Advisory Board Bios



Captain Andrew Armstrong

Andrew Armstrong is the co-director of the Joint Hydrographic Center (JHC) at UNH and a retired officer of NOAA, assigned to the Center as a civilian NOAA employee. Capt. Armstrong specialized in hydrographic surveying and served on several NOAA hydrographic ships, including the NOAA Ship Whiting where he was Commanding Officer and Chief Hydrographer.

Before coming to the JHC, he was the Chief of NOAA's Hydrographic Surveys Division, directing the agency's hydrographic survey activities. He has a B.S. in Geology from Tulane University and a M.S. in Technical Management from the Johns Hopkins University.

Capt. Armstrong oversees the hydrographic and ocean mapping education and training program at UNH and coordinates the Center's cooperative research with NOAA.




Dr. Dwight Douglas Trueblood

Dwight Trueblood is the NOAA co-director of the Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology (CICEET), which fosters the development of technology for clean water and healthy coastal habitats. In his tenure at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dwight also has served as chief scientist for the Deep Seabed Mining Program (1991-1994) and science coordinator for both the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (1994-1999) and the National Marine Sanctuary Program (1994-1996). Dwight obtained a B.S. in biological oceanography at the University of Washington (1979), an M.S. in marine science at the University of Puerto Rico (1985), and a Ph.D. in environmental sciences, with an emphasis in benthic ecology, at the University of Massachusetts at Boston (1990). He was a postdoctoral fellow at Rutgers University's Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (1990). Dwight's interests include benthic community ecology, coastal monitoring, and fostering better communication and technology transfer between scientists and coastal managers.



Dr. Larry Mayer

Larry Mayer has a broad-based background in marine geology and geophysics that is reflected in his association with both the Ocean Engineering and Earth Science Departments.

He graduated magna cum laude with an Honors degree in Geology from the University of Rhode Island in 1973 and received a Ph.D. from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in Marine Geophysics in 1979. At Scripps his schizophrenic future was determined as he worked with the Marine Physical Laboratory's Deep-Tow Geophysical package, but applied this sophisticated acoustic sensor to problems of the history of climate. After being selected as an astronaut candidate finalist for NASA's first class of mission specialists, He went on to a Post-Doc at the School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island where he worked on problems of deep-sea sediment transport and paleoceanography of the equatorial Pacific.

In 1982, he became an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Oceanography at Dalhousie University and in 1991 moved to the University of New Brunswick to take up the NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Ocean Mapping. In 2000 he became the founding director of the Center for Coastal and Ocean Mapping at the University of New Hampshire and the co-director of the NOAA/UNH Joint Hydrographic Center.

Dr. Mayer has participated in more than 50 cruises (over 60 months at sea!) during the last 30 years and has been chief or co-chief scientist of numerous expeditions including two legs of the Ocean Drilling Program. He has served on, or chaired, far too many international panels and committees and has the requisite large number of publications on a variety of topics in marine geology and geophysics.

He is the recipient of the Keen Medal for Marine Geology and an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Stockholm. He served on the President's Panel for Ocean Exploration and has recently chaired a National Academy of Sciences committee on "National Needs for Coastal Mapping and Charting."

His research deals with sonar imaging, remote characterization of the seafloor, and advanced applications of 3-D visualization to ocean mapping problems.





David Westerholm

Dave Westerholm, the Director of NOAA's Office of Response and Restoration (ORR), provides unique and valuable insight to the Coastal Response Research Center's Advisory Board. He came to NOAA in 2008 from an executive position in the corporate world and, prior to that, had a 27 year U.S. Coast Guard career. In the Coast Guard, he specialized in marine safety, security and environmental protection, where he served on the front lines as a responder, coordinated operations as a Federal On-Scene Coordinator (FOSC) and culminated his career as the Chief of the Office of Response. He also served as Vice Chair of the National Response Team and co-lead of the interagency group for Oil Spill Research and Development.

Westerholm is a graduate of Temple University, where he majored in science with concentrations in physics, geology, chemistry, and mathematics and he holds a master's of science degree in environmental policy and planning from the University of Michigan.

