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Dr. Hans-Peter Plag

Current Position
Director, Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI)
Professor of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences
Old Dominion University
Innovation Research Building I Room 3211
4111 Monarch Way
Norfolk VA 23508
P: +1-757-683-5335 M:+1-757-773-8884 Skype: hpplag Email: hpplag@odu.edu

"Vordiplom" Mathematics, Technische Fachhochschule Berlin (Technical College), 1974
Diploma, Geophysics, Free University of Berlin, 1982
Promotion (PhD), Free University of Berlin, Natural Sciences (summa cum laude), 1988


A wide range of aspects related to sustainability.
Global to local sea level changes and climate change
Earth system dynamics and global change
Earth observations
Solid Earth geophysics
Global geodynamics
Rheology of the Earth's mantle and continuum mechanics
Deformation of the solid Earth
Space geodesy and geodetic reference frames


A. Professor, Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (OEAS); Co-Director Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative (CCSLRI), Since April 2014: Director, Mitigation and Adaptation Research Institute (MARI), Old Dominion University, Norfolk, VA, USA (June 2013 - present).

As Professor, primary duties are research in OEAS and teaching related to climate change, sea level rise, mitigation, adaptation. As MARI director, primary duties are leading and developing MARI as a stakeholder-guided institute focusing on understanding current and future climate change impacts and developing adaptation to a changing climate and a variable sea level.

B.Director, Global Change and Sustainability Research Institute (GCSRI) and Chair on Global Change and Sustainability Research, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa (November 2012 to May 2013)

Primary duties were leading and developing the GCSRI and conducting research on climate change mitigation and adapation, and on sustainability and global change.

C. Visiting professor, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Jersey (July 2010 - Dec. 2015)

Primary duties are guest lectures and joint research collaboration.

D. Adjunct professor (Research professor prior to November 2012), jointly at Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology and Seismological Laboratory, University of Nevada, Reno (July 2004 - present)

Primary duties are research in geodesy with applications to problems in global geodynamics, global change, geohazards, and Earth observations.

E. Professor II (20 % position) at the Mathematical Institute of the University of Oslo for "Mathematical models in geodesy" (January 2000 to June 2004).

Teaching and research with respect to the mathematical concepts for global reference frames, geophysical models for solid Earth deformation and dynamics, and the gravity field of the Earth system.

F. Head of the department "Global reference" at the Geodetic Institute, Norwegian Mapping Authority, Norway (August 1997 to June 2004).

Responsible for the scientific development of the national permanent space-geodetic infrastructure, in particular VLBI and GPS, as well as the national gravity network and the geoid model. Responsible for the research carried out at the Geodetic Institute, which was related to the development of space-geodetic techniques, improvements of the global reference frame, improved understanding of the interactions of atmosphere, ocean and solid Earth and the effect on the geodetic reference frame, including surface displacements of the solid Earth and changes in the Earth's gravity field. Responsible for consultancy work in monitoring large infrastructure with space geodetic techniques.

G. Wissenschaftlicher Assistent (assistant professor) at the Institute of Geophysics, University of Kiel, Germany (March 1992 to July 1997; visiting scientist at Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, April 1995 - September 1995)

Teaching and research in the field of Geophysics, including studies of free oscillations of the Earth, Earth tides, surface-load induced deformation, post-glacial rebound, sea level changes, and Earth rotation. Participation in the management of the Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät (faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences); member of the University-wide working group `Zentrum für Umweltstudien' (Centre for Environmental Studies); participation in the `Graduiertenkolleg' (participation of approx. 20 phd students): `Dynamik globaler Kreisläufe im System Erde' (Dynamics of global cycles in the Earth system).

H. Post-doctoral research and teaching at the Geophysical Institute of the University of Kiel, Germany (December 1987 to February 1992)

Head of the study group `Global Geodynamics'; research projects: rheology of the Earth's mantle as constrained by free oscillation and Earth tidal data as well as observations of post-glacial rebound; effect of Earth tides on satellite orbits; exogenic deformations of the Earth; Earth rotation perturbations induced by exogenic forces; long-period sea-level variations; interaction of atmosphere, ocean, and solid Earth; physical properties of sediments in Mexico City in relation to earthquake hazards.

