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President George W. Bush appointed Thomas C. Royer, professor and eminent scholar of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Old Dominion University to the Arctic Research Commission for the remainder of a four-year expiring February 26, 2008.

Royer, who is also the Samuel L. and Fay M. Slover chair in oceanography at Old Dominion, joined the Center of Coastal Physical Oceanography at ODU in 1996. He has been active in long-term oceanographic sampling in the North Pacific and in the vicinity of the Chesapeake Bay to better understand coastal and deep ocean processes.

Royer began his academic career at the University of Alaska after completing his doctorate at Texas A&M University in 1969. While there, he began work measuring long waves (tsunamis) in the North Pacific and making hydrographic measurements in Alaskan fjords. For 27 years, he carried out measurements of hydrography in the northeast Pacific from Alaska to Hawaii during all seasons of the year. This work led to the discovery of a significant coastal current along the coast of Alaska that is driven by freshwater discharge. Knowledge of this current allowed a reasonable prediction of the trajectory of the oil released during the 1989 EXXON Valdez oil spill.

Active in the University National Laboratory System, Royer served on the Fleet Improvement Committee, the Advisory Council and as Vice Chairman. He was the chairman of a national committee that designed a new Arctic Research Vessel and has served on the MMS Scientific Advisory Committee and the Ocean Studies Board. He is active in the international North Pacific Marine Science Organization (PICES) and serves as a U.S. representative to the Technical Committee on Data Exchange of PICES. He is on the steering committee of the Coastal Ocean Program.

This article was posted on: September 10, 2004

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