He earned a Bachelor of Surgery and Master of Surgery from the California Institute of Technology in 1942 and 1947, having served in the South Pacific during World World War II as a photo interpreter. In 1949, he completed a Doctor of Philosophy in marine geology at Harvard University.
Menard is perhaps best known for his promotion of the theory of plate tectonics before it was widely accepted in the scientific community. Menard served many roles during his career as a marine geologist. Field worker, theorist, educator, popularizer, entrepreneur and statesman.
Menard"s historical and sociological writings are respected by historians of science.
Menard began his professional career in 1949, in the Sea Floor Studies Section of San Diego"s Navy Electronics Laboratory. He joined the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in 1955 as associate professor of geology.
Menard"s field work was extensive, involving 1,000 aqua-lung dives and 20 oceanographic expeditions from 1949 until 1978 when he became Director of the United States.G.S. His research focused on the morphology of the ocean floor. During the 1950s, Menard also started a scuba-diving business with a few colleagues that included consulting for American Telephone & Telegraph Company on the laying of cable.
He became a full professor of the University of California, San Diego in 1961.
Two years were spent at Churchill College (1962 and 1970-1971). Following a year in Washington, District of Columbia as technical advisor in the Office of Science and Technology (1965-1966), Menard served as Director of the University of California"s Institute of Marine Resources. United States Geological Survey career In April 1978, H. William Menard became the United States Geological Survey"s tenth Director but remained only through the balance of the Carter administration.
In 1965-1966, he was associated with the Office of Science and Technology in the White House.
After his return to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1981, Menard continued to teach, write, and do research. 1968 - elected to the National Academy of Sciences.
National Academy of Sciences]
Menard had been a marine geologist with the Naval Electronics Laboratory in San Diego for several years and then had become a member of the faculty of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Menard was a recognized worldwide authority in marine geology and oceanography and had discovered notable topographic and structural features of the sea floor that laid much of the foundation of the plate-tectonics revolution in geology.
Married Gifford Merrill, September 21, 1946. Children: Andrew O., Elizabeth M., Dorothy M.