I. Research Geophysicist at the Free University of Berlin (March 1982 - April 1983; May 1984 - December 1987, in parallel free lance programmer from May 1984 - December 1987)

Earth and ocean tides studies; long-period atmosphere and ocean interactions; Earth rotation and sea level studies.


Deminex Grant at the Continental Shelf Institute, Trondheim, Norway; long-period atmosphere and ocean interactions, 1983-1984.
Visiting Senior Scientist (EU `Human Capital and Mobility' Fellowship) at the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, Birkenhead, UK, 1995.
Fellow of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG), 2007


2017Chair, Program Committee of the GEO Workshop on "Implementation and Monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals in the Caribbean: The Role of the Ocean" to be held in 2017 on Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
2016Chair, Program Committee of the 5th GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Workshop "Linking the Sustainable Development Goals to Earth Observation, Models and Capacity Building" held in Berkeley, CA, USA in December 2016.
2015Member, GEO Ministerial Summit Working Group.
Since 2015Member, Steering Committee of the GEO Blue Planet Initiative.
Since 2014Co-Chair, IEEE/OES Technical Committee on Earth Observations.
Since 2014Co-Chair of the Coastal Vulnerability Initiative of the Community Surface Dynamics Modeling System.
2014Co-Convener of the Session on Extreme Geohazards and Global Disasters at the International Disaster and Risk Conference 2014, August 2014, Davos, Switzerland.
2012-2013Co-Chair, Program Committee of the 3rd GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Workshop "Navigating Sustainability on a Changing Planet" and the 4th Workshop "Concepts, Technologies, Systems and Users of the next GEOSS" held in Norfolk, VA, USA in March 2015.
2012-2015Lead Author of the community white paper "Extreme Geohazards: Reducing the Disaster Risk and Increasing Resilience" supported by the European Science Foundation.
2011 - 2012Co-Chair, Program Committee of the 2nd GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Network Workshop "GEOSS: Supporting Science for the Millennium Development Goals and Beyond", Bonn, Germany, August 2012.
2011 - 2013Co-chair, Program Committee for the Fifth IGCP 565 Project Workshop on "Improving regional water management in Africa and Asia on the basis of geodetic water cycle monitoring", October 2012, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2011Co-Convener of the Session "Characterizing Major Disasters Caused by Geohazards," AGU Fall Meeting, December 2011, San Francisco.
2010 - 2012Co-chair, Program Committee for the Fourth IGCP 565 Project Workshop on "Integration of geodetic observations and products in models of the hydrological cycle - Support for water management through hydrological models and data assimilation", November 22-23, 2011, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2011 - 2012Co-Chair, European Science Foundation Workshop "Understanding Extreme Geohazards: The Science of the Disaster Risk Management Cycle", November 28-December 1, 2011, Sant Feliu de Guixous, Spain.
Since 2011IEEE Representative to the GEO Work Plan Task ID-03 "Science and Technology in GEO." Task Coordinator and Task Component 1 Point of Contact
Since 2011IEEE/ID03 Representative to the Institutional and Development Implementation Board of GEO
Since 2011IEEE/GHCP Representative to the Societal Benefits Implementation Board of GEO
2010-2011Co-Chair, Program Committee of the Workshop "Building a User-Driven GEOSS: Methods to Capture, Analyze, and Prioritize User Needs, April 10, 2011, Sydney, Australia.
2010 - 2011Member, GEO Task Force on Gap Analysis.
2010-2011Co-Chair, Program Committee of the 1st GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Workshop "Connecting GEOSS and its Stakeholders in Science and Technology", Bonn, Germany, May 9-11, 2011.
2010-2011Member, Program Committee for the Workshop "Earth Observation Support for Sustainable Tourism in Small Island States", March, 9-11, 2011, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
