Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 16 Issue 03

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Volume 16, No. 3
Pages 3 - 3


QUARTERDECK • The Lighthouse That is Scripps

Richard W. Spinrad
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This is the largest issue of Oceanography ever published. That fact, in itself, is testimony to the magnitude of the tribute that this issue represents. One hundred years is, arguably, not a particularly long time. However some claim that this period represents the majority of the history of oceanography as a discipline, and certainly the era during which most of our scientific and technical accomplishments have been realized. Consequently, it is a great honor for The Oceanography Society, and for me, personally, to have this magazine serve a primary role in the chronicling of the evolution of Scripps Institution of Oceanography over the last century.

Editing this issue of Oceanography has been a special treat. Every one of the articles contained herein has a distinct flavor of passion and affection not normally found in the pages of this magazine. My usual editorial approach of dispassion was simply not possible this time. Instead of spending my typical two hours reviewing each manuscript, I found myself absorbed in the text and the images for three or more hours in every case. Warning to the reader: your imagination will take control as you read these articles!

Ask a literate bystander what we’ve learned about the earth and its oceans in the last hundred years, and he or she will likely include such topics as climate (i.e. global climate change or coupled ocean-atmosphere systems or biogeochemical cycling), fisheries (i.e. living marine resources), oil and gas (i.e. non-living resources), undersea topography (i.e. tectonics and geophysics), and many others (although I venture to guess that this literate bystander would use slightly different jargon!). Then leaf through these pages and you will find wonderful descriptions of the role that Scripps researchers have played in laying much of the scientific foundation for what we have learned in one hundred years in each of these areas.

A final note. When the staff at Scripps first approached the Council of The Oceanography Society with a proposal to dedicate an issue of this magazine to the Scripps centennial, there was some concern about setting a precedent for the magazine to do the same for other oceanographic institutions. My message now is simple: what an outstanding precedent to set!

To all of the Scripps ‘family’ I wish you fair winds and following seas as you cruise into your second century.

– Richard W. Spinrad, Editor


Spinrad, R.W. 2003. Quarterdeck: The lighthouse that is Scripps. Oceanography 16(3):3, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2003.44.

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