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Dr. Christopher G. Fox
National Geophysical Data Center

Dr. Christopher Fox has served as Director of the National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) in Boulder, Colorado since April, 2004, after serving as Acting Director beginning December, 2002. His scientific background in marine geophysics prepared him for much of NGDC's mission but he has had on-the-job training in other areas such as space physics, satellite data processing, whole earth modeling, and large-scale data management systems. Since arriving at NGDC, Dr. Fox has overseen the move of NOAA's Comprehensive Large-Array data Stewardship System (CLASS) operational site to NGDC, a significant expansion in tsunami-related data activities following the December 26, 2004 disaster in the Indian Ocean, the adoption of responsibilities for the Nation's magnetic field modeling, the establishment of a dual site for GPS-CORS observing system collection, and the revitalization of other areas of NOAA's mission especially ionosphere characterization and bathymetric/hydrographic support. NGDC is also home to four World Data Centers and the International Hydrographic Organization Data Centre for Digital Bathymetry (IHO-DCDB). NGDC is positioned to provide advanced archive and data management services to the rest of NOAA and provide a center of integration for national and international efforts such as Global Earth Observing System of Systems (GEOSS).

Before joining NGDC, Dr. Fox served as a Principal Investigator within the VENTS Program of NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory from June, 1985 to April, 2004. He led a diversified program in marine mapping, geophysics, and underwater acoustics. The project is located at NOAA's laboratories within the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon. In recognition of his efforts in developing the U.S. Navy's Sound Surveillance System for environmental applications while at PMEL, Dr. Fox was awarded the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 1994. In 1996, one of Dr. Fox's publications concerning the detection and response to a submarine volcanic eruption in the Juan de Fuca Ridge was selected as a NOAA outstanding scientific paper. Dr. Fox also held an appointment as an Associate Professor (Courtesy) at Oregon State University's College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences.

Prior to his service with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Dr. Fox worked for the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, where he participated in a wide variety of studies including the numerical modelling of seafloor microtopographic roughness and the development of automated cartographic mapping from multibeam sonar systems. Prior to joining NAVOCEANO, Dr. Fox worked within the U.S. Geological Survey developing numerical simulations of geothermal reservoir dynamics.

Dr. Fox currently serves on various NESDIS and NOAA-wide committees, including the Data Management Committee of the NOAA Observing Systems Council, various tsunami response teams, and national groups including the Architecture and Data Management Working Group of USGEO. He serves in many international capacities including the Guiding Committee of GEBCO (Generalized Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans), the GEBCO representative to GEO, and the Director of the IHO-DCDB. In the past, Dr. Fox has chaired several working groups including a marine mammal acoustics group for the Scientific Committee of the International Whaling Commission, and the Event Detection and Response working group for the InterRidge Program and has served in various capacities for the U.S. Navy, the U.S. RIDGE Program, and the NEPTUNE Project.

Dr. Fox was a member of the charter class of the NOAA Leadership Competencies Development Program.


  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, Columbia University, 1985
  • M.Phil., Geological Sciences, Columbia University, 1982
  • Sc.M., Geological Sciences, Brown University, 1976
  • A.B.(honors), Geology, University of Tennessee, 1974

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