Geophysics

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Interview date
Location
Santa Barbara, California
Abstract

Born in California in 1911; recollections of childhood. Undergraduate studies in geology at California Institute of Technology, then one year of graduate work (J. P. Buwald, Chester Stock, William Morris Davis). Graduate studies in geology at Harvard University (R. A. Daly, Kirk Bryan, Percy Bridgman, Francis Birch, David Griggs), 1935-1938; comparisons between Harvard University and Caltech. To University of Illinois for teaching position, 1938-1943; summer research in geomorphology and glaciology. Research in Army Air Force during World War II. Accepts position at University of Minnesota (Larry Gould); professorship at Caltech, 1947. Debates over geochemical and geophysical approaches to geology; reassessment of curriculum in Division of Geological Sciences; decision to encourage research in space and planetary sciences (Harrison Brown), late 1950s.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Location
Bethesda, Maryland
Abstract

Born in Texas in 1903; influence of remote, rural environment on his upbringing and early education. Attended Weatherford Junior College until 1923; studies at University of Chicago, B.A. in 1926, M.A. in 1928, and Ph.D. (formally awarded) in 1937. Comments on courses, teachers and fellow students at Chicago, including J. Harlan Bretz and Rollin T. Chamberlin. Summer research at Amerada Petroleum Corporation (Oklahoma), Illinois State Geological Survey, and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), late 1920s to early 1930s. First teaching position at Columbia University; research on ground-water motion; involvement in Technocracy Movement, 1930s. Marriage to Miriam Graddy Berry, 1938. Senior analyst on staff of Board of Economic Warfare, 1942-1943; deepening commitment to issue of natural resources. Thoughts on limited interactions between geologists and geophysicists; work in advisory committees on geophysics education, 1930s to 1940s. Theory of scale models, 1937; related research involving strength of solids. Career at Shell Oil Company and Shell Development Company, 1943-1964; directs research laboratory at Shell, perspectives on industry environment for scientific research. Lecture tours to geological, industrial, and policy groups, 1940s to 1960s; involvement in Atomic Energy Commission, National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, advisory committees. Research with W. W. Rubey on overthrust faulting. Deepening interest in oil and natural gas reserves; responses from officials in petroleum corporations and federal government to his predictions of local, national, and worldwide reserves, 1950s to 1960s. Research geophysicist at USGS, 1964-1976, after retirement from Shell; studies of natural resources and conflicts over his conclusions involving other scientists at USGS. Visiting professorships at Stanford University, Johns Hopkins University, University of California, Berkeley, 1962-1977. Continued involvement in issue of geophysical education at American universities and in studies of natural resources, 1950s to 1970s.

Interviewed by
Spencer Weart
Interview date
Location
Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
Abstract

Childhood in Germany and family background — competitive spirit; war years — internment and radar work with Bondi and Hoyle (1942-1945) at Cambridge — development of theory of hearing and steady state theory; at Greenwich (1952-1956) — research on lunar surface and terrestrial dynamics; positions at Harvard and Cornell — involvement with Arecibo; involvement with governmental agencies including NSF and NASA — changes in government funding. A major part of the interview covers the development and reception of the steady date theory.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Interview date
Location
Palisades, New York
Abstract

Discusses his youth and education in the mid-west and Colorado; his undergraduate education at the University of Kansas and his graduate work at Columbia University; his decision to go into geophysics; his work as chief scientists aboard the research vessels and his relationship with Capt. Henry Kohler; international cooperation in researach projects; the effect on Lamont of Maurice Ewing's move to Texas; his committee work for the National Science Foundation; teaching graduate students at Columbia; plate tectonics; and marine geology.  Also prominently mentioned are Wally Broecker, Charles Drake, Gordon Eaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arnold Gordon, Bruce Heezen, Marcus Langseth, Jack Nafe, Jack Oliver, Neil Opdyke, Walter Pitman, Baring Raleigh, Mark Talwani, J. Lamar Worzel.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Interview date
Location
Palisades, New York
Abstract

