Dr. Marcia Isakson received a B.S. with a double major in engineering physics and mathematics from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, in 1992. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Hertz Foundation Fellowship for the study of atomic and molecular physics. She earned her M.A. in atomic and molecular physics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1994. From 1994 to 1997, Isakson served as an officer in the United States Army at Fort Hood, Texas. In 1997, CPT Isakson was honorably discharged. In 2002, she earned a Ph.D. from The University of Texas at Austin. In the summer of 2001, she began work on acoustics at Applied Research Laboratories at the University of Texas at Austin.
Currently, Dr. Isakson is the principal investigator on two Office of Naval Research Projects at the Applied Research Laboratories. The first investigates acoustic interactions with ocean sediments. This involves both experimental measurements, in the laboratory and in situ, and modeling of scattering, reflection and transmission at the ocean bottom using finite elements. Dr. Isakson has led the ARL effort on three sea tests, one domestic and two international in support of this project. She is also leading a project to classify ocean sediments from autonomous underwater vehicles using existing sonar systems. Dr. Isakson's other research interests are finite element modeling of shallow water propagation, acoustic propagation through poro-elastic materials and inversion of reflection coefficient measurements for sediment properties.