Bruce Ray Rosendahl

Bruce Ray Rosendahl, 66, a resident of Annapolis for nine years, died on July 26, 2013, from multiple illnesses he battled for over a decade. He was previously a resident of Miami, Fla., Durham, N.C., La Jolla, Calif., and Honolulu, Hawaii.

He was born Dec. 28, 1946, in Jamestown, N.Y., to the late Raymond and Marjorie Rosendahl, and grew up on Lake Chautauqua learning to boat, fish and dive.

He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Susan Ellen Rosendahl, formerly Susan Andrews of New Bethlehem, Pa.; children: Tana Rene Rosendahl of Jamestown, N.Y., and Andrew Ray Rosendahl of New York City; grandson Jameson Truitt Trusler of Jamestown, N.Y.; sister Becky Ann Isaacson of Longmeadow, Massachusetts; nephews: Paul Barbee III and Dan Isaacson; and mother-in-law, Barbara Andrews of New Bethlehem, Pa.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geology and a Master of Science degree in geophysics from the University of Hawaii, in 1970 and 1971. He earned a doctoral degree in earth sciences in 1976 at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego. His Ph.D. dissertation involved the use of seismic methodology to image a zone beneath the East Pacific Rise.

Dr. Rosendahl joined the faculty at Duke University in 1976 and during his tenure of 13 years launched Project PROBE, in which he and a team of scientists conducted seismic surveys of the African Great Lakes of Tanganyika, Malawi, Victoria and Turkana. The team’s work on the research vessel Nyanja led to new understandings about continental rift zones.

Dr. Rosendahl was the dean of the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami in 1989 1995 and professor in marine geology and geophysics (MGG) until he retired Professor Emeritus in 2004. He was the first recipient of the Lewis G. Weeks Chair in Geology. At his request, the proceeds of the Weeks endowment were used to guarantee salaries for young faculty within MGG.

Dr. Rosendahl is the author and co-author of several books, two seismic atlases and more than 65 papers in scientific journals. His volume African Rifting is a classic in the field. Editorial roles have included membership on the board of contributors for the Miami Herald newspaper, technical editor of Sea Frontiers magazine and adviser to Time-Life Books, PBS’s NOVA series and National Geographic magazine. His professional service has included membership on the Joint Oceanographic Institution’s board of governors, executive committee of JOIDES, Southern Association of Marine Laboratories, Council on Ocean Affairs, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, Interunion Commission on Lithosphere, Marine Geology Committee of the American Association for Petroleum Geologists and International Lithosphere Program. He was a trustee for the Miami Museum of Science and served on the board of directors for the Miami Marine Council and the Mari-time and Science Technology Academy.

A memorial service will be held Sunday, Aug. 25, at 2 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 171 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis, Md.

The family will bring him home to Lake Chautauqua in October. Online condolences may be made at

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Dr. Rosendahl’s memory to the The Key School in Annapolis, Md., which will be designated to the School’s endowment in support of science education and to the CHUMS Program (global partnership with Somers Park Primary School in England and Chumbageni Primary School in Tanzania, Africa).