Finding Aids to Official Records of the Smithsonian Institution Archives
Record Unit 273
Oceanography and Limnology Program (Smithsonian Institution)
Records, 1962-1974, with related records to 1977
The history of the Oceanography and Limnology Program can be traced to 1962 when Irvin Eugene Wallen was appointed Assistant Director for Oceanography in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH). Duties of the Assistant Director for Oceanography included aiding NMNH scientists in marine research; maintaining liaison with scientists and ocean-going vessels for collecting biological materials; representing the Smithsonian Institution on committees and councils concerned with oceanography; and developing and operating a sorting center for marine biological and geological materials. The Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center (SOSC) was established in 1962, under the administrative control of the Assistant Director for Oceanography. In 1966, the position of Assistant Director for Oceanography was abolished, and its duties were assumed by the newly created Office of Oceanography and Limnology. The Office, with Wallen as Head, reported to the Assistant Secretary for Science and was administratively responsible for the SOSC and the Mediterranean Marine Sorting Center (MMSC), which was established in September 1966. As a result of a reorganization in the Smithsonian's environmental programs, the Office of Environmental Sciences (OES) was established in October 1969. At that time, the Office of Oceanography and Limnology became the Oceanography and Limnology Program (OLP) of OES. In October 1973, OES was merged with the Office of International Activities to create the Office of International and Environmental Programs (OIEP). OLP became an administrative unit of the newly created OIEP. OLP was abolished in June 1974. At that time, Smithsonian environmental programs were merged to form the International Environmental Sciences Program (IESP) of OIEP. IESP and OIEP were terminated in 1975.
Staff of OLP and its predecessors, the Assistant Director for Oceanography, NMNH and the Office of Oceanography and Limnology included Wallen, Assistant Director for Oceanography, NMNH, 1962-1966, Head, Office of Oceanography and Limnology, 1966-1969; William Aron, Deputy Head, 1967-1969, Director, 1969-1971; Robert P. Higgins, Oceanographer, 1968-1969, Director, 1971-1974 (from 1970 to 1971, Higgins served as Director of MMSC); Dail W. Brown, Oceanographer, 1970-1972; David K. Young, Deputy Director, 1972-1974; and Catherine J. Kerby, Estuarine Biologist, 1973, Deputy Director, 1974.
This record unit consists primarily of records documenting the scientific activities of OLP, 1970-1974, and its predecessors - the Assistant Director for Oceanography, NMNH, 1962-1966, and the Office of Oceanography and Limnology, 1966-1970. The records were mostly created by Wallen, Aron, and Higgins, with smaller amounts of material documenting the activities of other staff members. Records post-dating the termination of OLP in June 1974 are those of Higgins and Catherine J. Kerby, created while staff members of IESP and the SOSC, and usually concern projects or activities initiated by OLP. The records consist of incoming and outgoing correspondence; proposals; reports; fiscal materials; publications; photographs; and research data. They include an organizational file documenting OLP relations with oceanographic institutions, commissions, government agencies, and colleges and universities; a file concerning international activities and projects of OLP; a subject file, primarily concerning oceanographic matters; records providing comprehensive documentation of the nine-year history of MMSC; and files concerning projects conducted at Skadar Lake, Yugoslavia and Nam Ngum, Loas.
This collection is indexed under the following access terms. These are links to collections with related topics, persons or places.
- Wallen, I. E. (Irvin Eugene), 1921-
- Aron, William I.
- Higgins, Robert P.
- Brown, Dail W.
- Young, D. K. (David K.)
- Kerby, Catherine
- Smithsonian Institution. Mediterranean Marine Sorting Center
- Smithsonian Institution. Office of Oceanography and Limnology
- National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Assistant Director for Oceanography
- Smithsonian Oceanographic Sorting Center
- Smithsonian Institution. Office of Environmental Sciences
- Smithsonian Institution. Office of International and Environmental Programs
- Skadar Lake Project (1971-1977 : Yugoslavia)
- Nam Ngum Dam and Reservoir Project (1973-1975 : Laos)
Physical Characteristics of Materials in the Collection
- Black-and-white negatives
- Black-and-white photographs
- Black-and-white transparencies
- Color transparencies
- Color photographs
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 273, Oceanography and Limnology Program (Smithsonian Institution), Records