Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 31 Issue 04

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Volume 31, No. 4
Pages 180 - 181

NEWS AND INFORMATION • Marine Sciences in Germany: The Restart in Kiel After World War II

Gerold Siedler Jörn ThiedeWalter Zenk
First Paragraph

The first German paper on oceanography was published in Kiel in 1697 (Kortum, 1994) at the beginning of the country’s long history in ocean science. Following successful development during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, culminating in the Atlantic Ocean Expedition of the first research vessel Meteor from 1925 to 1927 (Spiess, 1928), marine sciences almost disappeared from the defeated nation at the end of World War II. Because the country was mostly landlocked, it was not obvious to occupation authorities and German politicians that the country should again develop a strong marine science capacity. Nevertheless, the restart began, mostly at Kiel University and at the newly founded German Hydrographic Office in Hamburg.


Siedler, G., J. Thiede, and W. Zenk. 2018. Marine sciences in Germany: The restart in Kiel after World War II. Oceanography 31(4):180–181, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2018.422.


Kortum, G. 1994. Samuel Reyer (1635–1715) und sein “Experimentum Novum” [Samuel Reyer (1635–1715) and his “Experimentum Novum”]. Pp. 3–12 in 300 Jahre Meeresforschung an der Universität Kiel [300 Years of Marine Research at Kiel University]. B. Lohff, ed., Berichte aus dem Institut für Meereskunde, vol. 246, http://oceanrep.geomar.de/id/eprint/13968.

Spiess, F. 1928. Die Meteor Fahrt: Forschungen und Ergebnisse der Deutschen Atlantischen Expedition 1925–1927 [The Meteor Cruise: Research and Results from the German Atlantic Expedition 1925–1927]. Dietrich Reimer Verlag Berlin, 376 pp. English translation by W. J. Emery, 1985: The Meteor Expedition, Amerind Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, 429 pp.

Thiede, J., W.W. Hay, M. Sarnthein, P. Schäfer, G. Siedler, P. Stoffers, V. Storch, E. Suess, R. von Huene, P.C. Wille, and others. 2018. From a modest start to a flourishing marine research environment: The institutional development of marine geosciences in Kiel, Germany after World War II. Pp. 95–144 in Deutsches Schiffahrtsarchiv. Wissenschaftliches Jahrbuch des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, vol. 39, Bremerhaven, http://ww3.dsm.museum/​deutsches-​schiffahrtsarchiv-​39-2016.6253.de.html.

Zenk, W., G. Siedler, P.C. Wille, G. Wegner, J. Thiede, V. Storch, P. Speth, E. Ruprecht, M. Ehrhardt, and B. Zeitzschel. 2018. Early oceanography and the development of physical and chemical marine sciences in Kiel after World War II. Pp. 29–93 in Deutsches Schiffahrtsarchiv. Wissenschaftliches Jahrbuch des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, vol. 39, Bremerhaven, http://ww3.dsm.museum/deutsches-schiffahrtsarchiv-39-2016.6253.de.html.