He received a B.Sc and M. Sc. degree in geological science from the State University of New York at Albany and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island. In 1987 he was invited by Dr. Robert Ballard (discoverer of the wreck of RMS Titanic) to join his team at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as the Assistant Director of the Center for Marine Exploration.
In his present role, David works closely with scientists and engineers at the forefront of global exploration and discovery. He has participated in numerous expeditions to the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and to the Mediterranean Sea. He was one of the first oceanographers to use a combination of submarines and robots to map the undersea world. He was a participant during an exploration of RMS Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck using the Russian MIR submarines and a participant in a recent expedition to find the lost WWII submarine USS Grunion.
In addition to ocean exploration, he is currently interested in understanding the relationship between humanity and the sea. He was closely involved in the formulation and development of the Liquid Jungle Laboratory of Panama, a venture designed to better understand the interaction between people, tropical forests, and coastal marine habitats.
David is passionate about exploration and discovery and dedicated to communicating the importance of science and engineering to the public-at-large. He maintains close working relationships with scientists, filmmakers, and media broadcasters (Discovery Channel, History Channel, and National Geographic, PBS). He was instrumental in the development of the JASON PROJECT and is presently involved with the FIRST Robotics Competition, and with the National Underwater Robotics Competition.
David has lectured extensively both nationally and internationally, to audiences ranging from elementary school children through CEO’s and he has participated in numerous television and radio broadcasts.