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50 Years of Ocean Discovery: National Science Foundation 1950—2000
Craig of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Brian Clarke of McMasters University demonstrating that volcanogenic input to the deep ocean was a real thing.
GEOSECS was a monumental undertaking with extensive cruise tracks in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans (see Brewer paper later in this volume). The program had its trials and tribulations in analytical chemistry, among other challenges (harking back to the importance of careful, precise analyses of seawater first highlighted in the 1920s through 1950s) as recounted by Brewer. However, ultimately it was a significant success (Craig, 1972, 1974; Craig and Turekian, 1980; Edmond, 1980) and led to follow-on programs of increasing sophistication and better time and space scale resolution: TTO (Transient Tracers in the Ocean), WOCE (World Ocean Circulation Experiment), and to some extent, the JGOFS (Joint Global Ocean Flux Study) program.
Success in GEOSECS was due to the combined efforts of many people, as is the case for most advances in chemical oceanography and marine geochemistry. The importance of having first-rate sampling systems and onboard analyses systems cannot be overemphasized, and these were provided for GEOSECS by Arnold Bainbridge and the GEOSECS Operations Group. Broecker and Peng (1982) dedicate their book to Arnold Bainbridge in recognition of his important contributions.
Marine Radioactivity and Chemicals of Environmental Concern
Chemical oceanographers, marine chemists and geochemists, physicists, geologists, biologists, and ecologists intensified the investigation of the invasion of radioactive fallout into the oceans and also provided preliminary assessments of the use of artificial radionuclides as tracers of oceanic processes. Radioactivity in the marine environment was assessed in a report of that title published in 1971 (NAS, 1971 b), although the actual work on the report began in 1967. I highly recommend a careful reading of this report. The breadth and depth of advances in knowledge and the literature cited in this report are impressive. One example of information contained in the report (NAS, 1971b, Chapter 7, Figure 4) should serve to whet the reader' s intellectual appetite (Figure 1).
NSF funded much fundamental research in ocean chemistry during the 1960s alone or in partnership with the Office of Naval Research and the Atomic Energy Commission. Understanding the fundamental biogeochemical cycles of chemicals in seawater became the key to assessing some very important societal problems in addition to the role of the ocean in the carbon dioxide-related climate issues and contamination of the oceans by artificial radionuclides. Natural cycles of several elements and compounds were being modified by human activities (SCEP, 1970; NAS, 1971c). Nutrient enrichments in coastal waters were a recognized problem (NAS, 197 l c). People were poisoned with mercury in the Minimata Bay area of Japan. Rachel Carson (1962) documented, in layperson's terms, the promiscuous use of chlorinated pesticides and unintended adverse effects. Shortly thereafter, in the late 1960s, the issue of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) in the environment and potential problems with these chemicals became known. The Santa Barbara oil spill of 1968 captured people's attention for a period of time. Polluted rivers and polluted air were obvious near industrialized areas. The first Earth Day would occur in 1970. All of this is chronicled in a readable book The Health of the Oceans by Edward D. Goldberg (1975a).
Earlier in this paper (see Table 1), the NSF grant to Patterson and Chow was noted. They conducted fundamental research about the biogeochemistry of lead in the marine environment. This led to a critically important finding of the evidence of lead input to the oceans from human activities (Chow and Patterson, 1966). Using isotope dilution mass spectrometry, Patterson's laboratory at California Institute of Technology set the standard for analysis for lead in marine (and other) samples. A summary of their work up to 1976 and its influence on the research of others concerned with the biogeochemistry of lead in the environment is found in Patterson et al. (1976). Claire C. Patterson was recognized for his pioneering geochemical research on lead isotopes by the award of the V.M. Goldschmidt Medal in 1980 (Epstein, 1981). I highly recommend reading Patterson's acceptance speech (Patterson, 1981) to those entering an environmental chemistry career.
Max Blumer, organic geochemist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, had been supported by both NSF and ONR to undertake fundamental investigations of organic compounds in the marine environment. Max focused on hydrocarbons and fatty acids in the contemporary environment and on pigment diagenesis products in ancient sediments. He had developed elegant and sophisticated trace analytical organic chemistry methods and applied them to the analyses of biosynthesized hydrocarbons, in marine animals, plants, seawater, and surface sediments in the 1960s (see Farrington, 1978, for a more complete review). In the fall of 1969, the barge Florida went aground and spilled No. 2 fuel oil onto the marshes and subtidal area of Buzzards Bay near West Falmouth, Massachusetts. Thus began modem studies of oil pollution in the marine environment. Max Blumer and his laboratory group applied their sophisticated methodology to analyses of surface mud and shellfish— days, weeks, months, and then two years after the visible oil slick had disappeared. They proved beyond reasonable doubt that No. 2 fuel oil persisted long after "conventional wisdom," founded in visual observations, suggested that the oil compounds would be gone from the marine environment (Blumer et al., 1970; Blumer and Sass, 1972a,b). Of equal importance, Max Blumer collaborated with WHOI colleagues in biological oceanography, Howard Sanders and John Teal, and a graduate student advised by Teal, Kathryn