Oceanography as a comprehensive study dates from the
Universities and private individuals, as well as governments, have established institutions for the study of the ocean; there exist today about 250 such institutions. One of the earliest was the marine biological station at Naples (founded 1872), which stimulated the founding of many other seaside stations, some of which, e.g., the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at La Jolla, Calif., have enlarged their activities to include all fields of oceanographic research. Other notable institutions in the field include the Oceanographic Museum at Monaco (1910); the biological station of the Univ. of Oslo; the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution at Woods Hole, Mass. (1930); and the Lamont-Doherty Geological Observatory of Columbia Univ (1949).
The first international oceanographic organization was the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (1901). In 1966 the U.S. Congress created the National Council for Marine Resources and Engineering Development charged with exploring all aspects of ocean development, and authorized the National Science Foundation to sponsor sea-grant colleges analogous to the Dept. of Agriculture's sponsorship of land-grant colleges. Projects such as Conshelf, under Jacques Cousteau; Sealab, under the U.S. Navy; Tektite, a cooperative venture of the U.S. Dept. of the Interior and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Aquarius under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and others have established temporary stations in oceans to see whether humans can live and work underwater for extended periods.
Modern deep-diving equipment has been improved to permit descents to very great depths, such as the U.S. bathyscaphe,
See M. G. Gross,
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