LeRoy Dorman, Professor Emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at UC San Diego characterizes most of his life as “having been spent looking for fun things to do and mostly finding them”. LeRoy grew up in Macon, Georgia where he attended an all boy’s high school and Georgia‘s Institute of Technology where he received a B.S. in 1960. It was here that he met Inez Jones “his friend and wife for 54 years”. When sharing tales from his Navy days, LeRoy says, “The US Navy kindly agreed to cover most of my expenses and to dub me Ensign, USN in return for a piece of my life. During the summers between school years, the Navy provided cruise-ship entertainment for two summers; the Battleship WISCONSIN (BB64) took me from Norfolk to Puerto Rico to Cuba to Panama to Chile and back and the Escort Destroyer CONWAY (DDE507) took me to Halifax and Bermuda. In between the cruises I went to Corpus Christi, TX to be introduced to aviation (flying a jet trainer for about 30 seconds) and to Little Creek, VA for introduction to the amphibious part of the Navy (jumping out of a landing craft and running on the sand). All pretty much fun.” After his Expiration of Active Obligated Service in the Navy, LeRoy returned to school and earned his MS and PhD in Geophysics from the University of Wisconsin. While he participated in field work, his theses would be classified as mostly theoretical (Potential Theory). “Technically, I showed that the geological Isostatic Problem was a linear Fredholm equation and that, using statistical signal processing, the Green's function could be extracted from gravity and topographic data. The Green's function had an analytic inverse, which is to say that the problem is solvable exactly. This provided the foundation for the widely-used maps of the seafloor derived from satellite sea-surface height measurements.” From 1969 to 1971, LeRoy became a Carnegie Fellow at the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism.
In 1971 LeRoy went to work in Miami as a Research Geophysicist at the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory of NOAA. There he conducted oceanic surveys aboard the NOAA ships RESEARCHER and DISCOVERER in the Equatorial Atlantic. He joined Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) in 1973 and became interested in doing active-source seismology using seafloor instruments and in developing and operating Ocean-Bottom Seismographs. LeRoy served as
Director of the Geological Research Division, Chair of the SIO Graduate Department
(appointive offices) and Chair of the Faculty of SIO (elective). Much of his time at SIO was spent conducting seismic studies of seafloor structure. He was at sea on approximately 60 cruises, mostly as Chief Scientist conducting research in the North Pacific Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Philippine Sea, and Southern Ocean.
LeRoy has written and collaborated on over 70 publications and is a member of the American Geophysical Union, Seismological Society of America, Acoustical Society of America, and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. He is now retired and mostly does what he wants including a little teaching, working with students and photographing birds. Last November, LeRoy was seen aboard the R/V Robert Gordon Sproul, recovering Ocean-Bottom Seismographs and just recently he was having fun on a birding trip to photograph some of the birds of Cuba.