The Team

Ship Location

E Pacific Ocean

Letha DeMont

Photo of Letha DeMont
Science/Data Team
Physical Scientist
Naval Oceanographic Office

Tell us about your work / research. What kinds of things do you do?

I am a Technical Lead for the Navigation Support Division of the Hydrographic Department at the Naval Oceanographic Office. I specialize in the mapping of the ocean floor using multibeam sonars and in the production of oceanographic charts. I often travel two months a year on a ship collecting oceanographic data around the world. I specialize in the mapping of seamounts. 

What sparked your initial interest in your career?

I started out in geology because I was interested in the sediments and the rocks and features associated with sedimentology. I specialized in sedimentology because of the Mississippi River Basin where I grew up. In graduate school, I took various classes on oceanographic sediments and formations. This peaked my interest and lead me to my current profession.

Who influenced you or encouraged you the most?

My parents always encouraged me to follow my heart and that lead me to the wonderful teachers at the University of Southern Mississippi. Dr. Dean Dunn and Dr. Maurice Meylan were my biggest influences in my love of geology and oceanographic sediments and fossils.

What element of your work / study do you think is the most fascinating?

The most fascinating aspect of my work is the travel around the world and the collection of multibeam data of the seafloor. I am extremely interested in the what the seafloor looks like that most people do not get to see. 

What other job led you to your current career?

None. I knew what I wanted to do and I wanted to stay close to home. So, I worked hard and excelled in geology, which lead me to the Naval Oceanographic Office. From there, I have worked hard to work my way up to where I am now.

What are your degrees and certifications?

Bachelor of Science in Geology - University of Southern Mississippi 2000; Masters of Science in Geology - University of Southern Mississippi 2003

What are your hobbies?

I love being around my family and traveling.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career like yours?

Learn the science. Learn how to apply the science. Excel at what you do. Don't give up on your dreams.