Dr. Mark Patterson is Associate Director and Chief Technology Officer of the Global Resilience Institute, and Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also serves as Faculty Head of the Three Seas program, a unique year-long experiential program in marine science at the graduate level.
Patterson’s research focuses on using advanced underwater robotics to reduce the cost of monitoring the ocean and improving national security in ports and harbors. Patterson was awarded the Lockheed Martin Award for Ocean Science and Technology from the Marine Technology Society for outstanding contributions to ocean engineering of underwater robots, and an Outstanding Faculty Award from the Governor of Virginia during his previous appointment at the College of William & Mary. He also works on global change biology of coral reef ecosystems. His lab collaborates with government and industry to develop decision support tools to improve environmental management of wetlands impacted by built infrastructure like tide gates.
A recent effort funded by the Schmidt Family Foundation is developing new sensing technology for the emerging issue of microplastics in the ocean, one that has global implications for food security. Patterson served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International, and was awarded Member of the Year for his work promoting marine robotics competitions. He also holds an Antarctic Service Medal of the United States of America for his work using underwater robots to assess the health of ocean waters around the Antarctic peninsula.
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.