Dr. Larry P. Atkinson is the Samuel and Fay Slover Professor of Oceanography in the Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. He received his B. S. and M.S. in Chemical Oceanography in 1964 and 1967, respectively, from the University of Washington in Seattle. He received his Ph. D. from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada in 1972. Prior to joining the faculty at Old Dominion University he was at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah Georgia. He is a member of The Oceanography Society, the American Meteorological Society, the American Geophysical Union, the Marine Technology Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He is a Fellow of the AAAS. He was editor of Oceanography (1993-1997) and Editor (1988 - 1990) and Senior Editor of Journal of Geophysical Research - Oceans (1990-1992). He is the author or co-author of over 90 reviewed publications. He served on the Department of Interior Science Advisory Committee for Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas production. He was chair of the UNOLS Fleet Improvement Committee. From 1991 to 1994 he was with the inter-agency Ocean.US office creating the integrated ocean observing system (IOOS) for the US. Since 2010 he has been Chair of the NSF/UNOLS Ocean Observing Science Committee. His ocean observing activities continue both locally and nationally.
He is currently assisting with the Resilience Collaborative at Old Dominion University.
Dr. Atkinson is recognized for his work on nutrient supplies and hydrographic variability in eastern and western boundary currents. He has done field studies off the US East Coast, Japan, Chile, southern California, and northwest Spain. These studies were all part of large, interdisciplinary research programs that are of particular interest to Dr. Atkinson. Also, these studies have led to new understandings of how nutrients are supplied to continental shelves and how water column stability is controlled by advection of buoyancy. His current research includes studies of sea level rise, the climatology of coastal waters, and high-frequency radar measurements of surface currents.
He currently is funded by the NOAA and DHS.