Manheim served as a senior ocean and earth scientist in the U.S. Geological Survey for 35 years. At USGS his areas of expertise included marine geochemistry, scientific drilling expeditions, offshore mineral resources, coastal hydrology, and environmental studies of estuarine and coastal sediments and waters. He participated in interagency panels and helped initiate cooperative research projects spanning industry, universities and NSF, EPA and international organizations. On leave from 1974-6 he served as Chairman, Department of Marine Science, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg.
Upon retirement from USGS Manheim joined George Mason University’s School of Public Policy (now the Schar School of Policy and Government) in 2003. His first major project at Mason was the origin of the conflict between environmentalists and industry in the United States. A book in 2009 reported that the unique impasse among advanced nations had roots in an offshore oil spill in 1969 and subsequent environmental legislation.
Subsequent research explored diverse aspects of U.S. policy history, including U.S. science agencies and environmental lawmaking, forest management policy, and renewable energy development. Accidental discovery of black high schools that outperformed white high schools in Kansas City during segregation triggered interest in U.S. educational history. The controversial election of Donald Trump led to examination of Trump’s background and overlooked publications; a planned book was not pursued.
A Federal Work-study research project on crime and policing in Virginia communities begun in 2016 was stimulated by Manheim’s earlier leadership of a Selectman-citizen research review of crime in Cape Cod MA in the early 1980s. A study of Maryland communities is now approaching completion.
Areas of Research
- U.S. Environmental and Natural Resources Policy (including energy)
- Renewable Energy Development
- History of U.S. Environmental and Land Use Laws
- Comparison of U.S. and European Science and Educational Policy
- History of U.S. Federal Science and Technology Agencies
- African American Educational History