Jacques Cousteau was a French explorer, naval officer, filmmaker, conservationist, scientist, photographer, researcher, and author. Renowned for his exploration of various forms of life in water, Jacques Cousteau is credited with pioneering marine conservation and co-developing the Aqua-Lung, the first underwater breathing apparatus to achieve popularity and commercial success.
Known for the documentary Ocean's Deadliest, which he co-hosted with Steve Irwin, oceanographer Philippe Cousteau Jr. also earned an Emmy nomination for his work in Awesome Planet. The grandson of naval officer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Philippe had lost his father, sailor and filmmaker Philippe Cousteau, 6 months before his birth.
American astronomer, naval officer, oceanographer and author Matthew Fontaine Maury, who first served the United States Navy and then the Confederacy States Navy, made significant contributions in oceanography. His book Physical Geography of the Sea is counted among the first comprehensive books on oceanography. Navies and merchant marines across the world adopted his uniform system of recording oceanographic data.
US oceanographer, geologist, and former US Navy officer and NASA astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan scripted history in 1984 when she became the first woman from the US to walk in space. Apart from being part of 3 Space Shuttle missions, she also worked in various administrative posts at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
US geologist and oceanographer Marie Tharp is remembered for her pioneering work on oceanographic cartography. She contributed to the development of the first scientific map of the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. She was associated with the Columbia University’s Lamont–Doherty Earth Observatory and was one of the first women to work for it.
US geophysicist Marcia McNutt scripted history as the first female director of the US Geological Survey. She has also been the president of the National Academy of Sciences. She has also taught marine geophysics at Stanford and the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her countless awards include the Maurice Ewing Medal.
Russian naval commander Stepan Makarov led the Pacific fleet at the start of the 1904 Russo-Japanese War. A talented naval architect and ship designer, he was also a pioneering oceanographer. At 41, he became the youngest admiral of Russia. He was killed when his flagship, Petropavlovsk, collided with a mine and sank.
James Rennell was an English historian and geographer. A pioneer of oceanography, Rennell is often referred to as the Father of Oceanography. Rennell, who served as a Surveyor General of Bengal, India, is credited with producing some of the earliest accurate maps of Bengal. James Rennell is also credited with co-founding the Royal Geographical Society in London in 1830.
US geophysicist and physical oceanographer Walter Munk is remembered for his path-breaking research on ocean currents and wave propagation. He had been part of the faculty of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He was also a member of the elite panel of scientists, JASON.
US geophysicist Maurice Ewing conducted path-breaking research on ocean basins and sediments, using seismic methods. Apart from teaching geology at Columbia University, he also served as the director of the Lamont Geological Observatory. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he also received the National Medal of Science, among other awards.
Born to Scottish migrants in Canada, John Murray later went back to Scotland to study medicine but quit without graduating. He later studied geology and became one of the pioneers of oceanography. He was also associated with the Challenger Expedition and was knighted for his work as a marine biologist.
Robert S. Dietz was an American scientist, marine geologist, oceanographer, and geophysicist. He is best remembered for conducting pioneering research concerning seafloor spreading along with Harry Hammond Hess. Robert S. Dietz was also interested in meteorite impacts and is credited with discovering numerous impact craters, including the Sudbury Basin.
Vagn Walfrid Ekman was a Swedish oceanographer. He is credited with developing instruments like the Ekman water bottle and Ekman current meter. He also served as a professor of mathematical physics and mechanics at the University of Lund. In 1935, Vagn Walfrid Ekman was inducted into the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Ekman was also an amateur singer and pianist.
Bruce C. Heezen was an American geologist best remembered for his work at Columbia University, where he joined forces with oceanographic cartographer Marie Tharp to map the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. In 1964, he was honored by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution with the Henry Bryant Bigelow Medal in Oceanography. In 1973, Bruce C. Heezen was awarded the prestigious Cullum Geographical Medal.
Harald Sverdrup was a Norwegian oceanographer and meteorologist who served as president of the International Association of Physical Oceanography. He was also director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He was the author of many books, including his magnum opus The Oceans: Their Physics, Chemistry, and General Biology. He was a recipient of the William Bowie Medal.
Carl-Gustaf Rossby was a Swedish-born American meteorologist. He played an important role during the Second World War, organizing the training of military meteorologists. Over the course of his career, Carl-Gustaf Rossby was honored with many prestigious awards such as the Applied Meteorology Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1959.
South African-American geophysicist, oceanographer, and meteorologist invented the bathythermograph to measure temperatures and depths of the sea. He also proposed the founding of the Sea Grant Colleges. Associated with the University of Minnesota, he planned the futuristic Minnesota Experimental City, though it never materialized.
Bjørn Helland-Hansen was a Norwegian oceanographer considered a pioneer in the field of modern oceanography. He studied both medicine and physics at the University of Christiania before beginning his multi-faceted career. He developed the "Helland-Hansen Photometer." He had a brilliant academic career and was made president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).