Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 17 Issue 04

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Volume 17, No. 4
Pages 216 - 217


The Sea's Enthrall: Memoirs of an Oceanographer

Reviewed by David W. Townsend | School of Marine Sciences, University of Maine, Orono, Maine, USA

First Paragraph

The name Timothy R. Parsons is immediately recognizable to biological oceanographers. Most of us have routinely used one or both of his manuals of sea water analysis (the first published with J.D.H. Strickland in 1965; the second with Y. Maita and C.M. Lalli in 1984), or we used as students (or teachers) the first bona fide textbook on biological oceanography, published with M. Takahashi in 1973 (and which also saw later revisions). In nearing the end of a remarkable career, Parsons tells us here, in simple language and few words, a short story of his life, from his early childhood years in England and Ceylon, up to and including his winning The Japan Prize in 2001. He brings us through his life’s landmark events—both personal and professional—and introduces us to his most unforgettable characters, including that special science teacher to whom he credits his pursuing a career in marine science (most of us can relate, I am sure). He shares with us intimate aspects of his personal life and high points in his scientific career, all the while weaving in his political views on the environment.


Townsend, D.W. 2004. Review of The Sea’s Enthrall: Memoirs of an Oceanographer, by T. Parsons. Oceanography 17(4):216–217, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2004.25.

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