protection where appropriate, and maintaining public access.  He worked closely with stakeholders from the coastal community, and also addressed commercial fishing, media relations and outreach.  He has also been involved in other coastal matters of public service, as he held a Research seat on the Sanctuary Advisory Committee of NOAA’s Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary (headquartered in Scituate), served on MA’s EOEA Sedimentary Resource Management committee in 2008, a Governor-appointed positionon a Coastal Sea-Level Rise Commission, and performed other public activities.



Frank L. Herr, Jr., Ph.D.

2:45 p.m . - Science and Technology Trends Supporting the Development ofOperational Environments Prediction.
The goal of Office of Naval Research's program in OperationalEnvironments is to incorporate new physics into next generation, fullycoupled, ocean/atmosphere/cryosphere prediction systems which will be useddaily by future naval forces.   A close companion to this goal is to developnew tools to collect information about the earth system and learn how toefficiently assimilate that information into the geophysical models.   ONRhas championed the use of autonomous systems and broadly based assimilationtechniques.  Recent results and new programs will be discussed providingillustration of S&T trends which provide opportunities for next generation.


Dr. Herr is the Head of the Office of Naval Research Ocean Battlespace Sensing Department – one of six science and technology departments at ONR.  He was selected to his current position in 2005 having been a division director in the same department since 1998.  The Ocean Battlespace Department is responsible for the Navy’s and Marine Corps’s S&T in ocean and meteorological science, undersea warfare, mine warfare, andspace technology.  It is comprised of two divisions and 14 programs spanning sensing,systems, ocean acoustics, ocean/atmospheric processes and prediction, and marine mammals.  The department also has built and cares for 6 oceanographic research vessels forming the backbone of the US academic research fleet.  In recent years, Dr. Herr’s department has pioneered the development of autonomous underwater vehicles andundersea gliders.  The OBS department is comprised of two senior executives, 24 professional scientists, 3 senior military officers, and 25 support staff.  The department’s budget is on order $260M/yr.   

Dr. Herr currently is the U.S. National Representative for the Maritime Systems Group of The Technical Cooperation Program (TTCP) coordinating technology among US, UK,CAN, AUS, and NZ.  He is also represents the U.S. in the NATO Maritime Science and Technology Committee advising the NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation in La Spezia, Italy.  Dr. Herr was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in August, 1998.  He has twice been cited as a Presidential rank Meritorious Senior Executive (2005, 2010), and has twice received the Superior Civilian Service Award (2008, 2011).



2015 Ocean Science Symposium Presentations