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Eddie Bernard, Ph.D.

Scientist Emeritus, Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory

photo of Eddie Bernard


  • Ph.D., Physical Oceanography, Texas A&M
  • M.S., Physical Oceanography, Texas A&M
  • B.S., Physics, Lamar University

Dr. Eddie Bernard has served as Director of the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory from 1982-2010, one of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) oceanographic research laboratories. He directs a broad range of oceanographic research programs including ocean climate dynamics, fisheries oceanography, El Niño forecasts, tsunamis, and underwater volcanoes.

As a noted oceanographer and expert on tsunamis, Dr. Bernard has published over 80 scientific papers and has served as editor for three scientific books. He served as Director of NOAA’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu for 3 years, which influenced his research toward public safety. He served as founding Chairman of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Steering Committee, a joint Federal/State effort, and as Chairman of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics' Tsunami Commission. He is a member of the National Tsunami Hazard Mitigation Program Coordinating Committee, the American Geophysical Union, the American Meteorological Society, and the Oceanographic Society.

Dr. Bernard’s current university affiliations include: Affiliate Professor, University of Washington; membership on the administrative boards of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (University of Hawaii); the Joint Institute for Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean (University of Washington); the Cooperative Institute for Arctic Research (University of Alaska); and the Advisory Boards for the Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies and the Cooperative Institute for Ocean Remote Sensing (Oregon State University).

Dr. Bernard has also produced a scientific movie on tsunami research and has been featured in over 20 television specials on tsunamis, including programs on The History Channel, The Learning Channel, National Geographic, and interviews on national television news programs. Following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, he was featured on national and international news stations and was a guest on several Larry King Shows.

Dr. Bernard is a member of Sigma Pi Sigma and is listed in American Men and Women in Science, Who's Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who's Who in the West, and Who's Who in Science and Engineering. He has received numerous honors and awards for outstanding performance in NOAA including the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 2004 and 2005, the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award in 1993 from President William J. Clinton, and the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award again in 2002 from President George W. Bush. In 2008 Dr. Bernard was awarded the prestigious Service to America Medal, sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service, for his leadership in creating a tsunami forecasting capability and raising the public’s awareness of the tsunami hazard. Most recently in October 2010 and for the third time, he was awarded the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award, this time by President Barack Obama in recognition of Dr. Bernard’s transformation of three long-term PMEL research programs in tsunami warning and education, ocean acidification, and ocean exploration into recent Congressional authorization laws. Dr. Bernard identified the scientific potential of these programs, acquired the resources to sustain them over 25 years, and proactively used the resulting scientific discoveries to influence national policy.



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