A Century of Copepods: The U. S. Fisheries Steamer "Albatross"

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  • Article briefly describes the origin of the U. S. Fish Commission oceanographic research ship "Albatross," launched in 1882 by founder and first Commissioner Spencer Baird while he was Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. The author comments that for length of service, areas explored, and volumes written, the "Albatross" record is likely unsurpassed and that while the vessel's primary task was toward vertebrate fisheries research, it was instrumental in collecting specimens of marine invertebrates, including copepod species. A number of scientists specializing in copepods sailed with the "Albatross" during its long career, which lasted until 1921, and others analyzed and wrote about the specimens in the following years. The author concentrates on nine scientists who made special contributions to the study of copepods collected by the "Albatross."
  • Biographical information and descriptions of studies and writings are presented in separate sections for these scientists: Addison Verrill, Sydney Smith, Richard Rathbun, Wilhelm Giesbrecht, Georg Sars, Charles Wilson, Calvin Esterly, Henry Bigelow and Otohiko Tanaka.


  • Smith, Sydney
  • Giesbrecht, Wilhelm
  • Sars, G. O (Georg Ossian) 1837-1927
  • Wilson, Charles
  • Esterly, Calvin
  • Bigelow, Henry
  • Tanaka, Otohiko
  • Rathbun, Richard 1852-1918
  • Baird, Spencer Fullerton 1823-1887
  • Verrill, A. E (Addison Emery) 1839-1926
  • Biological Society of Washington
  • United States National Museum
  • United States Fish Commission
  • Albatross (Steamer)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography


Article is one of six from a quarterly journal of the National Marine Fisheries Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U. S. Department of Commerce. This issue of the journal is devoted entirely to the U. S. Fish Commission Steamer "Albatross," launched in 1882 as the world's first oceanographic and fisheries research ship; the Introduction features 16 photographs and illustrations. The articles were papers presented at a symposium held on June 30, 1997, at the University of Washington in Seattle; each concerns a phase of the ship's 40-year career as a research vessel. Eleven figures and ten copepod illustrations accompany the article.

Contained within

Marine Fisheries Review Vol. 61, No. 4 (Journal)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu




  • Marine invertebrates
  • Scientific expeditions
  • Oceanographic research ships
  • Secretaries
  • Copepoda
  • Marine resources
  • Fisheries
  • Biography

Physical description

pgs. 69-84

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