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GRI CTO Mark Patterson named Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs in Northeastern’s College of Science

September 10, 2013 - Mark Patterson is a joint professor of marine and environmental sciences and a professor of civil and environmental engineering based at the Marine Science Center in Nahant, MA, where his research includes autonomous underwater vehicles, environmental sensing and urban coastal sustainability.
September 10, 2013 – Photo courtesy Brooks Canaday, Northeastern University.

Global Resilience Institute Chief Technology Officer Mark Patterson has been named Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs in Northeastern University’s College of Science (COS). Patterson will continue in his post at GRI, with his new appointment taking effect July 1.

“We are delighted to have Professor Mark Patterson join the leadership team of the College,” COS Dean Kenneth Henderson wrote in an announcement to faculty and staff.

Former COS ADR David Budil, the longest-serving member of the Dean’s Office, will return to the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology to continue his research and teaching. Budil steps down having made many contributions to the College, including overseeing a dramatic increase in external funding.

“We look forward to his continued contributions to the research and teaching mission of the College and offer our sincere thanks for his years of service in the Dean’s Office,” said Henderson.

Patterson, who has served as faculty head of the COS Three Seas program, is also Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, and Civil and Environmental Engineering, faculty advisor for the COS Marine Biology major, COS Faculty Senator, and member and co-chair of the COS College Council. His research focuses on using advanced underwater robotics to reduce the cost of monitoring the ocean and improving national security in ports and harbors. Additionally, Patterson works on global change biology of coral reef ecosystems and works with government and industry to develop decision support tools to improve environmental management of wetlands impacted by built infrastructure like tide gates. With Ethan Edson COS ’15, and support from the Schmidt Family Foundation, his lab is also developing new sensing technology (“MantaRay”) to address the global problem of microplastics in water.

“I am excited about the opportunity to help the College of Science execute its strategic plan, forge new relationships with foundations, industry and government laboratories, and help grow connections between our growing number of institutes,” said Patterson. “I will be looking for cross-college opportunities in graduate education as well as in conjunction with the PhD Network.”

Patterson holds a US Antarctic Service Medal for an expedition that used his robots to count krill in the Southern Ocean, and an Explorers Club Flag Award (with Fabien Cousteau and Brian Helmuth) for a 31-day mission to the Aquarius underwater laboratory in the Florida Keys to raise awareness of coral reef science and conservation.

An amateur radio operator, he has first-hand experience with recovery and resilience operations in numerous civil and environmental disasters in the US, Mali, Sudan, and the Caribbean. He received his A.B. magna cum laude, A.M., and Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University.