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The origin of the Albatross Award can be traced directly to a dinner party in early 1959 at the home of Gordon and Mildred Lill in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C. Guests were Arthur Maxwell and his wife and John Knauss. Lill and Maxwell worked at the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Knauss was visiting from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in LaJolla, California. During the evening the subject of the lack of awards and prizes for oceanographers arose. The three decided that perhaps this was a situation that could be remedied by the American Miscellaneous Society (AMSOC).