Dr. Mark Patterson is Chief Technology Officer of the Global Resilience Institute, and Professor of Marine and Environmental Sciences, and Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also serves as Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs in the College of Science.
Patterson is leading an interdisciplinary team focusing on communications and digital resilience. The team is developing techniques to make any urban area resilient to loss of cell phone infrastructure through rapid shift to a smart ad hoc mesh networks on cell phone WiFi. An amateur radio operator (WB2OIL), he has been a key participant in disaster response and remote communication operations in the US, Mali, South Sudan, Grenada, and Jamaica.
Patterson’s research also focuses on using advanced underwater robotics to reduce the cost of monitoring the ocean and improving national security in ports and harbors. He 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.
With support from the Schmidt Family Foundation, his lab is developing sensing technology for the emerging issue of microplastics in the ocean, one that has global implications for food security. 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. He also works on global change biology of coral reef ecosystems.
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 US for work using his robots to assess ecosystem health, and a Public Service Award from the American Radio Relay League for coordinating disaster response during a major hurricane.
He received his A.B. magna cum laude, A.M., and Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University.