As Director of ORR, he is responsible for overseeing NOAA's efforts to prepare for and respond to environmental hazards caused by marine debris and the release of oil and chemicals into the nation's ocean and coastal waters.



 Jan Nisbet

Jan Nisbet, PhD. is currently the Senior Vice Provost for Research at the University of New Hampshire where she has served since September, 2009. Prior to assuming this position, she was the founding Director of the Institute on Disability and a tenured Professor in the Department of Education at the University of New Hampshire. She received her Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in 1982; and her B.S. in Physical Therapy from Simmons College in 1978. She taught at Syracuse University prior to moving to New Hampshire. Dr. Nisbet has published extensively in the field of disabilities, serves on numerous editorial and advisory boards, and presents nationally and internationally. She has been principal investigator on many state and nationally funded projects related to the community integration of persons with disabilities. She is the recipient of UNH's Excellence in Research Award and the Alumni Association's Award for Excellence in Public Service, and the Pettee Medal.






Robyn Conmy

Robyn Conmy received her bachelor's degree from Coastal Carolina University in 1996 (marine science; chemistry minor). Her master's (1999) and doctoral (2008) degrees were earned from the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science (chemical oceanography tract) where she was named as a NASA Earth Systems Science and a US Geological Survey Cooperative Agreement fellow. Her research was dedicated to ocean optics, radiochemistry and organic carbon cycling in marine, riverine and groundwater environments. She served as PI on numerous state, regional and federal awards (Office of Naval Research, NASA, FL marine Research Institute, SW FL Water Management District) awards. While at USF she participated and led in many cruises totaling to over 35 weeks at sea. She held a postdoctoral position at the US EPA Office of Research and Development, Gulf Ecology Division investigating the optical signals of organic material from field sensors and satellites in Gulf of Mexico estuaries (NASA and Naval Research Laboratory awards). While in that position, she was involved in the DWH oil spill for expertise in fluorescence techniques, organic chemistry and general oceanographic knowledge. She was deployed on vessels at the spill site, stationed at Area Command, served on the Federal Joint Analysis Group and a member of the US EPA ORD Oil Research Strategy writing team, and a Co-I on a fluorescence sensor wave tank study (NOAA award). Currently she is a researcher at the US EPA / ORD / NRMRL / Land Remediation Pollution Control Division working in the oil research program. Her current research interests are fluorescence fingerprinting of oils, advancing optical tools for spill response, and the photo - and biodegradation of oil in aquatic environments.

Dr. Conmy has published extensively in the field of chemical oceanography and is lead author on a book chapter on fluorescence sensors. She has presented nationally and internationally and serves a reviewer for a number of journals. In addition to CRRC, she serves on advisory boards and committees including a NASA proposal review panel, the Ocean Optics Planning Committee, AGU Chapman Conference on DOM Fluorescence, an API Technical Working Group, Scientific Support Coordination Group for the Enbridge Oil Spill, the Joint Analysis Group for the DWH Oil Spill and the ICCOPR.





Greg DeMarco

Greg DeMarco currently serves as ExxonMobil’s Global Oil Spill Response Manager.  In that role, he coordinates the company’s oil spill preparedness and response efforts, including ExxonMobil’s oil spill response R&D program as well as external interfaces with Tier 3 response co-ops, trade associations, and government agencies.  He currently chairs the American Petroleum Institute’s Oil Spill Preparedness and Response Subcommittee and Spills Advisory Group.  He also sits on IPIECA’s (International Petroleum Industry Environmental Conservation Association’s) Oil Spill Working Group.

Greg has been with Exxon (now ExxonMobil) since 1997 where he has held a variety of operational and staff assignments in the Downstream and Safety, Health and Environment organizations.

Prior to joining Exxon, he served for 7 years as a consultant to the Federal government (including EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard) assisting with the development of regulations stemming from the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Greg also served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard both on active duty and in the reserves where he focused on oil spill response issues as well as serving as a deck officer on several USCG cutters.

Greg has a Masters of Environmental Management and a Masters of Business Administration from Duke University in Durham, NC as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.