Gunnar Lauenstein has been a member of the NOAA research team since the mid-1970s. He began his career at NOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and the National Ocean Service in Seattle, Washington. He has conducted research ranging from deep ocean mining of manganese nodules in the Pacific Ocean, examining eutrophication levels off the coast of the Mid-Atlantic States, and quantifying contaminant levels along the US coasts and in the Great Lakes. In the mid-1980s Gunnar was involved with the initiation of NOAA’s National Status and Trends Program which developed the National Benthic Surveillance, Quality Assurance/Specimen Banking, and Mussel Watch Programs. Dr. Lauenstein has been involved with the Mussel Watch Program since its inception in 1986, and has been responsible for sample collection, methods documentation, and program direction. Throughout his various research positions, Gunnar has remained focused on understanding marine pollutant levels along the United States coasts and Great Lakes. He currently serves as the Chief of the Coastal Ocean Assessments, Status & Trends (COAST) Branch which includes scientists that quantify the extent of Harmful Algal Blooms, determine the extent of sediment contamination in estuaries and along the US coasts, determine the effects of climate change and determines the extent of eutrophication around the US. Dr. Lauenstein earned a Ph.D. in Environmental Biology & and Public Policy from George Mason University, an M.B.A. from the University of Puget Sound, and a B.S. in Biological Oceanography from the University of Washington.
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