Discusses his youth and education in the mid-west and Colorado; his undergraduate education at the University of Kansas and his graduate work at Columbia University; his decision to go into geophysics; his work as chief scientists aboard the research vessels and his relationship with Capt. Henry Kohler; international cooperation in researach projects; the effect on Lamont of Maurice Ewing's move to Texas; his committee work for the National Science Foundation; teaching graduate students at Columbia; plate tectonics; and marine geology.  Also prominently mentioned are Wally Broecker, Charles Drake, Gordon Eaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arnold Gordon, Bruce Heezen, Marcus Langseth, Jack Nafe, Jack Oliver, Neil Opdyke, Walter Pitman, Baring Raleigh, Mark Talwani, J. Lamar Worzel.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel and Tanya Levin
Interview date
Location
Palisades, New York
Abstract

Discusses his youth and education in the mid-west and Colorado; his undergraduate education at the University of Kansas and his graduate work at Columbia University; his decision to go into geophysics; his work as chief scientists aboard the research vessels and his relationship with Capt. Henry Kohler; international cooperation in researach projects; the effect on Lamont of Maurice Ewing's move to Texas; his committee work for the National Science Foundation; teaching graduate students at Columbia; plate tectonics; and marine geology.  Also prominently mentioned are Wally Broecker, Charles Drake, Gordon Eaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arnold Gordon, Bruce Heezen, Marcus Langseth, Jack Nafe, Jack Oliver, Neil Opdyke, Walter Pitman, Baring Raleigh, Mark Talwani, J. Lamar Worzel.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Interview date
Location
Palisades, New York
Abstract

Discusses his youth and education in the mid-west and Colorado; his undergraduate education at the University of Kansas and his graduate work at Columbia University; his decision to go into geophysics; his work as chief scientists aboard the research vessels and his relationship with Capt. Henry Kohler; international cooperation in researach projects; the effect on Lamont of Maurice Ewing's move to Texas; his committee work for the National Science Foundation; teaching graduate students at Columbia; plate tectonics; and marine geology.  Also prominently mentioned are Wally Broecker, Charles Drake, Gordon Eaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arnold Gordon, Bruce Heezen, Marcus Langseth, Jack Nafe, Jack Oliver, Neil Opdyke, Walter Pitman, Baring Raleigh, Mark Talwani, J. Lamar Worzel.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Interview date
Location
Palisades, New York
Abstract

Discusses his youth and education in the mid-west and Colorado; his undergraduate education at the University of Kansas and his graduate work at Columbia University; his decision to go into geophysics; his work as chief scientists aboard the research vessels and his relationship with Capt. Henry Kohler; international cooperation in researach projects; the effect on Lamont of Maurice Ewing's move to Texas; his committee work for the National Science Foundation; teaching graduate students at Columbia; plate tectonics; and marine geology.  Also prominently mentioned are Wally Broecker, Charles Drake, Gordon Eaton, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Arnold Gordon, Bruce Heezen, Marcus Langseth, Jack Nafe, Jack Oliver, Neil Opdyke, Walter Pitman, Baring Raleigh, Mark Talwani, J. Lamar Worzel.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Interview date
Location
Hillsdale, New Jersey
Abstract

Born April 6, 1921 in New Jersey; discusses family background during the Great Depression. Discusses joining the Civilian Conservation Corps at age 17; describes the CCC projects: logging, road blasting, machining. Comments on joining the Navy in 1944; describes the action he saw in the Pacific. Describes mechanical work on Navy ships; comments on how he found out about the machinist job at Lamont. Discusses his first year at Lamont in 1957; describes his impressions of the Lamont machine shop. Describes his first cruise aboard the Vema with Henry Kohler; discusses how became senior research assistant for Allan Be. Comments on his retirement from Lamont in1986; describes the highlights of his career with Lamont. Discusses the place of the biology program at Lamont; comments on his work at Bermuda biological station.

Interviewed by
Ronald Doel
Interview date
Location
Arlington, Virginia
Abstract

Born April 20, 1923 in Orleans, Vermont; discusses family life and childhood. Describes entering Princeton in 1940 for undergraduate education in physics; discusses joining the Navy in 1943 as a radar specialist. Comments on how his Navy experience helped his later career at Lamont; discusses being convinced by his older brother to pursue geophysics at Columbia. Describes the research involved in the sinking of the Scorpion in May 1968; comments on the tensions between Maurice Ewing and Bruce Heezen. Describes the significance and frustrations of his Bermuda station work; discusses the formation of the Palisades Geophysical Institute. Comments on his retirement from PGI in 1972 and his subsequent classified projects for ONR.