2010-2011Co-chair, Program Committee for the third IGCP 565 Project Workshop on "Separating Hydrological and Tectonic Signals in Geodetic Observations", October 11-13, 2010, Reno, Nevada, USA.
2010Member, Organizing Committee for the US-Africa Workshop on "Expanding the AfricaArray Network to Support Multidisciplinary Science in Africa", June 2-4, 2010, Washington, D.C., USA.
2010Member, Program Committee for the Workshop "Decision-Making Support For Coastal Zone Management, Water Resources & Climate Change In Africa", February, 15-18, 2010, Cotonou, Benin.
2010Co-chair of the Program Committee for the Workshop "Building a Geohazards Community of Practice in Support of GEO Work Plan Tasks and GEOSS Implementation," January 18-22, 2010, Paris, France.
2010-2011IEEE Representative to the GEO Science and Technology Committee
2010-2011IEEE Representative to the GEO User Interface Committee
Since 2010Co-Chair, GEOSS Science and Technology Stakeholder Network.
2009Co-Convener of four sessions, AGU Fall Meeting, December 2008, San Francisco ("Severe Storms and Sea level Rise: A Challenge for Science and Society," "Extreme Natural Hazards: Risk Assessments, Forecasting, and Decision Support," "The Global Geodetic Observing System: Scientific Requirements and Applications," "Science and Technology in GEO and GEOSS").
2009Co-chair of the Program Committee, Second Annual Workshop of the IGCP 565 Project "Towards a Roadmap for Future Satellite Gravity Missions", September 30 - October 2, 2009, Graz, Austria
2009Co-Convener, "Earth observation and the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS)", Session at the IAG Symposium "The Global Geodetic Observing System: Science and Applications", August 31-September 4, 2009, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2009Co-Convener, "The Global Geodetic Observing System: Ground and Space-based Infrastructure for Earth Science", Session G8, EGU General Assembly, April 2009, Vienna, Austria
Since 2009Co-Chair, Geohazards Community of Practice of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).
2009 - 2011Point of Contact and Task Lead for the GEO Task ST-09-02 "Promoting Awareness and Benefits of GEO in the Science and Technology Community"
2008Co-Convener, "Global Geodetic Observing System: Science and Instrumentation", Sessions G31C and G33A, AGU Fall Meeting, December 2008, San Francisco.
Since 2008Member of the GGOS ad hoc Working Group on an ITRS ISO Standard
2008Chair of the Program Committee, First Annual Workshop of the IGCP 565 Project "Science of geodetic monitoring of the hydrological cycle", December 2008, San Francisco, USA
2008Co-Convener, "Earth observation and the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS)", Session at the IAG Symposium "Gravity, Geoid and Earth Observation GGEO 2008", June 23-27, 2008, Chania, Crete, Greece.
2008Co-Chair of the Program Committee of the first GEO Workshop of the Coastal Zone Community of Practice: "GEOSS Support for Decision-Making in the Coastal Zone: Managing and Mitigating the Impacts of Human Activities and Natural Hazards in the Coastal Zone", June 2008, Athens, Greece
Since 2008Co-Chair of the GEO Coastal Zone Community of Practice (CZCP)
2008Panel member, "Climate Change and Transportation Panel", Water Canada, May 14, 2008.
2008Co-Convener, "GGOS: Observing and Interpreting Earth's Mass Transports", Session G12, EGU General Assembly, April 2008, Vienna, Austria
2008Member of the Science Advisory Group for the Delta Commission of the Dutch Parliament on future sea level changes
2008-2012Lead Project Leader of the IGCP 565 Project "Developing the Global Geodetic Observing System into a Monitoring System for the Global Water Cycle"
2007-2010GGOS Representative to the GEO Science and Technology Committee
2007Organization of the GEO/GGOS Workshop 2007, November 2007, Frascati, Italy
2007-2013Member of IAG's Inter-Commission Working Group 2 "Concepts and Terminology related to Geodetic Reference Systems"
2007-2010Chair of the GGOS Working Group on GEO Relations
2007IAG/GGOS Representative in the GEO Task Force 2 for the preparation of the Ministerial Summit on Earth Observation
Since 2007Member of the GEO "Coastal Zone" Community of Practice
