Leadership and Committees



The School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering is led by the Executive Committee and the External Advisory Board. Additional committees exist to help manage SMSOE's many moving parts: the Education Committee, the Facilities Committee, the Outreach Committee, and the Research Committee.

Diane Foster

Taking the Helm

UNH Announces New Leader for School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering

Diane Foster, professor of mechanical and ocean engineering at UNH, has taken the helm of the university's School of Marine Science and Ocean Engineering (SMSOE) as it works to advance scientific understanding of the world’s oceans in a rapidly changing climate.

Learn more about Diane Foster

  • David Kennedy, Chair
  • Jamie Austin, Senior Research Scientist/Associate Director, International Relations - Institute for Geophysics, The University of Texas at Austin
  • Steve Boucher, CEO/Chairman, AIRMAR Technology Corporation
  • David Dunfee, President/Chief Executive Office (retired), Teledyne D.G. O'Brien, Inc.
  • John Haines, Program Coordinator, Coastal and Marine Programs, U.S. Geological Survey
  • Brendan Kelly, Executive Director, Study of Environmental Arctic Change and Research Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Robert LaBelle, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Larry Mayer, Director, Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping, SMSOE ex officio
  • Jackie Richter-Menge, Commissioner, United States Arctic Research Commission
  • Nancy Targett, Consultant, AGB Search

The overall mission of the Education and Curriculum Committee is to oversee the evolution of formal graduate education aligned with the research programs of the School, with a primary focus on the three graduate programs that are affiliated with the school: Marine Biology, Ocean Engineering and Oceanography.

The Education Committee's goals are as follows:

  1. Foster integrated marine science and ocean engineering education on campus.
  2. Support the graduate programs related to marine science and ocean engineering.
  3. Enhance teaching collaboration among faculty across the broad spectrum of marine-related disciplines including the social sciences and humanities.

The members of this committee are listed below:

education and Curriculum Committee charter

The Facilities Committee is charged with oversight of the SMSOE facilities, vessels, common scientific equipment, and support programs (e.g. Diving). The committee will work with the SMSOE Director and the Research, Education, and Outreach Committees to define priority areas of facility and research instrumentation need and opportunity, and take a lead in pursuing funding opportunities to address common needs.

The members of this committee are listed below:

Facilities committee charter

The Outreach Committee is charged to provide input to the Executive Committee on issues related to Outreach for the SMSOE. The committee will work with individual faculty members and programs with significant outreach/extension programs (e.g. NH Sea Grant and JHC/CCOM) to advance outreach/extension activities for the SMSOE. The overall goal of the Committee is to collaboratively facilitate the flow of knowledge among SMSOE personnel and stakeholders in order to:

  1. inform research priorities and to expand research opportunities;
  2. make connections and build capacities for engaged research at UNH;
  3. educate the public; and
  4. transfer knowledge and information to society.

The members of this committee are listed below:

outreach committee charter

The Research Committee has as its mission the formation of interdisciplinary research teams targeting fundable problems of regional and national significance in marine science and ocean engineering. Based on the recommendation of the Research Committee, the Executive Committee of SMSOE will provide the necessary resources to these groups or to individuals, so that proposals can be developed and submitted to the State, the Federal Government and/or the private sector responding to interdisciplinary funding opportunities and addressing solutions to identified problems.

The members of this committee are listed below:

research committee charter