Emperor Hirohito: The Marine Biologist Who Ruled Japan

Exactly seventy years ago today Japan surrendered to the United States, bringing an end to World War II and signaling the start of the American occupation. Under the direction of the Supreme Commander of the Allied Powers, General Douglas MacArthur, and his protégé General Bonner Fellers, the U.S. military began the process of Japanese war-crimes prosecutions.… Read More Emperor Hirohito: The Marine Biologist Who Ruled Japan

#PlatformsMatter: Design and the Marine Environment

One of the hashtags often used by the U.S. Navy in their various social media feeds is #PlatformsMatter. The term now frequently pops into my head while I’m doing research – a 21st century mantra for the marine historian. The importance of engineering and design for marine work is something I’ve thought about with respect to… Read More #PlatformsMatter: Design and the Marine Environment

Fisheries Politics Masked as Science

Is Maximum Sustainable Yield a tool of science or of diplomacy? For the world’s fish populations, the concept has stood for years as a working blend of economic goals and conservation principles. The word “sustainable” lends it a particular respectability in our environmental age. It purports to answer the burning question about how many fish… Read More Fisheries Politics Masked as Science

“Cosmos”, C. C. Patterson, and “What the Fish Knew” about the Deep Sea

  Last night I caught up with the latest episode of Cosmos, the rebooted Carl Sagan series now hosted by Neil Degrasse Tyson. Among the many pleasures of the new series is the amount of time given over to the history of science. As academic historians, of course, we inevitably find ways of critiquing the… Read More “Cosmos”, C. C. Patterson, and “What the Fish Knew” about the Deep Sea

Communicating the History of Oceanography: An Experiment

In 1971, the department of chemistry at Stanford University produced a short educational film unlike any made before. If you’ve taken a college biology course (since 1971) the odds are good that you watched this film in class – and that you remember it. The video begins with a formal introduction by Nobel Prize winning chemist… Read More Communicating the History of Oceanography: An Experiment

The rise and fall of Pacific sardine in west coast waters

By Misha Warbanski [Former public radio reporter Misha Warbanski studies biology at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada.] Pacific sardine (Sardinops sagax) is a small pelagic schooling fish that can live up to 15 years and reach 41cms in length. Its range stretches over 5,000km of coastal surface waters, from Baja California to Southern Alaska,… Read More The rise and fall of Pacific sardine in west coast waters