Mr. Maxim van Norden

Coordinator of the Hydrographic Science Masters Degree Program & Instructor

Mr. van Norden assumed his present position in January 2009 after retiring with 36 years of service with the Naval Oceanographic Office. He held numerous positions concerning the coordination and oversight of the multimillion dollar Navy hydrographic program. He has served twice as a member of the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) S-44 Hydrographic Survey Standards Committee (1997 & 2007) and as a member of the IHO Committee on Hydrographic Requirements for Information Systems (CHRIS) from 2003 to 2008. Currently he is a member of the NSPS-THSOA Hydrographer Certification Board. His research interests include:

  • Acquire bathymetry and other water quality data using crowdsourcing  which will provide repetitive and constant observations in heavily trafficked areas, data observations in areas rarely visited by researchers, critical environmental data for the oceanographic and maritime community within a short timeframe, and engagement of the public to the mapping of our coastal zone.
  • Improving the speed from data collection to product delivery, particularly for military applications, using both unconventional technology and procedures.
  • Using the ellipsoid as the vertical datum to both meet the delivery needs of military applications in littoral and riverine environments but also to seek improvements in data accuracy that can be used by the civil community.


  • Introduction to Hydrography (MAR412)
  • Law and Policy for Hydrographic Science (HYD603)
  • Nautical Cartography and GIS (HYD606)
  • Practical Hydrographic Science (HYD608)
  • Hydrographic Science Field Project (HYD610)
  • Remote Sensing for Hydrographers (HYD611)

Selected Publications

Van Norden, M.F. 2014. "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley, guest expert on Malaysian Airlines MH370 underwater search, CNN aired 9:00 AM Sunday, March 23, 2014.

Van Norden, M.F. 2014. Mississippi Public Radio interview on Malaysian Airlines MH370 underwater search with Esra Wall, aired 8:30 AM, Friday, March 14, 2014.

Van Norden, M.F., P. Cooper, J. Hersey. 2013. Crowdsourced Bathymetry, One Solution for Addressing Nautical Chart Deficiencies. U.S. Hydro 2013 Technical Papers, March 2013.

Van Norden, M.F. and J. Hersey. 2012. Crowdsourcing for Hydrographic Data, A Tool for Updating Nautical Charts. Hydro International, Oct. 2012, vol. 17, No. 7.

Van Norden, M.F. 2012. Crowdsourcing for Hydrographic Data: A Preliminary Examination of Collected Data and Recommendations for its Effective Utilization, Proc., CARIS 2012 Conference, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Van Norden, M.F. 2012. How Large Ships Use Navigation Systems. NPR Science Friday Interview with Ira Flatow. Jan. 20, 2012.

Van Norden, M.F., R.W. Ladner, and E. Arroyo-Suarez. 2008. Developing a Concept of Operations for Military Surveys to IHO Standards Without Shore-based Stations. Proc. Canadian Hydro Conference 08. Victoria BC, Canada, May 5-8, 2008.