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Reference Resources for Exploring the World Ocean by Chamberlin and Dickey, 2008

The following references were used in preparation of the text. They are provided here for students and instructors who wish to gain a broader knowledge and explore further the concepts and ideas presented in the textbook. References with an asterisk (*) are in Professor Sean’s collection. Feel free to ask about them. And if you know of a good reference that we have omitted, please let us know! (schamberlin@fullcoll.edu)
EWO photo

Historical Oceanography

worksheets | activities | animations | presentations | audio | video | references | links ____________________________________________________________________

*Benson, Keith R. and Philip F. Rehbock. 2002. Oceanographic History: The Pacific and Beyond. University of Washington Press: WA


*Corfield, R.M. 2005. Silent Landscape: The Scientific Voyage of the HMS Challenger. Joseph Henry Press: Washington DC.

Corfield adds a modern voice to the description of this amazing early oceanographic expedition.


*Forman, Will. 1999. The History of American Deep Submersible Operations. Best Publishing: AZ

This useful book traces the history of design and manufacture of submersibles in the US. It’s also the story of the men who dreamed of underwater travel and their successes and failures in making it happen.


*Hamblin, Jacob Darwin. 2005. Oceanographers and the Cold War: Disciples of Marine Science. University of Washington Press: WA


*Kunzig, Robert. 2000. Mapping the Deep: The Extraordinary Story of Ocean Science. W.W. Norton and Company, New York.

This book is praised for its highly readable account of the voyages of ocean discovery.


*Philbrick, Nathaniel. 2003. Sea of Glory: America’s Voyage of Discovery, The US Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842.

Not only does Philbrick’s book give an outstanding account of the scientific challenges and accomplishments, it portrays the “anti-intellectual” atmosphere of the early 1800s and the difficulties with getting the expedition funded. The story resonates for modern expeditions as well.



*Rozwadowski, Helen. 2005. Fathoming the Ocean: The Discovery and Exploration of the Deep Sea. Belnap Press: MA

Reference for: Chapter 12, The Foundations of Evolutionary Theory

This book covers the broad history of ocean exploration and motivation for the scientific exploration of the oceanbut includes an extensive account of early efforts to disprove Forbes’ azoic hypothesis.


*Ghosts of the Abyss. 2004. Walt Disney video (DVD)

Cameron returns to the Titanic with a documentary that explores the ship and its tragic fate.


*Secrets of the Titanic. 1999. National Geographic. (DVD)

This is an excellent account of Ballard’s discovery of the Titanic. A great lesson in underwater exploration using ships, multibeam sonar, and ROVs.


Davis, R. E., C. C. Eriksen, and C. P. Jones (2003), Autonomous buoyancy-driven underwater gliders. In Technology and Applications of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Chapter 3. G. Griffiths, ed. Taylor and Francis, London.

Reference for: Chapter 8, Spotlight 8.2

*Cox, John D. 2002. Storm Watchers: The Turbulent History of Weather Prediction from Franklin’s Kite to El Nino. John Wiley and Sons: NJ.

*Hearn, Chester. Tracks in the Sea: Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Mapping of the Oceans. Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill. 2002.

*Stommel, Henry. 1987. A View of the Sea: A Discussion between a Chief Engineer and an Oceanographer about the Machinery of Ocean Circulation. Princeton University Press: NJ.

Benjamin Franklin. 2002. PBS (DVD).

Benjamin Franklin: Citizen of the World. 2006. A&E (DVD)

*Cartwright, D.E. 2003. Tides: A Scientific History. Cambridge University Press: MA.

Reference for: Chapter 11, A Brief History

*Stott, Rebecca. 2003. Darwin and the Barnacle: The Story of One Tiny Creature and History’s Most Spectacular Scientific Breakthrough. Norton: NY

Reference for: Chapter 12, The Foundations of Evolutionary Theory

This book brings to the forefront Darwin’s painstaking and highly important work on barnacles. It might be argued that Darwin formulated his ideas about evolution and natural selection from studying barnacles. Although this is a “storybook”, in the sense that it weaves a narrative about Darwin’s barnacle work, it does illuminate this important and little known work in an engaging and instructive manner.

*Rudwick, Martin J. S. 1997. Georges Cuvier, Fossil Bones, and Geological Catastrophes. University of Chicago Press: IL

In this book, Rudwick translates Cuvier’s essential scientific works. He also provides an insightful introduction to each chapter within the context of modern views of Cuvier’s theories. As the role of catastrophism in the evolution of life is better understood, Cuvier’s insights may take on greater meaning.

*Tamm, Eric Enno. 2004. Beyond the Outer Shores: The Untold Story of Ed Ricketts, the Pioneering Ecologist Who Inspired John Steinbeck and Joseph Campbell. Raincoast Books: Canada.

Ed “Doc” Ricketts was perhaps a man ahead of his time. Now recognized as a groundbreaking marine ecologist, this book gives him the credit he is due.

*Thomson, Sir Wyville. 1873. The Depths of the Sea: An Account of the General Results of the Dredging Cruises of the H. M. SS. Porcupine and Lightning During the Summers of 1868, 1869, and 1870, Under the Scientific Direction of Dr. Carpenter, F. R. S., J. Gwyn Jeffries, F. R. D., and Dr. Wyville Thomson, F. R. S.. MacMillan: NY.

Here is a narrative of an oceanographer who sets out to investigate the distribution of life on the seafloor. It is a testament to hypothesis testing using geological, physical, chemical, and biological observations of nature, and to the scientific fervent brought by Forbes, Darwin, and Wallace. What separates these types of texts from modern ones is that the writer exposes his thinking and though process through the narrative. As a result, the reader gains a much fuller sense of the mysteries and challenges faced by scientists.