2006Organization of the GGOS Workshop 2006, October 2006, Munich, Germany
2006-2010GGOS Representative to the GEO Architecture and Data Committee
Since 2007Point of Contact and Task Lead for the GEO Task DA-09-02c (former AR-07-03) "Global Geodetic Reference Frames"
2006-2009Coordinator and Lead Editor of the GGOS 2020 Strategy Process: "The Global Geodetic Observing System: Meeting the Requirements of a Global Society on a Changing Planet in 2020"
2005-2008GGOS Representative to the Joint GARS and IGOS-P Steering Committee for the Geohazards Theme
2005-2010GGOS Representative to the GEO User Interface Committee
2005-2010Vice-chair of the Steering Committee of the Global Geodetic Observing System (GGOS) and member of the Executive Committee
2005-2007IAG delegate to the GEO Working Group on Tsunami activities
2005-2006Principle Investigator, "Appraisal of relative sea level rise scenarios for Venice"
2004-2005Principle Investigator, "National geodetic infrastructure - current status and future requirements"
2004-2009Member of the IAG Delegation to the annual GEO Plenary and Ministerial Summits on Earth Observations, Deputy head of delegation
2004-2012Member of the Advicory Committee for the IERS Conventions
2004-2006External Expert member of the Project Team, European Sea Level Service Research Infrastructure (ESEAS-RI)
2004-2005IAG delegate to the GEO Working Group "User requirements"
2004-2006Chair of the GGOS working group "Copyrights, Data Access Policy, Publishing, and Certification"
Since 2002Associate Member of the International Earth Rotation Service
2002-2004Principle investigator, "Determination of geodetic coordinates of the EGNOS RIMS and NLES sites"
2002-2004Coordinator, Norwegian Research Project OCTAS "Ocean Circulation and Transport between North Atlantic and Arctic Sea"
2002-2004Coordinator, EU-Project "ESEAS-Research Infrastructure"
2002-2004Principle investigator, Galileo System Test Bed V1 Stand-alone Test Case "Geodetic Galileo"
Since 2002Co-chair, Special Bureau for Loading of the Global Geophysical Fluid Center of the IERS, since 2004 chair
2001-2004Director, Central Bureau of the European Sea Level Service (ESEAS)
2000-2004National Delegate, IAG Commission V and XIV.
Since 2000Associated Member of the International VLBI Service
2000Organisation of the IGS Network Workshop and the COST 716 Workshop "Towards operational GPS-Meteorology" in Oslo, Norwegen
2000-2006Secretary of the EGS subsection II.B2: "Global and Regional Interdisciplinary Networks"
1999-2004National Delegate & Co-chair (since 2001), COST Action 716: "Exploitation of ground-based GPS for climate and numerical weather prediction applications"
Since 1998Associated member of the International GPS Service
1998Organisation of the WEGENER 98 meeting in Norway
1998-2002Chair of the COST Action 40 "European Sea Level Observing System (EOSS)", including the organization of biannual meetings and two international workshops.
1997-2004Member of the Ny-Alesund Science Manager Committee (NySMAC)
1997-2002Responsible Scientist in the EU TMR Project "VLBI-Europe" and the EU-funded Large Scale Facility Ny-Alesund
Since 1996Editor-in-Chief (for Geodesy) of Physics and Chemistry of the Earth
1996-2000Secretary of the EGS subsection II.5: "Geodetic aspects of global change phenomena"
Since 1994Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Geodynamics
Since 1992Several times convener at annual meetings of the EGS/EGU, the German Geophysical Society, AGU, as well as IUGG assemblies
1995-1999Chairperson of the Science Panel of the WEGENER Board
1995-1999Contractor of the EU project SELF II
1993-1994Subcontractor of the EU project SELF
1989-1999Member of the WEGENER-Consortium and participation in the DOSE-Programme of NASA
1989-1997Participation in the German national Earth rotation research programme
1988-1995Participation in the LAGEOS-II-Programme of NASA and ASI


More than 60 publications in peer-reviewed journals and proceedings, more than 150 contributions to books, newsletters, and proceedings, numerous technical reports, and more than 250 presentations at scientific meetings. A full publication list is available at http://www.mari-odu.org/people/hpplag/publications.php.

Last edited 02 December 2016