Stephen Pickrom | Staff Writer

George Maul, the beloved head of Florida Tech’s Department of Marine and Environmental Systems, passed away on Sept. 16. He was 82. 

Adam Lowenstein, director of media communications at Florida Tech, described Maul as an “oceanographer and educator with a disarming smile and limitless curiosity who made a profound impact on marine and environmental science programs at Florida Tech as a department head, advocate, fundraiser and speaker,” in an emailed statement to the Florida Tech community.

Maul first came to Florida Tech in 1994, and over the course of 26 years, supervised 250 undergraduate students and 15 faculty members in oceanography, earth remote sensing, ocean engineering and environmental science.

He also founded the undergraduate and graduate meteorology programs and the graduate earth remote sensing program, raising over $4 million in fellowships, scholarships and a professorship.

Maul published over 200 journal articles, books and technical reports on oceanography and meteorology, among the most recent being 2017’s “The Oceanographer’s Companion: Essential Nautical Skills for Seagoing Scientists and Engineers.”

Maul was an Eagle Scout for over 59 years, with the Boy Scouts being as important to his life as oceanography. Maul was awarded the National Eagle Scout Association’s Outstanding Eagle Scout Award in 2018, marking him as one of the top adult Eagle Scouts in Central Florida.

A number of Florida Tech faculty spoke of Maul in respect and admiration, including Rich Aronson, the department head of ocean engineering and marine sciences, working together to better the programs in which they were involved.

“My sweetest memory of him is a simple thing,” Aronson wrote, “I was driving onto University Boulevard on my way home one evening a couple of years ago and there was George, ever the Eagle Scout, picking up cigarette butts from Florida Tech’s grounds.”

Maul was named Florida Tech’s College of Engineering Teacher of the Year by the student government only three years after his arrival, and many other awards followed. 

These include but are not limited to the Faculty Senate Excellence Award for Teaching in 1998, the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award in 2010, and the Faculty Senate Excellence Award for Service in 2015.

Funeral services were held on Oct. 3. The service was carried via Zoom and over Facebook Live, with attendance limited to Dr. Maul’s family and immediate friends. He will be cremated and his ashes buried in St. Sebastian’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church’s memorial garden.

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