Larry Robinson is a Distinguished Professor in the School of the Environment (SOE) at Florida A&M University (FAMU). Previously he served as the Interim President at FAMU from July 2012 to April 2014, Director of FAMU’s Environmental Sciences Institute from 1997 to 2003, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs from 2003 to 2005, Interim President in 2007, and Vice President for Research in 2009. From 2001 to 2010, he served as Director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Environmental Cooperative Science Center housed at FAMU. His research interests include environmental chemistry, environmental radiochemistry and environmental policy and management. In 2007-2009, Robinson served as Senior Scientific Advisor at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service. In May 2010, Robinson took a leave of absence from FAMU to serve in a U.S. Senate confirmed position as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Conservation and Management at NOAA. While there, he supported and managed NOAA’s coastal and marine programs, including marine sanctuaries for preserving areas of special national significance, fisheries management and preparation of nautical charts. He also supported NOAA’s participation in addressing the BP oil spill crisis and served on the Ocean Policy Task Force and Gulf Coast Restoration Task Force. In addition to his US Senate Confirmation Hearing in March 2010, Robinson testified at a US House of Representatives Hearing on “Combating the BP Oil Spill” in May 2010 and a US Senate Hearing on “The Use of Dispersants for the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill” in July 2010.
Robinson was asked to return to the university as a special assistant to the FAMU president in November 2011 and was selected again as Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs in March 2012. In 1984 – 1997, Robinson served as a Research Scientist and Group Leader of a neutron activation analysis (NAA) facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, (ORNL). His research responsibilities at ORNL included trace element analysis in environmental science, epidemiology, forensics, material science and paleontology; environmental radiochemistry; and nuclear safeguards and non-proliferation.
Robinson served as a member of the Ocean Research and Resources Advisory Panel (and Chair of the Ocean Observing Sub-panel); founding member of the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors; founding member of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) Science Technology Education Advisory Committee (STEAC); member of ORNL’s Environmental Sciences Division’s External Advisory Board; member of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation Environmental Management Site Specific Advisory Board; and a member of the Florida Chapter of the Nature Conservancy Board of Trustees. Robinson has served on the National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Mine Placement of Coal Combustion Wastes, NRC Committee on Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem and the NRC Committee to Review the Corps of Engineers Florida Aquifer Storage and Recovery Technical Data Report.
Robinson attended Lemoyne-Owen College, earned a B.S. in chemistry summa cum laude from Memphis State University and a Ph.D. in nuclear chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.