Birth of a Sea Grant land is just an island


  • Athelstan Spilhaus


‘Sea Grant colleges’-it was that phrase that did the trick. What was the background and how did it come about?

In 1958, after the very successful International Geophysical Year, President Detlev Bronk of the National Academy of Sciences asked Harrison Brown to organize a committee on oceanography to study the needs in marine science. Harrison asked me to be the vice chairman. Apparently it was felt that although the great directors of Woods Hole, Scripps, and the other oceanographic institutions were wanted on the committee, each had their individual axes to grind; whereas Harrison, who was at Cal-Tech, was not directly involved in oceanography, and I was at Minnesota—about as far away as one can get from any ocean in the North American continent.