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Robert Lawrence Swanson Edit Profile

oceanographer , Academic program administrator

Robert Lawrence Swanson, American oceanographer, academic program administrator. Certified hydrographer.


Swanson, Robert Lawrence was born on October 11, 1938 in Baltimore. Son of Lawrence Wilbur and Hazel Ruth Swanson.


Bachelor of Science, Civil Engineering, Lehigh University, 1960. Master of Science Oceanography, Oregon State University, 1965. Doctor of Philosophy Oceanography, Oregon State University, 1971.


Commissioned ensign United States Coast and Geodetic Survey (now National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration), 1960, advanced through grades to captain, 1978. Operations officer United States Pathfinder, 1965. Commanding officer United States Marmer, 1966.

Chief oceanographic division National Ocean Survey, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Rockville, Maryland, 1969—1972. Manager Marine Ecosys. Analysis, New York Bight project, Stony Brook, 1973—1978.

Director Office Marine Pollution Assessment National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Rockville, 1978—1983, research associate Sea Grant Stony Brook, 1983—1984. Commanding officer United States Researcher, Miami, Florida, 1984—1986. Chief international activities group National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, Rockville, 1986, executive director Office Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, 1986—1987.

Director Waste Reduction and Management Institute State University of New York, Stony Brook, since 1987, associate dean School Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, since 2003. Adjunct professor Marine Sciences Research Center, State University of New York, Stony Brook, since 1976. Member Suffolk County Council Environmental Quality, since 1988, vice chair, 1996—2006, chair, since 2006.

Member New York State Oversight Committee Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1996—2006. Member Coastal Management Commission Villages Head-of-the-Harbor and Nissequogue, 1994—2002. Chairman Coastal Management Commission Villages Head Harbor and Nissequogue, 1995—1997, 1999—2001.

Trustee Three Village History Society, 1994—2002. Co-chair Long Island Environmental Economic Roundtable, 1995—2000. Advisory board Evan Liblit Memorial Fund, since 1998.

Trustee Village of Head of the Harbor, since 2002, deputy mayor, since 2006. Consultant in field.


  • Certified hydrographer.



Member New York Academy of Sciences, American Society of Civil Engineers (chairman hydrography and oceanography committee 1972-1974), American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Geophysical Union, Marine Technology Society (chairman marine pollution committee 1982-1992), Cosmos Club, Sigma Xi (president State University of New York Stony Brook chapter since 1998).


Married Dana Lamont, September 12, 1963. Children: Lawrence Daniel, Michael Nathan.

Lawrence Wilbur

Hazel Ruth Swanson

Dana Lamont

Lawrence Daniel Swanson

Michael Nathan Swanson