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50 Years of Ocean Discovery: National Science Foundation 1950—2000
tists I know, at least it was true for me, felt that there was no doubt that the science had first priority and that you were in "good hands" when at sea with Captain Hiller. His knowledgeable suggestions about cruise tracks and cruise execution in the face of various unforeseen challenges, and his ship handling, are legendary. Another example is Jerry Cotter the bo's'n of the R/V Knorr. There is no doubt that the Atlantic GEOSECS expedition (and many other expeditions and cruises) benefited enormously from the combined expertise and talents of these two individuals and their fellow officers and crew. There is no greater tribute to Jerry than to quote Hank Stommel about the bo's'n: "Lest we think that science is all instrumentation, data, and theory, some time when the weather is making up, and our gear is hopelessly fouled in the water over the side, and the wire has jumped the sheave, the sight of the bo's'n coming on deck is the most important of all." (Hogg and Huang, 1995, p. I-197).
The 1950s to the present have been years of significant advances in the application of chemistry to elucidate and quantify oceanic processes. A mix of individual investigator and larger group efforts involving innovative ideas and determined hard work has advanced the field. The development and application of sophisticated analytical methods of trace chemical measurements have been impressive. They have unlocked many secrets of natural and human-forced processes. The power of stable and radioactive isotope chemistry to elucidate and quantitatively unravel physical, chemical, and biological processes in the oceans and underlying sediments moved from concept to reality during the past 50 years and is still evolving rapidly. Mass spectrometers of all sorts have replaced titration burettes as common analytical equipment in the laboratories of chemical oceanography and marine geochemistry.
Data sets of unprecedented size and complexity are being interpreted more routinely. Both equilibrium and nonequilibrium approaches are used commonly to model data collected from the field and laboratory experiments. A rich mix of theory, experimentation, and observation has been at the heart of advances in chemical oceanography and marine geochemistry. As FOCUS (1998) notes, much more exciting and important science is already over the horizon and confronting us today. There are crucial societal needs in the global, regional, and local arenas to be served by improved knowledge in chemical oceanography-marine geochemistry. For this reason and because of the intrinsic excitement of unraveling the beauty and secrets of natural processes, let us hope that the efforts of the next 50 years will at least meet the impressive standard set by the past 50 years !
In the spirit of this presentation in choosing examples to illustrate the contributions of many, I dedicate this paper to a person whom I had the privilege of collaborating with in two major efforts, the U.S. Mussel Watch Program and the VERTEX Program; I am speaking of John Holland Martin. In late 1993, at the invitation of Professor Margaret Leinen, Dean of the Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) at the University of Rhode Island (URI), I was approached by the editors of the Bulletin of the Graduate School of Oceanography and asked as an alumnus to write a short in memoriam dedication of the bulletin for 1994-1995 to John H. Martin. John had earned his Ph.D. there in 1966. This was a great honor for me. However, I knew of a person who should aid in this venture, Dr. Donald K. Phelps, a long-standing friend and colleague of John's, who earned his Ph.D. from the GSO in 1964 and had recently retired from the U.S. EPA laboratory in Narragansett. I first met Don when he was a member of my Ph.D. thesis committee. Don offered a poem as his contribution to our effort.
Don's poem is a moving tribute to a friend and colleague who wanted a better world for all of us:
JOHN HOLLAND MARTIN
John Holland Martin, indomitable spirit.
Challenges barriers as a scythe to an emery wheel
well honed for the encounter.
Fallen from the playing field.
Incubated in an iron lung.
Braced for halting steps that bind his movement,
he travels around the world
Where many have not.
Image in electronic transport speeds like light to spark
controversy and awaken sleeping minds and
tradition bound visions.
Ideas spark as iron against stone.
The iron limitation hypothesis.
Now tested further.
Now closer to crystallizing that vision.
Family, friends, this country, its story-tellers,
The mysteries of the ocean, his students and a good time.
When the Fates give you a bad deal, pick up the cards