The History of Ecology

Events

Undersea Canyons

1857

James Alden discovered the first known submarine valley, which was in California's Monterey Canyon

Life in the Deep sea

1868

Mr. Charles W. Thomson, dredging from the H.M.S Lightning, finds sea life at 14,400 feet, shattering previous theories that the sea was lifeless below 1,800 feet

Early Marine Survey of the Americas

1872

Naturalist, Louis Agassiz steams from the U.S. East Coast to the west coast around South America, collecting some 30,000 marine specimens

Marine Research and oceanography

1872 - 1876

H.M.S Challenger circles the globe conducting research for the Royal Society of London, laying groundwork for modern oceanography

The first oceanographic research vessel

1882

The U.S. Fisheries Commission steamer Albatross begins operations. The first ship built to serve as an oceanographic research vessel

Marine survey of the South Pacific

1899 - 1905

Alexander Agassiz makes many long research voyages to the South Pacific, collecting data and specimens from remote ocean regions along the way.

The sinking of the Titanic

1912

The TItanic sinks after hitting an iceberg, killing 1,500 people. The tragedy leads to efforts to develop an acoustic device to find objects ahead of a vessel.

First Acoustic Exploration of the Seas

1914

Reginald Fessenden uses an oscillator to bounce a signal simultaneously off an iceberg and to the seafloor

Studying the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

1925

The German Meteor expedition surveys the south Atlantic with echo sounders, proving the continuity of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge

The Bathysphere

1934

William Beebe is lowered in a tethered bathysphere to 3,028 feet. He and his partner Otis Barton pioneered manned exploration of the ocean

The creation of the Aqua-Lung

1943

Jacques Cousteau and Miles Gagnan modify a demand breathing regulator to engineer the Aqua- Lung, forever changing the course of human interaction with the sea.

The Trieste explores the Mariana Trench

1960

The bathyscaphe Trieste dives to what is believed to be the deepest point in the Mariana Trench, recording a depth of 35,800 feet. Exploring the same area in 1998, a Japanese research vessel measured a depth of 35,886 feet

An underwate lab

1965

Sealab II, an underwater habitat, is lowered off the coast of california

Robert Ballard's Discovery of Hydrothermal Vents

1977

Hydrothermal vents are discovered. along with an ecosystem that survives without the energy of the sun, by a team led by Robert Ballard. These ecosystems rely on biota absorbing chemical energy from the venting materials in a process called chemosynthesis

The discovery of the sunken Titanic

1985

A research team lead by Robert Ballard discovers the Titanic more than 12,500 feet down, the most famous shipwreck in modern history.