*Rozwadowski, Helen M. 2002. The Sea Knows No Boundaries: A Century of Marine Science Under ICES. International Council for the Exploration of the Sea, University of Washington Press: WA

*Kline, Benjamin. 2000. First Along the River: A Brief History of the U.S. Environmental Movement. 2nd edition. Rowman and Littlefield.

Reference for: Chapter 15, A Brief History of the Environmental Movement, Marine Protected Areas

*National Research Council. 2000. 50 Years of Ocean Discovery: National Science Foundation: 1950-2000. National Academy Press: Washington, DC.

*Dailey, Murray, Donald Reisch, and Jack Anderson. 1993. Ecology of the Southern California Bight: A Synthesis and Interpretation. University of California Press: Berkeley, CA.

This compilation includes articles from some of the most prominent oceanographers in this business. It is likely the most complete summary of the California Bight published to date. Notable chapters include the geologic setting (Dailey, Anderson, Reish, and Gorsline), the physical oceanography (Hickey), phytoplankton (Hardy), zooplankton (Dawson and Pieper), benthic macrophytes (Murray and Bray), and Benthic Invertebrates (Thompson, Dixon, Schroeter, and Reisch), among others.

*Idyll, C.P.,ed. 1972. Exploring the Ocean World: The History of Oceanography. Thomas Y. Crowell: NY

This book chronicles the historical development of geological, physical, chemical, and biological oceanography, along with other ocean topics. It provides a wealth of historical detail within the context of the discipline as opposed to a general, timeline of ocean science. Thus, results from the Challenger Expedition are discussed in several chapters. We believe this approach to the history of oceanography lets students better witness the way in which science progresses as new knowledge and technology arise.

*Linklater, Eric. 1972. The Voyage of the Challenger. Doubleday: NY

This colorfully illustrated distillation of the Challenger Expedition provides a nice story of the scientists and their findings. Its biggest assets are the color plates taken from original photographs aboard the expedition, including a very nice one of diatoms in polarized light.

*Viola, Herman and Carolyn Margolis, eds. 1985. Magnificent Voyagers: The US Exploring Expedition, 1838-1843. Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington DC.

The US Exploring Expedition, though less well known than the Challenger Expedition, made a number of important contributions to oceanography and science. This lavishly illustrated book, written as an accompaniment to a Smithsonian exhibition, chronicles the expedition.

Ellis, George E. 1880. Memoir of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, With Notices of His Daughter. Claxton, Remsen, and Haffelfinger: PA.

Reference for: Chapter 9, The Foundations of Dynamical Physical Oceanography.

Heiligman, Deborah. 1999. The Mysterious Highway: Benjamin Franklin and the Gulf Stream. Steck-Vaughn: TX.

Reference for: Chapter 9, The Foundations of Dynamical Physical Oceanography.

Warren, Bruce A. and Carl Wunsch. 1981. Evolution of Physical Oceanography: Scientific Surveys in Honor of Henry Stommel. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MA.

Reference for: Chapter 9, The Foundations of Dynamical Physical Oceanography, General Patterns of Deep Circulation, T-S Diagrams, Water Mass Identification

This is a rare and incredibly insightful and useful volume on ocean circulation. With contributions from a Who’s Who of physical oceanography, this volume serves as a review of oceanographic thinking about ocean circulation circa 1980.

Wust, George. 1935 (1978). The Stratosphere of the Atlantic Ocean: Scientific Results of the German Atlantic Expedition of the Research Vessel “Meteor” 1925-1927. Translated by William J. Emery. Amerind Publishing: New Delhi

Reference for: Chapter 9, The Foundations of Dynamical Physical Oceanography.

*Raitt, Helen, and Beatrice Moulton. 1967. Scripps Institution of Oceanography: First Fifty Years. The Ward Ritchie Press.

Reference for: Chapter 12, Vertical Migration

*Daniel, R. J., ed. 1934. James Johnstone Memorial Volume. University Press of Liverpool: UK

Dedicated to James Johnstone, a fisheries oceanographer who inspired others and provided many insights into the relationship between physical processes, plankton, and fishes. 

*Ekman, Sven. 1953 (1967). Zoogeography of the Sea. Sidgwick and Jackson: UK.

They say that modern science often “rediscovers” historical science. Long before oceanographers gave much thought to biomes and ocean biogeography, Ekman wrote this book. It provides an outstanding overview of scientific thinking on this subject in the early 1900s. The bibliography offers a gateway to the historic literature on ocean biogeography.

*Larsh, Ed B. 1997. Doc’s Lab: Myth and Legends of Cannery Row. PBL Press: CA

A bit of history about Doc Ed Ricketts, an unparalleled marine biologist, and inhabitant of the world famous Cannery Row.

*Murray, Sir John, and Dr. Johan Hjort. 1912. The Depths of the Ocean: A General Account of the Modern Science of Oceanography Based Largely on the Scientific Researches of the Norwegian Steamer Michael Sars in the North Atlantic. Macmillan: London.

This amazing turn-of-the-century oceanography textbook covers sediments, chemistry, physics, and the biology of the sea. Lavishly illustrated with color, fold-out maps, and highly detailed in its descriptions, this book is a delightful narrative on 19th century oceanography. This book should be read by every oceanographer for the insights it contains on physical-biological interactions. The kernels of our modern-day thinking are there!


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