With a background in commercial explosives and diving, underwater photography and sonar, Atherton worked for and came to manage the Offshore Survey Division of CAN-DIVE Services Ltd., an internationally affiliated, commercial diving company in North Vancouver, British Columbia. The job took him worldwide for 16 years on a diversity of undersea challenges. WWII bomb recovery in Trinidad, deep-water pipeline route surveys, cable-lay operations, locating and recovering aircraft, ships and bodies, and working on underwater television and movie documentaries were all part of the business.
In 1991, Atherton was asked to join Simrad Mesotech Ltd. (now Kongsberg Mesotech Ltd.) where he remains involved in all aspects of sonar system development, testing, applications, operations and another passion—teaching operational underwater acoustics.
Atherton is a frequent guest lecturer at universities, colleges, international marine and security conferences, and private and governmental in-house training seminars. Having “been there, done that,” he brings to these presentations, and to Echoes and Images: The Encyclopedia of Side-Scan and Scanning Sonar Operations, tried and true perspectives of what it takes to get an underwater search or survey job done, and to make sure it’s done right.
Mark is married to his best friend and editor, Jane Lynn Atherton, and lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.