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  • Chase Martin

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  • Chase Martin

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New Book on History of Scripps Institution of Oceanography to be Published

Images of America: Scripps Institution of Oceanography cover.

A new book on the history of Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego hits bookstore shelves and online sites June 7. Images of America: Scripps Institution of Oceanography joins many others in this popular photobook series that highlights historical points of interest across the country.

“This is really the first comprehensive publication of Scripps Oceanography history in several decades,” said Robert Monroe, author of the book and communications officer at Scripps. “I hope the book allows readers to appreciate one of the world’s greatest research centers in an approachable way.”

Though the ‘Images of America’ series is primarily local in focus, the book covers the history of a research center with a global reputation. The present-day definition of oceanography is derived from the holistic view of the oceans articulated by Scripps scientists in the 1940s, a view that considered biology, chemistry, and physics as interrelated systems. In later years, the original University of California outpost devoted to marine biology would launch the modern era of climate change research, creating iconic records such as the Keeling Curve and championing the value of long-term study of all Earth systems.

Construction of the original Scripps Pier.

Construction of the original Scripps Pier, 1915.

With its nearly 120 years of history, Scripps Oceanography drew the attention of Arcadia Publishing Co., which reached out to the institution in 2019 about creating a book devoted to Scripps. Monroe worked with communications officials, library experts, and historians from UC San Diego and beyond to compile the best images to showcase Scripps’ transformative history.

“This book rides on the shoulders of some of the great historians associated with Scripps,” said Monroe. “We’re fortunate to have individuals like them who are dedicated to preserving the past.”

The 127-page book features more than 200 photographs spanning the period from Scripps’ founding in 1903 to 21st century research on climate change and other hazards to society and natural systems, the achievements of groundbreaking alumni, and technological advances in the institution’s second century of research. Included are images from the days when Scripps was a small marine lab, the construction of the original Scripps Pier, research expeditions on the institution’s long line of ships, groundbreaking scientific discoveries, many of the notable scientists and students that made these key discoveries, and much more.

Science party on the Capricorn Expedition in 1953.

Science party on the Capricorn Expedition, 1953.

The book is available at the UC San Diego Bookstore and its online site, through retail sites such as Amazon and, and in most major bookstores in the San Diego area.

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